NOTE: In honour of the 150th anniversary of Confederation of Canada in 2017, special celebrations are being planned in Ottawa for the Canada Day long weekend (June 30 to July 2, 2017). Therefore, programming will vary this year from the descriptions below. Stay tuned for updates.
Ottawa, Canada’s Capital, is the place to be July 1 for the country’s biggest annual birthday celebration. It’s a giant patriotic party on the lawns of Parliament Hill, Major’s Hill Park, at the Canadian Museum of History and on the closed streets of downtown.
The crowds start to gather on Parliament Hill early, for a 9 a.m. flag raising ceremony and the Changing of the Guard ceremony, which is followed by the carillon concert featuring the Peace Tower bells, at 10 a.m. Be there at noon for a thrilling performance by the Snowbirds Demonstration team, and a noon hour show filled with cultural entertainment. For families, the Canadian Museum of History will host a variety of activities especially for children ages 3 to 12 including games, physical activities, performances and inflatable slides. For revelers of all ages there will be free activities at most of the area’s national museums and institutions.
Excitement continues throughout the day at major sites and attractions downtown and across the Capital. The evening show on Parliament Hill features a stellar lineup of Canadian performers. And as always, the evening will be topped off by a giant fireworks show you simply don’t want to miss!
New for 2017: Urban Camping
The City of Ottawa’s Urban Camping Program has created a unique way for visitors to stay in Ottawa during the long Canada Day weekend in 2017. Select green spaces and parking lots will be converted into family-friendly sites that visitors can reserve between June 29 to July 4, 2017 for their tents and RVs. Campers will have access to showers and toilets and in some cases, can access additional amenities for a small extra fee.
In 2017, Canada Day celebrates the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation which took place on July 1, 1867! To stay informed regarding Canada Day 2017 celebrations taking place in Ottawa, visit the Canadian Heritage website.
- Parliament Hill is the focal point for Canada Day celebrations, with a giant stage featuring Canadian performers throughout the day, the noontime playing of Oh Canada and a flyby by Canada’s Snowbirds aerobatics team and other military aircraft.
- The celebrations spill over from Parliament Hill to venues on both sides of the Ottawa River, including Major’s Hill Park and the Canadian Museum of History in downtown Gatineau, with fun and activities for people of all ages.
- The day is capped-off with a massive fireworks finale visible from any vantage point downtown. Make sure to get a good spot by 10 p.m., as that’s when the fireworks light up the sky!