Ottawa’s top Canada Day events and activities

June 26, 2017 / Ottawa

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation, #Canada150. Ottawa is the place to be if you’re looking for a long weekend full of fun and patriotic activities. Our capital has designated three official sites for Canada Day festivities—Parliament Hill, Major’s Hill Park, and the Canadian Museum of History. Plus, numerous other locations and organizations have festivities planned as well.

Get ready to make your rounds… this Canada Day culminates what may well be the most exciting fireworks display you’ll ever see. 

Things to do in Ottawa Canada Day weekend

1. Attend the opening celebration at Parliament Hill

The activities planned for the opening of the Ottawa Canada Day celebration will make you doubly proud to be a Canadian. Enjoy a thrilling demonstration by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, an inspection of the Guard with a 21-gun salute, and appearances by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Governor General David Johnston, and the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

When: July 1, 11:40am to 1:15pm

Where: Parliament Hill, Wellington St., Ottawa, ON K1A 0A4

2. See Gordon Lightfoot and more at Parliament Hill

Canada Day’s evening show at Parliament Hill is a star-studded event you won’t want to miss. Performers represent every region of Canada and include Gordon Lightfoot, Cirque du Soleil, Kinnie Starr, and Alessia Cara. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket and a picnic basket, and arrive early to stake out your spot. Settle in and enjoy the sweet sounds of Canada.

When: July 1, 8:30pm to 11:30pm

Where: Parliament Hill, Wellington St., Ottawa, ON K1A 0A4

3. Enjoy a concert at Major’s Hill Park or the Canadian Museum of History

Music is an important part of any celebration. This Canada Day, you can get an earful of the country’s hottest sounds, past and present. Major’s Hill Park holds the Tim Horton’s Family Stage, where performances will be going on all day on Canada Day. This year’s lineup includes Kalimba, Mysteric, Les Vitamines, Circo Comedia, Les Foutoukours, and two-time Juno-nominated DJ Rise Ashen. The Canadian Museum of History will also feature a number of musical acts throughout the day, including folk group Le Grand Portage, who will perform traditional tunes.

When: July 1, throughout the day

Where: Major’s Hill Park, Mackenzie Ave, Ottawa, ON K1N 9J6 and Canadian Museum of History, 100 Laurier St., Gatineau, QC K1A 0M8

4. Watch the downtown fireworks

This year’s Ottawa fireworks display is set to be the biggest in Canada, triple the size of previous years. Over 15,000 fireworks will be lit from five locations around the downtown core, offering a 360-degree view of dazzling, colourful explosions. The 20-minute show will be visible all over downtown—where you choose to view from is up to you! The best spots include the green space behind the Canadian Museum of History and Major’s Hill Park.

When: July 1, 11am

Where: Various locations downtown

5. Spark your creativity at Inspiration Village

Inspiration Village, built just for 2017 festivities and housed downtown in refurbished shipping containers, will celebrate Canada’s 150th with family-friendly activities in a unique space. Groovy Little Orchestra will celebrate Canadian music with performances of our nation’s best-loved songs, and Lexie, Josee, and Christopher from Mini TFO will keep the littles entertained with games, songs, and stories.

When: July 1, 12pm to 11pm

Where: Inspiration Village, York St., Ottawa, ON

6. Experience Kontinuum

The mysterious tunnel that will house Ottawa’s Lyon Light Rail Transit station in 2018 is open to the public July 16 through September 14, for an experience you won’t soon forget. Descend deep underground to witness a haunting and fascinating multi-media production created by Ottawa 2017 and Moment Factory. Kontinuum, An Underground Journey Through Time, is free to the public and will blow your mind, elevating your senses and freeing your imagination.

When: July 16 to September 14

Where: Enter at Place de Ville Theatre, 300 Sparks St., Ottawa, ON K1A 0J6

7. Go urban camping

Ottawa is opening up some of the city’s parking lots and green spaces to tents and RVs for the country’s 150th. Book a three—or five—night package for June 20 through July 4, and get set to go camping urban-style. Campers will have access to restrooms, showers, and other facilities. Get to know your Canadian neighbours from near and far with this unique experience that puts you where all of the action is this Canada Day.

When: June 20 through July 4

Where: Various locations throughout Ottawa

8. Visit the Canadian Museum of History

Enjoy free admission to the Canadian Museum of History on Canada Day and participate in a number of patriotic activities for the whole family. Kids can make crafts like Canada Day headbands and braided friendship bracelets, and everyone is invited to tap their toes and do a jig to lively music performances indoors and out throughout the day. Inflatables, games, and other fun activities will keep the kids and adults alike entertained all day.

When: July 1, 9am to midnight

Where: Canadian Museum of History, 100 Laurier St., Gatineau, QC K1A 0M8

This year’s Canada Day is going to enjoy record crowds and will feature scores of activities big and small. Make your plans early so that you can really pack in the fun on Canada’s 150th birthday.