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Canada Day Toronto July 1, 2012 | © George Socka/Wikicommons
Canada Day Toronto July 1, 2012 | © George Socka/Wikicommons
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10 Ways To Celebrate Canada Day In Toronto, 2016

Picture of Culture Trip
Updated: 21 June 2016
Summer has commenced, meaning Canada Day is just around the corner — and Toronto locals are always on the search for how to spend Canada’s birthday this year. From music and food festivals, to art exhibitions and outdoor picnics, we’ve got you covered. Read on to discover how you can make the most of Canada’s birthday this year.
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Canada Day at the Harbourfront Centre

Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre is hosting an all-weekend event — Friday, July 1 to Sunday, July 3 — with live music, fun for kids and the family, a history exhibit and fireworks on Friday evening at 10:40pm. This event is free and it’s all ages, so it’s the perfect Canada day activity for families and youngsters. The Lakeview Market will also be set up with vendors selling anything from clothing to crafts.

Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 973 4000

Heading down for Barbados on the Water this weekend? Don't forget to visit our friends at @TheSlipTO!

A photo posted by Harbourfront Centre (@harbourfrontcentre) on

TD Toronto Jazz Fest

Toronto Jazz Fest, going on from June 24 – July 3, is hosting over 40 live jazz events across the city on Canada Day –from Nathan Phillips Square to The Old Mill Toronto. Check the website for a more detailed schedule on who’s playing where and when.

Various locations across Toronto

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RedPath Waterfront Festival

Toronto’s Waterfront Festival is an all-weekend long affair, kicking off on Friday, July 1st — international crews will be showing up in full uniform as large ships enter the harbour like El Galeon and Draken Harald Hårfagre, the world’s largest viking ship. There will be live music and tons of food and the Waterfront Artisan Market — an outdoor market selling anything from artisan foods (think: gourmet ice pops) to handmade goods, including a number of local food vendors.

HTO Park, 339 Queens Quay West, Toronto, Canada, +1 416 338 4386

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Trans* Pride March

In celebration of Pride Month, Pride Toronto is hosting a Trans* Pride March on Canada Day. Starting at Church and Hayden Street at 7pm, the March will continue down Bloor Street at 8pm to Allan Gardens. Join in on one of the largest annual events of the trans community in Canada as trans identified locals and their friends march in solidarity.

Church and Hayden Street, Canada

Ride with Pride. #PrideTO #PrideMonth

A photo posted by Pride Toronto (@pridetoronto) on

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Toronto Ribfest

What’s better than indulging in some BBQ on the long weekend? Starting Thursday, June 30th, Toronto Ribfest will be serving up ribs galore from 11am-11pm. There will also be live music, entertainment, a kids zone with face painting and a magic show, and fireworks on Canada Day at 10pm. Plus, it’s a 100% charity fundraiser. Give back, and eat ribs!

Etobicoke Centennial Park, 256 Centennial Park Rd, Etobicoke, ON, Canada, +1 416 394 8750

Get ribs here, extra hot! #torontoribfest

A photo posted by Toronto Ribfest (@torontoribfest) on

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Q107 Canada Day Picnic

Q107 is holding an all-day music festival filled with tribute bands of one of the greatest musical eras. Think: Aerosmith, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Beach Boys, Bob Marley, Bryan Adams and Bon Jovi. Feel free to bring a blanket and snacks for your own picnic, but don’t fret — there will be a beer garden and fireworks. The event is free and all ages, with a family fun zone.

Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen St E, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 392 0239

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Multicultural Canada Day at Yonge-Dundas Square

Get cultured this Canada Day at the Multicultural Canada Day Celebration at Yonge-Dundas Square, held by The Community Folk Art Council of Toronto. It’s free and perfect for families, with folkdance and music performaces featuring Pan American countries along with crafts, visual arts and foods from cultures around the globe. The festival will kick off at noon on Canada Day with an opening performance of ‘O Canada’ by the Newchoir.

Yonge-Dundas Square, 1 Dundas St E, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 979 9960

Vitaminwater loops on location.

A photo posted by James Curran (@slimjimstudios) on

Toronto Fringe Festival

Toronto Fringe Festival kicks off on June 29 just before the start of the long weekend — what better way to celebrate Canada Day than with some good old fashioned theatre? Started in 1989, Fringe Fest, an indie theatre fest, features over 150 shows across over 30 venues in the city, ranging from theatre and dance to visual art, buskers and other types of performances. There are shows happening all day, so be sure to check the schedule online for more details. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for kids.

Various locations across Toronto

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A Day at the Museum

The AGO will be open on Canada Day, hosting a day filled with family friendly activities — from 10:30am to 4pm, visitors can experience a special opening of the Canadian exhibition The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris — curated by Steve Martin — or catch Song Dong’s Communal Courtyard, indulge in a Canada Day brunch at FRANK, take part in hands-on activities and crafts, or take a guided tour with the family. There will also be a poutine pop-up at caféAGO until 3pm, and families can receive a discount if they purchase a Family Pass online. Plus — you can spend your day cooling off inside an air conditioned building. Winning!

Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 979 6648

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Mel Lastman Square

Canada Day celebrations will be taking over Mel Lastman Square on July 1st with live entertainment like circus acts, hoop performances, and live music. There will also be face painting and fireworks at 10:15pm. It’s free and family friendly!

Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge St, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 338 3343

#green space is so refreshing. Happy #summer! #conradchowviolin #instagood #me #followme #nature #toronto #torontoarts

A photo posted by Conrad Chow (@conradchowviolin) on

Other places to watch the fireworks in the GTA:

Fireworks Dinner Cruise by Mariposa Cruises, Toronto

Ashbridge’s Bay, Toronto: 9:30pm

Milliken Park, Toronto: 10pm

Stan Wadlow Park, East York: 10:15pm

Downsview Park, North York: fireworks at dusk (plus rides, petting zoo and music)

Amesbury Park, North York: fireworks at 9:45pm (plus food and live music)

Richmond Green Park, Richmond Hill: 10pm

Canada’s Wonderland, Vaughan: 10pm

Markham Civic Centre, Markham: 10pm

Chinguacousy Park, Brampton: 10pm

Streetsville Memorial Park, Mississauga: 10pm

Port Credit Memorial Park, Mississauga: 10:10pm (parade at 11am)

Queen Victoria Park, Niagara Falls (outside of the GTA): 10pm