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Toronto Summer: Canada Day 2014 fireworks & events across GTA

Canada marks its 147th birthday on July 1, and there are many ways to express your pride and patriotism in the Greater Toronto Area .

Since it’s also a statutory holiday, there will be closures in effect. Consult the list below.

In case you’ve forgotten your history lessons from elementary school: The Dominion of Canada was not created through a revolution but rather a series of orderly discussions that led to Confederation on July 1, 1867. For more on the history of Canada, Click here.

What’s open & closed

Closed on Canada Day

  • LCBO and Beer stores
  • Libraries
  • Government offices
  • No mail delivery
  • Banks

Open on Canada Day

  • TTC will run on a holiday schedule
  • GO Transit will run on a Saturday schedule
  • Garbage collection
  • Most malls, including Eaton Centre (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.), Vaughan Mills (10 a.m. – 7 p.m.), Square One Shopping Centre (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and Bramalea City Centre (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.), but Yorkdale mall is closed
  • Tourist sites and attractions

Canada Day fireworks & celebrations

Events in Toronto

Mel Lastman Square
Toronto’s official Canada Day celebration will be held at Mel Lastman Square in North York.

According to City of Toronto officials, the event starts at 5 p.m. and will feature live music, circus performances, family activities and other entertainment. A fireworks show at 10:15 p.m., created by Circus Orange and choreographed to Canadian music, will end the evening.

The celebration is a chance for Canadians to bond with each other, organizers say.

“It’s a camaraderie — it’s seeing all your fellow Canadians out there waving the flag and being so proud to be Canadian on that day. Everyone decks out in red and white,” said Natasha Emery, a program supervisor at the city’s special events department.

“It’s a great place to celebrate our nation’s birthday and everything is free.”

Starting at 8 p.m., the main stage celebration will feature music by Juno Award-winner alterative-country singer-songwriter Justin Rutledge, who will be performing solo songs from his new album Daredevil. NQ Arbuckle will also take the stage, performing music from their album The Future Happens Anyway with special guests.

Attendees can also catch Circus Wonderland — an aerial acrobatic performance by Zero Gravity Circus, featuring the White Rabbit, Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter. Children can get their faces painted with a maple leaf or the Canadian flag. It will held at the upper garden at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Admission to the event is free. Click here for more information.

Canada Day at Queen’s Park
Celebrate Canada Day with live performances and entertainment at Queen’s Park. The free event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You can get your face painted, enjoy a midway ride, take in a farmer’s market, and more. It all begins with a 21-gun salute at noon.

Ashbridges Bay
Each year, Canada Day is celebrated with fireworks at Ashbridges Bay Park, located at 1675 Lake Shore Blvd. E., near Coxwell Avenue. It starts after 9:30 p.m.

Admission is free. Click here for more information.

Canada’s Wonderland
A massive fireworks display, set to music, will be held at 10 p.m., weather permitting, and will feature custom fireworks designed specifically for the theme park, located at 9580 Jane St. in Vaughan.

The show is included with the price of admission (or you can watch for free outside the park).

Click here for more information.

Toronto Ribfest
If you’re a fan of ribs, then the Toronto Ribfest at Centennial Park – 256 Centennial Park Road – is the place to be over the Canada Day weekend.

The 15th annual fiesta, which runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. June 27 to July 1, features family fun, a midway with rides, music, as well as fireworks on Canada Day at 10 p.m.

Visitors to the event on June 30 can partake in Heroes Day, featuring military cadets and the Scottish regiment band.

The requested admission is $2, and all proceeds from the event will go to community activities that Rotary Etobicoke supports

Click here for more information.

Harbourfront Centre
In 1867, Alexander Muir was inspired to write the song “The Maple Leaf Forever” by a maple tree that stood in front of his Toronto home at Memory Lane and Laing Street.

What does the Maple Leaf mean to you? You can share your Canadian pride by creating a human flag at Harbourfront Centre’s Exhibition Common, located at 235 Queens Quay W. The free event will be held at noon on July 1.

On June 30, you can catch a free colourful fireworks display set to music on the waterfront in Canada Square from 10:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Click here for more Canada Day weekend festivities at Harbourfront.

Black Creek Pioneer Village
An official citizenship ceremony, horse-drawn wagon rides and traditional games, as well as historic ales, are all part of the Canada Day celebration.

Click here for more information.

CHIN Picnic
The four-day event, which is the largest free multicultural picnic in the world, features a kids zone, an international folklore dance competition, a shopping bazaar and the popular bikini pageant. It runs from June 28 to July1.

Click here for more information.

Mariposa cruises
Take in the beauty of the Toronto waterfront with a cruise over the Canada Day weekend.

There are two cruises: a dinner cruise on June 30, from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., featuring fireworks, and the Canada Day lunch cruise on July 1, from noon to 2 p.m.

Click here for more information.

Events outside of Toronto

Mississauga’s Celebration Square
The city’s official party features live music by artists JRDN and Alyssa Reid, Canadian cirque acts, a drum station and a samba troupe performance, food trucks, and the grand finale fireworks display.

The celebration will be held from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Celebration Square, 300 City Centre Dr. Admission to the square is free.

Click here for more information.

Canada Day in Vaughan
The City of Vaughan hosts a family-friendly celebration from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Mackenzie Glen District Park. Rock band Glass Tiger, originally from nearby Newmarket, will perform.

The park is located at 220 Cranston Park Ave. Click here for more information.

Richmond Hill’s Canada Day party
You don’t need to be in Europe to enjoy a Bavarian beer garden. The Canada Day celebration at Richmond Green Park, will also deliver live entertainment, food, a midway, a children’s village, and fireworks.

The park is located at 1300 Elgin Mills Rd. E. Click here for more information.

Canada Day in Brampton
Held at Chinguacousy Park, the Canada Day party, from noon to 10 p.m., features Tigerfest wrestling, amusement rides, paddle boats, mini-putt, and fireworks.

The park is located at 9050 Bramalea Rd. Admission is free.

Click here for more information.

Canada Day festivities in Barrie
Enjoy fireworks over Kempenfelt Bay, which start at 10 p.m.

Attendees can also take delight in live entertainment on the Promenade Days stage in Memorial Square, family activities, face painting, and a kids fun zone in Heritage Park from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Admission is free. Click here for more information.

Got a suggestion to add to this list? Click here to submit.

Below is a Google map listing the events: