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Canada Day long weekend in Toronto: Fireworks, what's open and closed, events

Last Updated Jun 28, 2018 at 10:50 am EST

Canada Day fireworks in Toronto on July 1, 2016. GETTY IMAGES/LightRocket/Roberto Machado Noa

Canada turns 151 years old on Sunday, and what a party it will be. There will be celebrations, fireworks, barbecues in the backyard or patio, trips to the cottage, and cooling off at the lake or pool — seeing as the humidex will be in the 40s over the long weekend.

If you are looking to celebrate in town, below are some events and fireworks shows to help you plan your weekend. There will be some road closures for Canada Day celebrations.

If you have shopping to do and prefer an air-conditioned space, most malls will be open on Sunday.

Since Canada Day falls on a Sunday, transit, government offices, banks, and several retail stores will observe the statutory holiday on Monday. Below is a list of what’s open and closed.


Fireworks on Canada Day

In Toronto

  • Ashbridges Bay Park, 10 p.m.
  • Amesbury Park, 10 p.m.
  • Canada’s Wonderland, 10 p.m.
  • Centennial Park during Ribfest, 10 p.m.
  • Downsview Park, 10 p.m.
  • Mel Lastman Square, 10:30 p.m.
  • Milliken Park, 10 p.m.
  • Stan Wadlow Park, 10 p.m.

 

Around the GTA

  • Celebration Square in Mississauga, 10 p.m.
  • Chinguacousy Park in Brampton, 10 p.m.

 

Events

Canada Day at Mel Lastman Square
Come celebrate Canada’s 151st birthday for free at Mel Lastman Square. North York’s Canada Day celebration is taking place on Sunday, with face-painting, live music, and of course, fireworks. From 5 p.m. until 9:15 p.m., several DJs will be spinning live on their own platform. There will also be live music on the main stage from 7 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. The night will be capped off with fireworks at 10:30 pm. Click here for a full list of City of Toronto-run Canada Day celebrations.

Toronto Rib Fest
Toronto Ribfest returns to Etobicoke for another year this Canada Day long weekend. The festival celebrating all things ribs begins Friday at Centennial Park and runs until Monday, with fireworks on Sunday, live entertainment, an exciting midway, and the main attraction: mouth-watering ribs from almost two-dozen vendors. Toronto Ribfest has been going on since 1999, and puts 100 per cent of the money raised back into the community. Organizers say they’ve raised close to $4 million since starting 18 years ago. Ribfest runs from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Friday to Sunday, and 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Monday.

Canada Day at Harbourfront Centre
Toronto’s waterfront will play host to a diverse array of musicians this Canada Day long weekend. From Friday to Monday, the Harbourfront Centre will feature performances from popular artists that are “feminist, Indigenous, people of colour, queer, newcomer and otherwise underrepresented within Canada.” Organizers want to showcase the many talents that live, learn and create together in this country. Acclaimed R&B artist Jully Black will headline at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday. The performances are free to attend.

Canada Day at Queen’s Park
The province’s official Canada Day celebration will take place on Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Queen’s Park. The Canada Day event has been a tradition on the grounds of the provincial legislature since 1967. There will be musical and dance performances, roaming performers, and plenty of children’s activities, such as face-painting and crafts. The official opening ceremony and 21-gun salute will take place at noon. The event is free to attend.

Queen’s Plate festival
The Queen’s Plate thoroughbred race has been running since before Confederation, and returns to Woodbine Racetrack this long weekend. This year’s Queen’s Plate festival begins on Friday and will feature performances from country music superstar Brad Paisley, as well as the Sam Roberts Band.The big race takes place at noon on Saturday, but there’s also plenty of food, cocktails, and fashion to take in.

What’s open and closed July 1-2

Transit

  • TTC will run on Sunday service on Sunday (Canada Day) and holiday service on Monday
  • GO Transit will run on a Saturday schedule on Monday

 

LCBO/Beer stores

  • LCBO stores will be open on Sunday but will be closed on Monday
  • Several Beer stores will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, except for these locations. However, all locations will be closed on Monday.

 

Malls

Most malls will be open on Sunday and Monday, while others will be open only on Sunday.

  • Bramalea City Centre: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday and regular hours on Monday
  • Dufferin Mall: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday but closed on Monday
  • Eaton Centre: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday and Monday
  • Erin Mills Town Centre: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday but closed on Monday
  • Fairview Mall: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday but closed on Monday
  • Hillcrest Mall: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday and Monday
  • Sherway Gardens: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday but closed on Monday
  • Square One: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday
  • The Promenade: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday and regular hours on Monday
  • Toronto Premium Outlets: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday and 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday
  • Upper Canada Mall: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday
  • Vaughan Mills Mall: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday and regular hours on Monday
  • Yorkdale Mall: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday but closed on Monday
  • Scarborough Town Centre: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday but closed on Monday

 

Tourist attractions

  • Several tourist spots including the ROM, CN Tower, Casa Loma, Toronto Zoo, Hockey Hall of Fame, Ontario Science Centre, Canada’s Wonderland, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada will be open

 

Toronto-run facilities

  • The city’s outdoor swimming pools, wading pools, splash pads, and swimming beaches will be open on Sunday. Six of the city’s 10 historic sites will also be open. Click here for a roundup of activities.
  • The Toronto Public Library will be closed on Sunday and Monday

 

Garbage collection

  • Residential garbage is not collected on Sunday or on any Monday
  • For multi-residential dwellings, Monday’s collection will take place on Tuesday and Tuesday’s collection will happen on Wednesday. Click here for more information.

 

Banks, government offices

  • Most banks will observe Canada Day on Monday, but some will also be closed on Sunday. Check your bank for hours.
  • Government offices and municipal buildings will be closed on Monday, and mail won’t be delivered

Road closures

Canada Day at Mel Lastman Square: Yonge Street from Park Home Avenue to North York Boulevard, and Yonge from Elmwood Avenue to Empress Avenue, will be closed from 1 p.m. to midnight on on Sunday. The southbound curb lane on Yonge in front of the square will also be closed from 8 a.m. on Friday to 5 p.m. on Monday.

Canada Day Parade in Scarborough: Brimley Road from Progress Avenue to Ellesmere Road will be closed on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Ellesmere Road to Lawrence Avenue from 4 to 7 p.m. Ellesmere Road will also be closed that day from Midland Avenue to McCowan Road from 4 to 5 p.m.

Canada Day Celebration at Queen’s Park: Queen’s Park/Queen’s Park Circle will be closed from College to Bloor streets from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday

Canada Day in East York: Cosburn Avenue will be closed from Cedarvale Avenue to Oak Park Road on Sunday from 7 a.m. to midnight.