Canada celebrates 152nd birthday with fireworks and flybys

By The Canadian Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has told the red-and-white clad crowd gathered at Parliament Hill that on Canada Day, it’s important to celebrate the nation’s victories while pledging to stay on the right track.

He reminded the jovial crowd, which came prepared with hats and sunscreen, that “Canada did not happen by accident and won’t continue without effort and hard work.”

In rainy Halifax, meanwhile, the occasion was marked with a 21-gun salute on Citadel Hill.

The cannons blasted at noon, and echoed through the sky like thunder.

A little farther west, Torontonians had their pick of a number of celebrations.

The first stop for the city’s mayor, John Tory, was a parade on the east side of Toronto where a diverse crowd lined the streets and a picnic held by the Ontario Liberal Party at the provincial legislature in the afternoon.

Children with painted faces ran around while older couples watched from Muskoka chairs as marchers passed them by.

Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government cancelled its 52-year-old Canada Day party outside Queen’s Park this year, citing declining attendance. Instead, the Tories offered free admission to the first 500 guests at a number of attractions across the province.

WATCH: Ontario Liberals host Queen’s Park Canada Day event

Regardless of where they are, Governor General Julie Payette said in a pre-recorded message that she hopes Canadians get out and about to celebrate the day.

And though the celebrations are a little less grand than they were two years ago for the country’s sesquicentennial birthday, 2019 is an anniversary year of sorts: the 140th official holiday celebrating Confederation.

For the first dozen years that Canada was a country, there were no official celebrations, thanks in part to Nova Scotia politicians who felt they had been forced into Confederation, said Matthew Hayday, a history professor at the University of Guelph.


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