For many Canadians, the Victoria Day long weekend officially kicks off summer. This long-awaited weekend is when many flock to cottages, watch fireworks and host backyard barbecues. With this year marking the country’s 150th birthday, Canadians have double to celebrate on the day of Queen Victoria’s birth. Often called May “two-four”, this year’s Victoria Day weekend goes from May 19-22nd. With the exception of some east coast provinces, events ranging from fireworks shows to parades will be held across the country. We’ve curated some of the biggest events across the country.
Island Farms Victoria Day Parade, Victoria BC
It’s only fitting that the largest parade of the year in Victoria lands on the birthday of the Queen the city is named after. Boasting over 150 parade entries including marching bands and floats, the parade draws thousands of spectators. Led by the Canadian Forces, the parade will start at 9 a.m. on Monday May 22nd and make its way through the heart of the city. Visitors can also enjoy the Celebration Square where entertainers and food trucks will set up shop.
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Heritage Park, Calgary AB
The Victoria Day weekend marks another summer season of what is said to be Canada’s largest living heritage museum. With over 180 attractions and exhibits, Heritage Park aims to reflect the struggles and successes of the first settlers in Western Canada. The park exhibits feature historic milestones such as early fur trade and the automobile boom of the 1950s. History buffs have nearly 100 years of history to explore in the park.
Fireworks at Ashbridges Bay Park, Toronto ON
For many, summer in Toronto means heading down to the Lakeshore and experiencing the best views the 6ix has to offer. While there are a number of Victoria Day fireworks shows happen across the city, Woodbine Beach seems to be a favourite among the locals. This year, because of higher water levels, there is a slight change in location but visitors can expect broader viewership from the new set up. The show starts around 10 p.m. and is said to feature approximately 2000 fireworks.
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National Caesar Day, Ottawa ON
It wouldn’t be the long weekend without a couple of drinks and what better way to kick off summer than with a Caesar in the nation’s capital. National Caesar Day is celebrating its third anniversary on Saturday May 20th with a hunt for the best Caesar in Ottawa. With venues such as Kinki Lounge Kitchen and Atari on the list, participants will spend the pub crawl sipping on the many different vodka and clamato juice concoctions.
Restaurant Day, Montreal QC
In true French fashion, Montreal is celebrating the long weekend with another edition of Restaurant Day. This international event invites participants to set up pop-up restaurants in their homes, parks, or even an alleyway. On Saturday May 20th foodies can follow a map and explore over 50 participants featuring treats such as skewers, gourmet hot dogs, tacos and so much more. This unique event allows locals to show of their culinary skills and discover different cuisines.