From fireworks to farm animals, we have you covered on Victoria Day if you’re looking to get out of the house and experience the city.
On Monday night the sky above Toronto will be lit up as the city celebrates Victoria Day with fireworks, while there were plenty of activities to do all weekend long.
Meteorologist Harold Hosein says it is looking like a nice day all around, with rough weather coming on the overnight.
“We’ll have a mix of sun and cloud (Monday) morning with the cloud cover increasing late (Monday) afternoon, a warm high of 27 C and the UV index high,” Hosein said.
“Overnight cloudy, showers, and the chance of thunderstorms beginning after midnight,” Hosein added.
If you’re thinking have having your own, homegrown celebration, remember: Toronto bylaws prohibit members of the public from setting off or selling fireworks in any city park.
What’s open & closed on Victoria Day
- LCBO and beer stores
- Government offices
- Libraries & schools
- Banks will be closed
- No garbage pick-up
- No mail delivery
- TTC will run on a holiday schedule
- GO Transit will run on a Sunday schedule
- The following GTA locations of The Wine Rack will be open on Victoria Day Monday: 1235 Bay Street, 3324 Yonge Street, 472 Yonge Street, 100 City Centre Drive (Square One Shopping Centre)
- Eaton Centre, Square One, Vaughan Mills, Cookstown Outlet Mall, Bramalea City Centre and Pacific Mall
- Tourist sites: Toronto Zoo (the panda exhibit opens on Saturday), ROM, Ontario Science Centre and many more
Ashbridges Bay Park (Coxwell Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard, Toronto)
Monday May 20 at 10 p.m.
The city will show off more than 2,000 fireworks, complete with a spectacular finale. Click here for more.
Canada’s Wonderland (Major MacKenzie Drive and Highway 400, Vaughan)
Sunday May 19 at approximately 10 p.m. Weather permitting.
The show featured over 4000 explosions, all set to a soundtrack. Click here for more.
Other Victoria Day events:
Riverdale Farm (201 Winchester St.)
Explore 7.5 acres of farmland – including ponds, gardens and woods – check out the animals and speak with a farmer. Note: this is not a petting zoo. Saturday-Monday. 9 a.m. -5 p.m. Free.
Far Enough Farm (Toronto Island)
This is a petting zoo. Check out horses, donkeys, pigs, peacocks, rabbits and many more at Toronto’s Centre Island. Go while you can – the farm is slated to be closed in June. Free. More here.
High Park Zoo (High Park Parkside Road entrance)
The mini-zoo has lamas, buffalos, bisons, deer and other animals – plus, it’s surrounded by one Toronto’s largest parks. Saturday-Monday. 7 a.m. -dusk. Free. More here.
Fort York (100 Garrison Rd. near Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard)
Visit the birthplace of Toronto and check out family-friendly activities like soldier’s drill and demonstrations of Georgian-era cooking techniques. Monday. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Adults $7.96, children $3.76, youth $4.87, seniors $3.81(plus tax). Ages 3 and under free.
A slightly older crowd can check out a walking tour of the historic district. It starts at the canteen and traces the early British military plans for the development and defence of the small colonial capital. Monday. 1 p.m. Free.
Montgomery’s Inn (4709 Dundas St W, near Islington Avenue, in Etobicoke)
Take in a Victoria Day tea and tour at the museum – the afternoon service is “fit for a Queen.” The cost includes a tour of the museum. Monday. 1 a.m. – 4 pm. $10. All ages welcome.
Canadian Youth Circus at Harbourfront Centre (at the foot of Simcoe Street)
Circus performers, including acrobats, daredevils and clowns will demonstrate and young spectators will get the chance to try some tricks too as part of the Toronto International Circus Festival. Free.
Saturday-Monday. Shows at 11:30 a.m. daily. Click here for more.
Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre
After a weekend series in New York, the Toronto Blue Jays are back in Toronto facing the Tampa Bay Rays Monday afternoon at 1 p.m.
Lady Antebellum at Yonge-Dundas Square
Hosted by 98.1 CHFI, country trio Lady Antebellum will be playing a free concert at Yonge-Dundas Square at 4 p.m.
Canada has been celebrating Queen Victoria’s birthday since 1845, the year the May long weekend became a holiday. It became a legal day off after the monarch’s death in 1901.
The original rules stated Victoria Day would be celebrated annually on May 24, regardless of what day that was, unless it was a Sunday – and then the observance would be moved to the 25.
That changed with an amendment to the Statutes of Canada in 1952, when the government declared Victoria Day would come on the Monday preceding May 25. It’s been there ever since.