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#Canada150 in Toronto: fireworks, what's open, and events

Last Updated Jun 29, 2017 at 10:02 am EST

A sign celebrating the 150th birthday of Canada in Toronto. GETTY IMAGES/Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto

Our nation has been gearing up for this moment for a long time, and it has finally arrived. Bring on the fireworks.

Canada turns 150 on Saturday and celebrations are being held in every community in the country. In Toronto, the four-day party starts on Friday and runs until Monday.

You will be happy to know that there are no subway closures this weekend – what a sweet birthday gift.

If you are staying in town on Canada Day, below is a list of fireworks, events, and what’s open and closed over the long weekend. There are also some road closures for events.


Related stories:

Canada 150: We the True North

Decade of the Day


Fireworks

Several light shows are being held in Toronto and beyond on Canada Day.

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

 

June 30 to July 3

  • Nightly fireworks at Nathan Phillips Square, 10:55 p.m.

 

July 1

  • Amesbury Park, 10 p.m.
  • Ashbridges Bay Park, after 9:30 p.m.
  • Canada’s Wonderland, 10 p.m.
  • Centennial Park during Ribfest, 10 p.m.
  • CN Tower, 10:30 p.m.
  • Downsview Park, 10 p.m.
  • Harbourfont Centre, 10:45 p.m.
  • Humber Bay Park West, 10:55 p.m.
  • Mel Lastman Square, 10:55 p.m.
  • Scarborough Civic Centre, 10:55 p.m.
  • Stan Wadlow Park, after dark

 

Around the GTA

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

What’s open and closed

Since Canada Day falls on a Saturday, transit, government offices and banks will observe the statutory holiday on Monday.

Open

  • TTC will run on Saturday service on Saturday and holiday service on Monday
  • GO Transit will run on a Saturday schedule on Monday
  • Tourist attractions: ROM (free admission on Saturday), CN Tower, Casa Loma, Toronto Zoo, Hockey Hall of Fame, Ontario Science Centre, Canada’s Wonderland, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
  • Most malls will be open on Saturday: Bramalea City Centre (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Eaton Centre (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Pacific Mall (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.), Square One (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), The Promenade (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Toronto Premium Outlets (9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.), Upper Canada Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Vaughan Mills Mall (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), and Hillcrest Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Curbside garbage collection: Green bin and blue bin collection will take place on Monday night. Click here to view the schedule.

 

Closed

  • LCBO stores will be closed on Saturday but will be open on Monday. Some stores will have extended hours on Sunday. Click here to check the hours at your local store.
  • Beer Store locations will be closed on Saturday, except for some in the Ottawa area. A few stores will have extended hours on Friday. Click here for a list of stores.
  • The Toronto Public Library will be closed on Saturday
  • Some bank branches will be closed on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, while others will be closed on Saturday and Monday. Check your bank for hours.
  • Government offices and municipal buildings will be closed on Monday, and mail won’t be delivered
  • Some malls: Dufferin Mall, Fairview Mall, Scarborough Town Centre, Sherway Gardens, Yorkdale Shopping Centre
    Most grocery stores are closed on Saturday, except for Bloor Street Market (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Bloor HBC (9 a.m. to 7 p.m.), and Loblaws Maple Leaf Gardens (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

Events

Canada Days
Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday for four days straight at Canada Days. The city-wide event is taking over four locations. Festivities kick off at Nathan Phillips Square on Friday at 5 p.m. and run until Monday. There will be music, dancing, circus arts, food and live entertainment – including the Barenaked Ladies and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra – and fireworks on each night. On July 1, the celebration will also be held at Humber Bay Park West, Mel Lastman Square and Scarborough Civic Centre.

Heritage Ontario Festival
Delve into Canada’s past and gaze into its future at the Heritage Ontario Festival this long weekend. The event runs from Friday to Monday at Ontario Place. Admission is free and guests can take part in a citizenship ceremony, cultural arts and crafts, and Indigenous programming. On Canada’s birthday, Canadian indie folk band Reuben and the Dark will take the stage. Two drone light shows will brighten the sky on Saturday and Sunday at 11 p.m.

Redpath Waterfront Festival
See the world’s largest rubber duck this weekend at the Redpath Waterfront Festival. The three-day event is part of Canada 150 celebrations and runs from Canada’s birthday to July 3. The festival offers music, food, nautical programs and entertainment. Aside from the duck at HTO Park, highlights include the Royal Canadian Navy, with a 440-foot Naval Frigate, and a host of on-land activities, the Waterfront Artisan Market and ‘Canuck It Up!’ shows.

The World's Largest Rubber Duck is coming to Toronto for the Redpath Waterfront Festival on July 1-3, 2017. FACEBOOK
The World’s Largest Rubber Duck is coming to Toronto for the Redpath Waterfront Festival on July 1-3, 2017. FACEBOOK

 

Brewer’s Backyard
Wish Canada a happy 150th birthday in style at Lester P. ‘Beerson’ Day at Evergreen Brickworks. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Koerner Gardens and CRH Gallery areas of the site. Lester P. Beerson Day has a lot to celebrate this year, as it is also the 30th anniversary of Great Lakes Brewery. The company will be doing a “tap takeover” of the entire event, offering more than 15 beers. There will also be a delicious food line up, including FeasTO, Delite Bite and Royale Popcorn Co.

Toronto Ribfest
Centennial Park is the place to be this Canada Day long weekend, with the return of Toronto Ribfest. The event is in its 18th year, and in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday it will include a ‘Proud to Pledge Ceremony,’ a formal citizenship induction ceremony and Canadian heritage featured events. This year’s rib lineup includes Billy Bones BBQ, Hawgs Gone Wild BBQ, The Hogfather and Uncle Sam’s BBQ.

TD Salsa in Toronto
One of the largest Latin-themed cultural celebrations in Canada – the TD Salsa in Toronto – kicks off on Monday. The event spans a three-week period at various locations across the city. It includes the 12th annual Salsa on St. Clair Street Festival, cultural events, salsa parties, Latin art exhibitions, free dance lessons, brunches and live music. Thousands are expected to take part.

Road closures

Several roads will be closed near Nathan Philips Square, Humber Bay Park West, Mel Lastman Square, Scarborough Civic Centre and Humber Bay Park West for Canada Day events. The closures starts on Friday and continue into Monday. Click here for a full list.

There are also road closures for other Canada Day celebrations around the city, including at Queen’s Park and in East York. Click here for a full list.