Canada Day | History, Activities & Celebration

canada day celebration

Last Updated On : June 29 , 2024

Canada's national holiday, celebrated on July 1, marks the Birth of Canada. Since 1868, Canadians across the country and around the world have shown their pride in their history, culture, and achievements on this day.

Learn the story Behind Canada Dayand join in the Canada Day celebrations with numerous festivities held nationwide.

Canada Day 2024

Thunder Bay has announced an exciting open call for performers to participate in a collaborative Canada Day performance at the waterfront. This year, the city is launching a new project aimed at fostering collaboration among artists and performers to create a unique and engaging showcase.

The initiative seeks to highlight the community’s diverse talent and culture by encouraging participants to exchange ideas and work together on a special Canada Day performance 2024.

We are looking forward to this year’s Canada Day on the Waterfront event at Marina Park. We want to celebrate our community and believe this project will showcase the incredible, diverse talent we have here in our city, said Louisa Costanzo, Thunder Bay’s Supervisor of Cultural Development, Community Programming & Events.

How Do Canadians Celebrate Canada Day?

Canada Day, once known as Dominion Day, commemorates Canada gaining independence from Great Britain in 1867. Celebrated every year on July 1st, this significant holiday marks the birth of Canada as an independent nation. The day is filled with parades, festivals, and displays of Canadian pride. Whether you plan to host your own celebration or join nationwide events, there are numerous Canada Day activities to showcase your Canadian pride on this important day.

1. Wear your most patriotic outfit

patriotic outfit

2. Wave your Canadian flag

canadian flag

3. Paint your body to match your outfit

canada day paint

4. Join a Canadian parade

canadian parade

5. Celebrate Canada Day festival


Discover the Rich History Behind Canada Day

On July 1, 1867, the British North America Act (now known as the Constitution Act, 1867) established Canada. On June 20, 1868, Governor General Lord Monck signed a proclamation requesting all of Her Majesty Queen Victoria's subjects in Canada to celebrate July 1.

By 1879, a federal law had designated July 1 as a statutory holiday named the "anniversary of Confederation," later known as " Dominion Day." On October 27, 1982, "Dominion Day" officially transitioned to Canada Day, marking the evolution from Dominion Day to Canada Day.



1st July 1917

The 50th anniversary of Confederation. Parliament buildings are dedicated to the Fathers of Confederation and to the courage of Canadians who fought in Europe during the First World War

1st July 1927

The 60th anniversary of Confederation. The Peace Tower Carillon is inaugurated, and the Governor General, Viscount Willingdon, lays the cornerstone of the Confederation Building on Wellington Street

1st July 1967

The 100th anniversary of Confederation. Parliament Hill hosts a high-profile ceremony with the participation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II


(except 1976): A large multicultural celebration is held on Parliament Hill, broadcast nationwide. “ Festival Canada” includes cultural, artistic, and sports activities in the National Capital Region, with participation from various municipalities and volunteer associations.


,A new celebration format is developed, with festivities on Parliament Hill and local celebrations across Canada. The national committee encourages and financially supports local events organised by volunteer groups.


,Festivities on Parliament Hill feature Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh for Canada’s 143rd anniversary.


Their Royal Highnesses Prince William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, participate in Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill for Canada’s 144th anniversary


Canadian Heritage organises the 147th Canada Day celebrations.


To mark the 150th Anniversary of Confederation, a wide range of activities are held coast-to-coast. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall join the festivities on Parliament Hill

Canada Day for Immigrants and International Students

Canada Day, celebrated on July 1st, is a significant event for everyone in Canada, including immigrants and international students. It’s a day brimming with festivities that offer a warm welcome to newcomers and an opportunity to immerse themselves in Canadian culture. Here are some activities and resources to help immigrants and international students enjoy Canada Day:

  1. Cultural Integration: Resources are available to assist Indian immigrants with cultural integration. Attending festivals and events is a fantastic way to connect with the community.
  2. Crafts & Activities for Kids: Numerous Canada Day crafts and activities are available for children, providing a fun way for families to celebrate and learn about Canadian symbols and traditions.
  3. Social Activities: Newcomers can engage in various social activities such as potluck meals, health and fitness activities, cooking, performances, and seasonal celebrations.
  4. Educational Resources: TESL Ontario Blog offers resources for learning about Canada, including online activities focused on Canadian themes.

Best Places to Visit in Canada On Canada Day


ottawa canada day

Celebrate Canada Day around Ottawa with events like Barrhaven's Festival from 8:30am to 10pm with fireworks. Enjoy Orleans' Petrie Island Festival as well as road races in Kanata, community celebrations in Dunrobin, Greeley and Riverside South. Stittsville hosts activities at the Sacred Heart High School grounds until the fireworks at 9:45 p.m.


toronto canada day

Toronto transforms into a festive hub on Canada Day, offering a variety of celebrations across the city. These include:

  • Free outdoor events with live music, cultural performances, and family-friendly activities are a major draw.
  • Some events might feature exciting circus acts.
  • Depending on the event, there's a chance to see some popular Canadian celebrities or musicians participate in the celebrations.
  • Capping off the day, dazzling fireworks displays illuminate the night sky over Toronto, creating a spectacular finale to the Canada Day festivities.

Surrey, British Columbia

canada day surrey

Join us at the Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheater in Surrey, BC on July 1 for a day of free family-friendly entertainment featuring music, cultural performances and activities. Enjoy performances from renowned artists, amusement rides, a children's area, Indigenous village and delicious food trucks, with a focus on anti-racism, health and safety measures, accessibility and inclusivity.

Visit Niagara Falls

niagara falls

Experience a Canadiana recreation of Niagara Falls with Beavertails Pastry, Maple Leaf Place and the Niagara Falls History Museum. Enjoy top attractions like the Niagara City Cruise, Power Station, Helicopter Ride and Zipline. Join the community celebration at Fireman's Park for live music, activities and food.


Canada Day unites Canadians and newcomers to celebrate national pride, history and cultural diversity through nationwide festive activities

Canada Day Fun Facts and FAQs

Yes, many cities host multicultural events, community gatherings and educational activities that welcome immigrants and students to celebrate and learn about Canada.
Canadians can celebrate by attending local events, watching fireworks, enjoying outdoor activities, visiting cultural sites and spending time with family and friends.
Popular destinations include Niagara Falls, national parks, local festivals and city events. Specific family-friendly activities are often available in parks and community centers.
Yes, Canada Day was previously known as Dominion Day until it was renamed in 1982.
Some Indigenous communities participate in Canada Day celebrations, while others may choose to celebrate it in ways that acknowledge their own history and perspectives.
Newcomers can join community events, volunteer, attend cultural performances and immerse themselves in the festivities by participating in local festivals.
Canada Day represents a celebration of national identity and multiculturalism, providing immigrants with a sense of belonging and an opportunity to connect with the broader community.