Canada Day - Ottawa

July 01
Ottawa, Ontario (ON)

The nation's capital, Ottawa, is the headquarters for Canada's birthday celebrations on July 1.

Hundreds of thousands of people from all over Canada come to Parliament Hill, Major's Hill Park, Jacques-Cartier Park, and other locations in the surrounding areas to show their national pride and celebrate Canada’s birthday with concerts, picnics, fireworks, street performances, and other activities.

There is something for everyone, with activities ranging from midway rides and games, helicopter rides, pony rides, petting zoo, car show, and a beer tent. Admission to the festival is free!

The celebrations begin at 10 in the morning morning with the Governor General's Foot Guard and the Changing of the Guard ceremony, after which the RCMP perform their Musical Ride in which a 32-rider team demonstrates their famous drills and the exciting lances-forward charge. Musical performances highlighting Canada's blues, rock, country, urban and folk music take place at noon and at 6:30pm.

In 2011, Canada Day was attended by the new royal newlyweds Will and Kate during their first visit to Canada as a married couple.

The highlight of the celebrations is the grand finale of the day, the fireworks show over the Ottawa River. Taking place at the mainstage show on Parliament Hill, at 10pm, the fireworks are set off from the Astrolabe, just behind the National Gallery. These can be watched from Parliament Hill, but the best views are from Jacques Cartier Park and the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Major’s Hill Park in Ottawa, Victoria Island, and along the banks of the Ottawa River.

For more information about Canada Day in Canada’s Capital Region visit the web site at

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