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7 Ottawa Activities You & Your Friends Can Check Out To Celebrate Canada Day

Official in-person events are back!

Staff Writer, Studio
7 Ottawa Activities You & Your Friends Can Check Out To Celebrate Canada Day

Canada Day is one of Ottawa's most treasured events and not only are official activities back in person this year, but they're better than ever.

The action-packed programming for Canada’s Capital Region will take place in three different locations — including two brand new sites — and it's free to attend.

If you aren't able to make it IRL, you can always stream the daytime ceremony and evening show live (check out the Canada Day website to see where), find events across the rest of the country or try some fun at-home activities with your pals.

No matter if you choose to celebrate with a crowd or a tight-knit crew, you’re going to want to enter the National Canada Day Contest presented by VIA Rail Canada. This contest gives you a chance to win one of two VIA Rail Canada train trips for four people to wherever in Canada you want. Each prize is worth up to $15,000 and you have until 11:59 p.m. EST on July 3 to enter.

If you're eager to start planning your long weekend, here are the official events going on (along with some other ideas).

Watch The Fireworks Near LeBreton Flats Park

Sveltephoto | Dreamstime

Price: Free

Address: Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway, Ottawa, ON (near the Canadian War Museum)

Why You Need To Go: This year, the daytime ceremony and evening show will be held at this sprawling park. The events will feature Canadian live performances and an electrifying fireworks show to cap it all off.

There will also be activities to enjoy throughout the entire day, like the Tim Hortons Summer Fun Zone (with a digital phone booth, caricaturists, fun games, free samples and more) and the kid-friendly VIA Rail miniature train.


Dance And Play At Place Des Festivals Zibi

Goncharovaia | Dreamstime

Price: Free

Address: 3 Eddy St., Gatineau, QC

Why You Need To Go: This hot spot is another great place to check out live music performances, a BMX acrobatics show, a giant bubble activity, some giant games that the whole family will love and so much more.

Bonus: You'll also get an excellent view of the fireworks from here.


Spend The Day Volunteering

Jiawangkun | Dreamstime

Price: Free

Address: Varies

Why You Need To Go: If you love helping people and getting involved with the community, you can sign up to volunteer on Canada Day. Some of the things you'd be doing are handing out flags and other promotional items, assisting with activities and making a difference while making new friends.

All you have to do to get right into the action (which is proudly presented by Giant Tiger) is fill out the volunteer application.


Kick Off The Weekend Early At The Redblacks Game

Price: Tickets starting at $25

Address: 1015 Bank St., Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: Cheer on the Ottawa Redblacks at the TD Place Stadium on June 30 as they face off against the BC Lions — make sure to wear red!

The game starts at 7:30 p.m., so you can always head there early to grab a bite to eat at JOEY or LOCAL Public Eatery first.


Support Local Businesses In The Byward Market

Price: Varies depending on the vendor

Address: 55 ByWard Market Square, Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: While it’s always a great idea to support local businesses, Canada Day is pretty much the perfect day to wander through market stalls and appreciate the work of local artisans.

Plus, the market’s central location means you’re up close to all the goings-on in the city, right along bustling Rideau Street and only a ten-minute walk from Parliament Hill.


Cool Off In The Canadian Museum Of Nature

Price: Free

Address: 240 McLeod St, Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: July can get hot, and if you're planning on spending the day event hopping, it's not a bad idea to budget a few hours indoors to cool off. While you’re at it, why not learn about things like the ice age, sea creatures and dinosaurs?

Adult tickets are normally $17, so take advantage of the free admission (and free public transit) on Canada Day.


Watch Thrilling Aerobatics At Parliament Hill

Price: Free

Address: Wellington St., Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: This iconic landmark is historically the most popular spot for celebrating the nation but because of renos this year, it won't be as lively as other spots around the city.

You'll still be able to spot some seriously rip-roaring aerobatics, though, like the Canadian Forces Snowbirds zipping over the Hill, and the Canadian Armed Forces Parachute Team, the SkyHawks, skydiving their way through the clouds.


There's plenty to be excited about for this year's Canada Day — rejoice with friends and family, celebrate the beautiful diversity of the country and work towards a brighter future of reconciliation.

The events and contest hosted by Canadian Heritage are all free, thanks to some amazing (and Canadian!) sponsors like Tim Hortons, Rogers, Giant Tiger, VIA Rail Canada, Volvo, Grain Farmers of Ontario and GoodLife Fitness.

Don't forget to tune into the live broadcast of the Capital Region’s shows, and equip yourself with a cheery activity kit if you're spending the day at the cottage or at home this year.

To stay up-to-date on what's happening for Canada Day, check out Canadian Heritage's website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

For more info about the programming in Canada's Capital Region, follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.