Happy Birthday, Canada (Bonne Fête, Canada)

Events, Food, free, Kid Friendly, Things to Do — By cwood on July 1, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Happy Canada Day!  The country turns 143 today (and may I say it doesn’t look a day over 100.)

If you don’t find yourself at Parliament Hill in the nation’s capital of Ottawa – and you could since it’s really not that far from here – then Toronto is a pretty good place to be.

But what to do?  What makes for a typically Canadian Canada Day?  Well, if you can’t find a backyard barbecue to crash, here are some of my suggestions.

Harbourfront, that gorgeous outdoor space by Lake Ontario, is hosting activities all day long, from canoe rides (aka our national car) to screenings of free Canadian films.  At 8pm, Canadian singers Sarah Slean and the Sadies take to an outdoor stage for a musical concert.

If you find yourself in the north end of the city, magicians, fire-breathers and athletes from the 2010 Olympics will be on hand for a variety of family-friendly activities at Mel Lastman Square.  (If you don’t find yourself in the north end of the city, take the subway and get off at the North York Centre stop.)

I also urge you to take this opportunity to nosh on some Canadian delicacies.  Head to Mitzi’s Sister or Smoke’s Poutinerie for our favourite odd concoction, poutine.  Or, try a beaver tail at St. Lawrence Market.  (Don’t worry, no beavers are harmed in the making of these wonderful doughy pastries.)

Of course, what is Canada Day without fireworks?  Ashbridge’s Bay in the east, Ontario Place to the south and Downsview Park in the north end will all light up the sky tonight.  Expect the spectaculars to start after 10pm, but arrive early to stake out your spot.

And finally, if you feel like dressing the part, try wearing something red or Canadian-themed.  Like a really silly hat!

[ Photos courtesy of Scazon and Larissa ]

Tags: fireworks, holiday