Nothing makes you feel more Canadian than being in Ottawa on Canada Day. We throw the best party right here in the capital, bar none. Actually, make that parties. Across the city, there’s so much to do, it’s almost impossible to choose.
There’s no question that everyone should experience Parliament Hill on the big day at least once. The crowds are crazy (strollers not recommended, bring lots of water), but we love it anyway for the tradition of the Changing of the Guard, the groove of the noon hour concert (this year headlined by family favourite Magic!), and the power of the Snowbirds soaring overhead. If you arrive early enough, you can even be part of a cool living Canadian Flag on Rideau Street, which gathers between 8 and 10 am.
But if the Hill is too much for your little ones, consider another fantastic feature of Canada Day in Ottawa: free entrance to dozens of great attractions across town. Combine a visit to the games and activities in Jacques Cartier Park with a free visit to the History Museum, which is right next door. Take in a free tour of the Mint and make a Canada Day medallion, drop by the National Gallery to create and view some amazing art with their Artissimo program, or stop in at the National Arts Centre for a free Unisong concert, featuring the full orchestra. Our top pick? Wander down to the Museum of Nature for free admission to all their permanent exhibits—it’s more than enough fun to fill the whole day.
That’s just scratching the surface. Check out these other awesome Canada Day celebrations across the city, eh?