How to celebrate Canada Day in the GTA
June 30, 2021
This Canada Day, official celebrations are being held virtually once again due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Toronto has yet to announce details of its celebration, but they will be available on the city’s website in the coming days.
Much of the GTA, as well as the federal government has announced their plans, while they’re mostly online, there’s a variety of entertainment, and even some drive-in events.
The federal government is hosting a two-hour concert online starting at 8 p.m. and in broadcast, with artists making appearances from coast to coast to coast.
Headliners include Toronto’s very own Jully Black and Calgary’s Jann Arden. There will also be appearances from the Yukon dancer Gurdeep Pandher and a queen, (though not the Queen) Ottawa drag performer Kiki Coe.
The national event will also have virtual fireworks. Heritage Canada has also released a Canada Day Kit with suggestions for decorations and games. There’s also a contest with prizes.
Brampton has a full day of activities planned starting at 8 a.m.. There’s also a virtual concert starting at 6 p.m. and a drive-in fireworks display at 10 p.m. at the CAA Centre. If you want to attend you have to book a free ticket.
Next door in Mississauga, the city’s event will start that morning at 11 a.m. online and have a message of reconciliation and reflection on Canada’s relationship with indigenous peoples.
In Vaughan -- the Sam Roberts Band will headlining celebrations. Starting at 2 p.m. the family-friendly event will be hosted by Rogers Hometown Hockey’s Tara Sloane, who is also a Juno-nominated single.
Richmond Hill is hosting a blend of virtual activities, plus a drive-in concert. Some events require pre-registration. Their site also has suggestions for outdoor activities, plus Canadian-themed crafts, recipes and games. Newmarket is hosting a drive-in fireworks display, however tickets have already been snatched up.
Setting off your own Canada Day fireworks
While many official fireworks displays are off the agenda due to crowds, Canada Day is one of those special days Torontonians can set off fireworks at home without a permit. If you want to have your own cavalcade of lights -- here’s what you need to know:
On Victoria Day, Torontonians are able to set off fireworks without permits, however, people were ticketed for using them at beaches, parks and other public property.
Under the City’s rules, that’s not allowed.
All displays must be set off own your own private property. Parking lots and streets are also off-limits. Rulebreakers face a $300 fine. If hosting others at your event, check Ontario’s rules for the latest information on outdoor gathering limits.
When buying fireworks, look for the the vendor’s a city-issued permit, which should be on display.
The City also says only adults can set off fireworks. They should be wearing eye protection and staying an arm’s length away while lighting. The display should be set up on property that’s a distance away from buildings, and clear of overhanging trees or wires.
Fireworks should be buried for half their length in a bucket of sand. Just light one firework at a time, and have a bucket of water on hand for quick dousing.
If kids and pets are around, make sure they’re at a safe distance from the display. Pets can be scared of fireworks, so keep them inside with somewhere they feel like they can safely hide, without trying to escape. Turning on the radio and using a treat as a distraction also helps.
Once the fireworks are spent, let them cool and then soak them in a bucket of water overnight before placing them in the garbage bin. For even more information on how to safely create your own display, and what to look for when buying fireworks, the City of Toronto has a full guide.