From fireworks to festivities: What’s on this Canada Day long weekend
June 30, 2022
From Canada Day festivities to concerts to outdoor movie screenings, the long weekend is jam-packed with events around the city. Here are some fun things to do this weekend:
Celebrate Canada Day
After two years of virtual viewings due to the pandemic, in-person celebrations and fireworks are back this Canada Day. The city has planned public celebrations and fireworks displays across Toronto on Friday to commemorate Canada’s 155th birthday.
“I’m really looking forward to the celebration,” deputy mayor Michael Thompson told the Star. “We’re always excited to see fireworks ... it conjures up so many fond possibilities, people gathering, being moved and awed.”
Fireworks will light up the sky at 10 p.m. at Ashbridge’s Bay Park on the city’s east-end waterfront. If the park gets crowded, head to nearby Woodbine Beach for another spot to view the fireworks display. Large crowds are expected: plan to ditch the car and walk or take the TTC. Or, if you want to see extra-spectacular views of the skyline ablaze with colour, take the ferry and head to Toronto Island Park.
In North York, enjoy festivities for all ages from live music, dance performances, face painting and food vendors from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Mel Lastman Square. A fireworks show will end the night at 10:20 p.m. There will also be celebrations at Downsview Park with a fireworks show at 10 p.m.
In Scarborough, the community’s annual parade along Brimley Road will start at 4 p.m. For some family fun, head to Thomson Memorial Park and enjoy crafts, face painting, bouncy castles and interactive performances to delight the whole family. Fireworks will go off at 10 p.m. in Milliken Park at 5555 Steeles Ave. E.
East York’s Canada Day Parade will start at Dieppe Park at 10:30 a.m. The route is a revised and shorter version from previous years and will head east down Cosburn Avenue, turn north on Woodbine Avenue and end at Stan Wadlow Park. The parade will feature floats, bands, antique cars, community groups, entertainers and local businesses. Don’t miss the live entertainment and kids’ activities starting at 11 a.m. in Stan Wadlow Park. The fireworks show will cap the night at 10 p.m.
Canada’s Wonderland is also hosting special Canada Day events on Friday, including live music, a lumberjack showcase and its signature fireworks show at 10 p.m.
Canada Day Road Closures
Some roads will be closed around Friday’s events in Mel Lastman Square and for events in East York:
Here are five other fun things to do this weekend:
Throw it back to the ‘90s
Looking for a night with your favourite ‘90s boy band? The Backstreet Boys are hitting the road with their long-awaited DNA Tour. After multiple COVID-related delays, Nick, AJ, Kevin, Brian and Howie are playing the Budweiser Stage on the grounds of Ontario Place with back-to-back shows on July 1 and 2. If you still have the energy, you can celebrate all night at the official after-party on Friday at Rogue Nightclub in Mississauga. Tickets are available online. Learn more at backstreetboys.com/events
Fun in the sun at Union Station
After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the market returns to Union Station’s Front Street plaza this summer. Running from now to Aug. 28, the market offers live entertainment, street food vendors and daily themed programming. From RnB to samba to classical, the music schedule is jam-packed with live performances every day of the week. Learn more at torontounion.ca/tdunionsummer
Catch an outdoor movie at Christie Pits
The Toronto Outdoor Picture Show is returning to all pre-pandemic locations at parks around the city this summer. This year’s program, “Curtains Up!” is an “homage to the art of performance after two years of darkened stages and empty spotlights,” executive director Emily Reid told the Star. Each movie screening is paired with a short film. This week, a new short documentary “Magic in Plain Sight” is playing alongside “A League of Their Own.” No tickets are required to attend as all movie events are free. It’s first-come-first-serve so bring a picnic blanket or lawn chair and head to the park. Reid recommends getting there before 7 p.m. to get a good spot. Showtime is at sundown, around 9 p.m. Movies will be shown each Sunday through Aug. 28. Get event details at topictureshow.com
Grab your friends and head to the island. One of the most anticipated electronic music series is throwing a two-day festival this weekend. On Friday and Saturday, the outdoor venue at Ontario Place’s West Island will host DJs from the likes of Claptone, Joris Voorn and Luttrell on three stages. Learn more and find tickets at electricisland.to
Salsa on the beachThe Beaches International Jazz Festival is kicking off its month of summer programming with salsa on the beach this weekend. “Come to the beach and start your vacation with all the sights and sounds of world music, fireworks and the waterfront,” said festival producer Lido Chilelli in an interview with the Star. So put on your dancing shoes and head to Woodbine Park for some great Latin music. Performances run from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Learn more at beachesjazz.com