Canada Day Weekend 2018: Ways To Celebrate, From Concerts To Fireworks

Canada Day weekend 2018 is coming in hot, with scorching heat waves affecting most of the country. Oh, and there’s a sizzling new Drake album out too.

While July 1 will not be a statutory holiday — because it falls on a Sunday — we still get a three-day weekend, which means plenty of opportunities for family fun, or an chance to take it easy and unwind. And even though it snowed in Newfoundland earlier this week, the province will face some higher-than-average temperatures leading up to the country’s birthday, putting us all in the summer spirit.

Here are some suggestions for how to spend your 2018 Canada Day long weekend:


“Fireworks exploding in the distance, temporary towers soar.”

Take it from The Tragically Hip, the larger-than-life sparkly spectacle is something many of us look forward to on a long weekend.

However, if you plan to host your own fireworks display, you should be wary of the dry heat, which can cause fire to spread in quick or unpredictable ways. Environment Canada issued a warning stating most of southern Ontario, including the Greater Toronto Area, will experience the “most significant heat event” from the past few years, with the humidex temperatures expected to feel like they are in the mid-40s. The agency also issued a warming weather alert for Halifax, and Ottawa could have its hottest Canada Day on record!

So, what does this mean for your backyard? Well, for one, point the Roman candles away from dry grass or obstacles, and do not set fire to explosives in heavy winds. Keeping a fire extinguisher and bucket of water nearby is handy, too, and as per National Resources Canada, “many provinces, cities, and municipalities have set their own restrictions on when and where fireworks may be enjoyed.”

Live music

Rock out with your maple leaf out!

Canada Day weekend is a great time to check in on some of your favourite local acts, or sing along to the country’s most memorable hits. Charlie Angus, the NDP MP for Timmins-James Bay, will be jamming to the Timmins Symphony honouring The Tragically Hip.

And over in Wasaga Beach, Ont., “get ready” to be wowed by Shawn Desman. The pop sensation will play a free show on June 30, after only selling a disappointing 17 tickets in advance.

Meanwhile, if you’re in Calgary, you can jam out to a community singalong to Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold,” or enjoy the musical stylings of Corb Lund, Shred Kelly or Alex Cuba on Sunday. Two winning acts from CTV’s “The Launch” — “Ain’t Easy” singers Elijah Woods and Jamie Fine, and “The Lucky Ones” rocker Logan Staats — will perform over the weekend in the country’s capital city, and alt-rockers The Darcys will play in Niagara Falls alongside autoharpist Basia Bulat. And in Leduc, Alta., “Two Heads” singer Coleman Hell will play a free set on Sunday.

But the most high-profile names appear to be shacking up in Surrey, B.C. for July 1st. Serena Ryder will “Stompa” her way to a kickass time at the Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, joining the Juno-winning Brett Kissel and Toque… the band.

Cool down

As Beyoncé sings in her hit, “Get Me Bodied,” sometimes you just need to “stop now, cool off, cool off” or “drop, cool off, cool off.”

The heat waves are a perfect reason to stay hydrated, or pop by a public pool or beach. In Toronto, public pools are being kept “colder than usual” to combat these unusually high temperatures. How’s that for a cold plunge?


Or, if you want to take the “cool down” advice to heart, you can always crack open a cold one and savour the new season of Letterkenny.

The Canadian Screen Award-winning comedy is back with some fresh episodes streaming on CraveTV, so it appears it’s time to “pitter patter, let’s get at her.”

Explore outside and spend time outdoors

Lather up that SPF, because Parks Canada has you covered this weekend. From a parade down Front Street in Whitehorse to cross-country photo ops with the government mascot, Parka, any attendee of one of their official events can get in for free and get a free slice of cake.

Plus, there’s this too: our top 20 list of Canada’s most beautiful (and most Instagram-friendly!) national parks.

Sports – World Cup, Blue Jays, CFL

With 16 teams remaining, the World Cup powers through over the long weekend. But if soccer’s not your thing, you can check out Week Three of the CFL, and the big Saturday night matchup between the Montreal Alouettes and the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

There’s also four baseball games to choose from, Canada’s own Toronto Blue Jays will be playing host to the Detroit Tigers all weekend long at the Rogers Centre. And you can bet they’ll be wearing their very popular (and very patriotic) lucky red jerseys to honour the country’s 151st birthday.

If you’re able to make it downtown on Sunday, the first 20,000 fans will receive a red Blue Jays cap, and if you miss out, you can always take your chance at walking home with a complimentary J.A. Happ bobblehead on Monday.

You Do You

Or, you know, you can just do whatever makes you happiest.

Happy 151st, Canada!

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