Canada Day Fireworks: The 10 Most Extravagant Displays in Canada
Canadians have celebrated Canada Day with fireworks displays since the country’s first celebration in 1868. There’s some debate around just how early fireworks were discovered but we do know that they were invented in China sometime between 200 BC and 900 AD. Fireworks have been used to mark important celebrations and festivals since and today, China is the largest fireworks manufacturer and exporter in the world.
Today, the fireworks industry is big business, with average Canadians spending millions of dollars on retail fireworks every year. According to the Canadian National Fireworks Association, the amount of fireworks imported into Canada increased by about 800 percent over a 10 year span (from 2001 to 2011).
Americans love fireworks on the 4th of July too. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) reports that last year’s revenue for display fireworks was $332 million; consumer fireworks revenue was even higher at a whopping $695 million. TIME also reported that the cost to put on a fireworks display for the public ranges from $5,000 to $30,000. Meanwhile, some consumers spend, on average, $100 and $300 on fireworks.
If you plan on celebrating Canada Day with fireworks this year, why not check out some of the biggest, brightest and most extravagant displays in Canada? Here is a look at 10 of the most elaborate displays in the country, many of which are free to the public.
1. Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Ontario
What better place to celebrate Canada Day than at the nation’s capital? The city’s biggest celebration is on Parliament Hill, with a day-long concert and a fireworks show over the Ottawa River. Just want to see the fireworks? They’ll start around 10 p.m. and you’ll get a great view at Gatineau’s Jacques-Cartier Park and the Canadian Museum of History (formerly the Canadian Museum of Civilization), as well as Major’s Hill Park in Ottawa and along the Ottawa River.
2. Wascana Park, Regina
Regina: Head to Wascana Park for a day-long celebration of Canada, capped off by fireworks after dark around 10:30 p.m. Although they’re set off from Willow Island, they can be seen throughout all of the park or anywhere along the lakeshore.
3. Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Ontario
The Harbourfront Centre is hosting its family-friendly Canada Day Extravaganza from June 27th to July 1st and will be ending the celebration with a bang (literally). Look forward to a 20-minute light show kicking off at 10:40pm.
4. Niagara Falls, Ontario
Activities: Opening ceremonies and Good Citizen Awards are presented at city hall starting 12:30 p.m., cake served at noon, free raffle at city hall, free caricatures, face painting, interactive displays, free bicycle valet (storage) at Rosberg Family Park 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., numerous vendors, Carmel fine art show along Ontario Ave., inflatables, kids games, Very Monkey Electronic Animal Rides from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Pepper Palace WingFest at Taps on Queen until 6 p.m.
Scotiabank Children’s Stage (Rosberg Family Park at Queen at Erie Sts.): Baby Boogie Family Dance Party at noon, Alexander & The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day! at 12:30 p.m., Captain Corbin Magic Show 1 p.m., Cinderella 1:45 p.m., Mad Science 2 p.m., Princess Elsa (photos following performance) 2:30 p.m., IncrediBrent! 3 p.m., Reptile Kingdom 3:45 p.m., Ringmaster K & Kiki the Clown 4:25 p.m.
Entertainment main stage (city hall): Night Fever starts 1 p.m., Abbamania 2 p.m., Thriller 3 p.m., Brooklyn Roebuck 4:30 p.m., Andrea Godin 5:15 p.m., Roger Ortega 5:45 p.m., Rebel Coast 6:30 p.m., Matt Wells 7:30 p.m.
5. Victoria’s Inner Harbour, Victoria, BC
A day filled with performances, family-friendly activities, and lots of food is capped off with a gorgeous fireworks display at Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Be sure to check out their full list of Canadian artists performing on their main stage throughout the event! The fireworks will start at 10:20 p.m.
6. The Old Port, Montreal, Quebec
The Old Port hosts a variety of historic and cultural events throughout the day on July 1st, with a stunning fireworks display over the St. Lawrence River to close out the celebrations, starting at 10 p.m.
7. Canada Place, Vancouver
Canada Place is the spot to be all-day long in Vancouver! Live music and dance performances, interactive activity zones, and oh-so-much food will keep you busy during the day, while the Canada Day parade at 7 p.m. and the fireworks at 10:30 will wrap up a spectacular day.
8. Centre Sreet Bridge, Calgary
Wherever you are, look up! At 10:45 p.m., the city of Calgary will be setting off fireworks from the Centre Street Bridge. This location will allow the show to be seen from various parts of the city, but any spot along the river will give you a really great view. You can also check out patriotic festivities during the day at Prince Island’s Park and Riverfront Avenue.
9. Halifax Harbour, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Parades, music, and family-friendly activities last all day long at Dartmouth Crossings, and the fireworks show at the Halifax Harbour at 10 p.m. is not to be missed!
10. The Forks, Winnipeg, Manitoba
The Forks is home to family-friendly activities all day long on July 1st, including musicians, buskers, crafts, and more. The evening closes with a stunning fireworks display at 11 p.m.
Happy Canada Day!