Canada Day’s Best Weekend Getaways


As Canadians, we are used to celebrating Canada Day in style, and 2017 is a major milestone as it’s Canada’s 150th birthday. There will be so much happening this year across the country, so visit one of these cities for an amazing time.

VANCOUVER, B.C.

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Vancouver, a world-class city, has a lot to offer. This pearl of the Canadian west has mountains on one side, an ocean on the other, a thriving art and theatre scene and first-class dining paired with award-winning local wines and seafood. Canada Day in Vancouver will be epic.

What to See

Vancouver Aquarium: Home to more than 50,000 aquatic creatures. Grouse Mountain: If you’re looking for a mountaintop destination, you can’t beat this experience. Forbidden Vancouver Tour: This is not for the faint-of-heart as guides take you down lamp lit alleyways and back to a world of illegal booze, opium dens and unsolved murders.

Where to Eat

Blue Water Café: Serves Japanese inspired seafood, sushi and Canadian dishes. Stanley Park: A Great place for dinner at The Teahouse. Vij’s: A well-known Indian restaurant. Café Medina: Wonderful, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Lupo Restaurant: A cozy spot for classic Italian meals with a modern touch. Fable Kitchen: A TV chef’s bistro, serving farm-to-table brunch and dinner.

Where to Stay

Fairmont Pacific Rim: Ultimate Luxury, sophisticated and contemporary. Fairmont Downtown Vancouver: Known as the ‘Castle in the City’, timeless luxury and Vancouver history. Ramada Inn & Suites Downtown Vancouver: Located in the heart of Granville entertainment district.

Where to Celebrate

Waterfront Park: Free family events from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. Granville Island: Enjoy a lobster cookout, music, performers and the water park. Burrard Inlet: Enjoy an evening with a bang; there’s going to be a pyrotechnic extravaganza. Canada Place: Will host the biggest Canadian Day celebration, second only to Ottawa.

ST JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND

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St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador, is the oldest city in North America. It’s an eclectic mix of character, big-city luxury, small-town charm and a lot of charisma. You’ll find boutique shops, cafés, restaurants, pubs, art galleries; and some of the nicest, kindest people in the country.

What to See

Signal Hill National: The city’s most famous landmark and historic site. The tiny castle at the top of the hill is Cabot Tower. Newman Wine Vaults: Aging port wine in vaults since the 1700s; pick up a bottle. Commissariat House: A provincial historic site and an excellent example of Georgian architecture.

See everything via a tour by booking one via Tours by Locals or Discover Saint John’s.

Where to Eat

Raymonds Restaurant: Known for perfection, quality service, International and Canadian cuisine. The Merchant Tavern: Offers fine fare and spirits, using fresh local ingredients. Yellowbelly Brewery: A beer lover’s pub serving craft brew, wood-fired pizzas and burgers. The Adelaide Oyster: Serving a seafood focused, small plate menu. Mallard Cottage: Located in Quidi Vidi Village and showcasing wild game.

Where to Stay

Murray Premises Hotel: A boutique hotel on the waterfront, radiates character. Sheraton Hotel: Overlooking the harbour, on the steps of The Battery and Signal Hill. The Roses Heritage Inn: Consists of 2 stately Victorian houses with 10 large rooms, antiques and local art.

Where to Celebrate

As the sun rises over Signal Hill on July 1st, there will be a sunrise ceremony, cake, bouncy castles, games of chance and family concerts climaxed by a huge fireworks display at Quidi Vidi Lake.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC

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Quebec’s largest city has a unique mix of European and North American culture and one of the most exciting food scenes in the country. Those from Montreal throw great parties, which this year includes Montréal’s 375th anniversary and Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.

What to See

Notre-Dame Basilica: A marvel of historic architecture and this year it hosts AURA – a grandiose, innovative artistic project presented by the Moment Factory. The Museum of Fine Arts: One of Canada’s most prominent cultural institutions. The Port of Montreal: Hosts fun things to do, even more so this year. In the heart of Little Italy sits a huge covered market, the Jean-Talon Market: Where the Montreal chefs buy ingredients for their menus. Aires Libres: An artistic event, pedestrians only, on Sainte-Catherine Street.

Where to Eat

Olive and Gourmando: A charming, rustic spot for an incredible breakfast or brunch. Garde Manager: Located in old Montreal has a bar-like atmosphere; featuring seafood-focused items. Burgundy Lion: Offers a unique blend of traditional British pub and a modern lounge bar.

Where to Stay

Hotel Gault: A boutique hotel has 30 luxurious suites and gourmet dining. Hotel William Gray: Located in Old Montreal, has thoughtful touches like pillow-top beds and Italian sheets. Fairmont Queen Elizabeth: Found in the heart of Montreal, this charming hotel just underwent a $140 million transformation.

Where to Celebrate

From morning to night catch the day-long celebration at the Old Port of Montreal. – An opening ceremony complete with gun salute, Canadian Forces brass band, kid-friendly sports and workshops, live music and closing day with fireworks.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO

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Yes this year is Canada’s 150th birthday and throughout the year celebrations will take place all over this great country. The place to visit this year for the best of the best celebrations is Canada’s stunning capital, Ottawa.

What to See

Byward Market: Is one of Ottawa’s greatest gifts; where visitors indulge in delicious food and shop. Parliament Buildings: They are a wonderful place to visit, a grand neo gothic complex on Parliament Hill. Rideau Canal: Is where you’ll see many visitors canoeing and picnicking.

Where to Eat

Carben Food and Drink: An inviting open concept restaurant, using local and international inspirations. Oz Kafe: charming spot, full of Asian dishes with a Mexican twist. Byward Market: Where you can grab local veggies, fruit and traditional Ottawa treats, like beaver tails.

Where to Stay

Chateau Laurier: A historical landmark affords a great Ottawa experience. Andaz Hotel: A boutique hotel close to attractions, including the Byward Market, the Rideau Canal and the National Gallery of Canada.

Where to Celebrate

July 1st on Parliament Hill is sure to outdo itself with performances and a pyromusical fireworks show. York Street has created a free “Inspiration Village” designed by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada; using shipping containers, which beautifully highlight each of Canada’s provinces and territories.

CALGARY, ALBERTA

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Nestled between the peaks and the prairies, this is an avant-garde cosmopolitan city, surrounded by natural beauty. Calgary is the centre of Canada’s bustling oil industry; has a love of arts and culture yet still maintains its warm western charm. “Cowtown” really knows how to throw a party – just think “Calgary Stampede”.

What to See

Glenbow Museum: An incredible art and history museum. The Calgary Tower: An iconic feature of the Calgary skyline. Stephen Avenue Walk: A National Historical District, which now has over 30 restored buildings, is home to shops, banks and restaurants.

Where to Eat

River Café: A quaint, romantic upscale cafe in Prince’s Island Park. Vero Bistro: Serves amazing fresh healthy food. Boogies Burgers: A no-holds-barred burger emporium serving their signature burgers, poutine and onion rings.

Where to stay

Hotel Elan: An uptown boutique hotel with large updated rooms, near shopping, restaurants and bars. Hotel Arts: Has large designer rooms in a downtown location. Le Germain Hotel: Has beautiful contemporary rooms with goose-down comforters and Nespresso coffeemakers.

Where to Celebrate

On July 1st, Fort Calgary will be ready for all-day family fun with live music, entertainment and the Enmax Living Flag. Studio Bell will have live music reflecting all of Canada and interactive exhibitions. Confederation Park will host a pancake breakfast, horse-drawn wagon rides and entertainment.

TORONTO, ONTARIO

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Toronto is regarded as one of the most dynamic metropolis. It’s an international centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world. It’s vibrant and abuzz with activity, fine restaurants, bars, clubs and eclectic festivals.

What to See

CN Tower: Rises above the city and Ripley’s Aquarium sits at it’s base. Chinatown and Kensington Market: Two of Toronto’s multicultural neighbourhoods. Harburfront: Hosts many annually events and is the departure point for the Toronto Islands. The Royal Ontario Museum: An exquisite museum of art, culture and natural history.

Where to Eat

Rasta Pasta: A Jamaican-Italian fusion eatery. Seven Lives: Sells California-style tacos; Urban Herbivore: Vegetarians enjoy!

Where to stay

Ritz Carlton: Featuring Italian linens and marble bathrooms. The Royal York: The grand old Dame of Toronto. The Delta Hotel: Contemporary, overlooking Lake Ontario.

Where to Celebrate

On July 1st, Toronto Boat Festival presents ‘Sailin’ through the 6’, with evening of fireworks. More firework celebrations at Mel Lastman Square, Ashbridges Bay Park, Canada’s Wonderland, Centennial Park (Ribfest), Harbourfront Centre and the really big one is a 4 day event at City Hall staring musical bands Barenaked Ladies and Buffy Sainte-Marie.

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN

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Regina, named for Queen Victoria, is the home of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The city has many beautiful manicured parks, trendy hotels, bars, shops and restaurants, which help add to the city’s cosmopolitan atmosphere.

What to See

Wascana Centre Park: Must see are the park’s magnificent gardens in Wascana Centre Regina Floral Conservatory: Go visit the tropical plants, exotic trees among the ever changing floral displays at the

Where to Eat

Tangerine: For a ‘bagged’ lunch on the way to Wascana Park Skye Café & Bistro: hidden gem in Wascana Park. Willow on Wascana: A Regina classic. Leopold’s Tavern: For homemade comfort foods and craft beers.

Where to Stay

The Hotel Saskatchewan: Is a polished hotel in a stately building with quality rooms. Travelodge Regina: Family oriented hotel close to Wascana Park Ramada Plaza Downtown: A great property close to the Canada Day Celebrations.

Where to Celebrate

The Lieutenant Governor will host the Canada Celebration. The first sunset Ceremony at the RCMP Centre will be on July 1st. There’ll be a fan march to the new Mosaic Stadium before the Roughrider Game. The city offers free transit all day.

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