The biggest day in the Canadian calendar is coming up and there’s no better time to go all-out and be your most patriotic self.
Let’s face it, we have the pleasure of calling one of the most beautiful countries in the world home. We’ve got the Canadian Rockies, actual seasons (sorry, Montreal), some of the best hiking spots on the planet, amazing food, and pretty friendly, polite people.
All of these things need to be celebrated on Canada’s 152nd birthday. And since it falls on a Monday this year, you’ll probably be doing a lot of partying over the weekend before the big day. That being said, you’ve still got plenty of options on July 1.
To help you out, we’ve rounded up eight of the most Canadian things you can do this Canada Day.
Go enjoy some BeaverTails with friends
Can you really say you’re a Canadian if you’ve never had BeaverTails? These deep-fried doughy desserts were born right here in Ontario in the ’70s and they’re the perfect treat to indulge in for a midday snack (or brunch) on July 1. Yes, BeaverTails for breakfast. We won’t tell if you won’t.
Find a good place to check out some fireworks
Canada’s most celebrated day of the year wouldn’t be complete without a fireworks show. Find a stellar vantage point and take in the action from there as the sky illuminates before your eyes. You can always find a spot earlier in the day, have a picnic and stay until the mesmerizing show takes place. This could include a game of volleyball at Ashbridges Bay, enjoying live entertainment at Amesbury Park, heading to Downsview Park for a day of festivities, chilling in Lakeshore West, or grabbing a blanket and heading over to the Trinity-Bellwoods Dog Bowl.
Sip on a Canadian-made No. 99 Rye Lager
Canada Day calls for at least one “cheers” and the beer to toast with this national holiday has to be No. 99 Rye Lager — the first beer by Wayne Gretzky Craft Brewing. Crafted for greatness and locally made in Ontario, No. 99 Rye Lager is made with natural ingredients and brewed with rye grain – taking the classic Canadian lager to the next level with more depth, zest, and a refreshing finish.
After thriving with wines and whiskies, Wayne Gretzky Estates felt it was the time to create an innovative and approachable beer that’s perfect for everyday drinking. Joshua Beach, the master distiller at Wayne Gretzky Estates is now also the master brewer for No. 99 Rye Lager. To perfect the final brew, Beach worked closely with Wayne Gretzky — you’ll understand why that makes all the difference on your first sip of this tasty brew.
Listen to an all-Canadian playlist
Let’s hear it for the all-star Canadian artists out there — we have quite a few. Whether you’re taking the TTC into the city from uptown, or hosting the ultimate Canada Day party, you’ve got to stick on a feel-good Canadian playlist or create your own ahead of time. For starters, this should include songs by Drake, Celine Dion, The Weeknd, The Tragically Hip, Avril Lavigne, Bryan Adams, and Shania Twain. Oh, let’s not forget about Bieber, too!
Find an authentic Montreal smoked meat sandwich
You don’t need to leave Toronto to taste one of the most iconic savoury eats in Canada — the Montreal smoked meat sandwich. Although you most likely don’t refer to a sandwich as a masterpiece, this one really is. Thin slices of beef stacked high, smothered in mustard and secured between two thick slices of white bread. We’re getting hungry even thinking about it. Yes, you’re going to need a napkin or three. But even if you spill a dollop of mustard on your shirt, it’s worth it. Some of your sandwich options in the city include Centre Street Deli, Avenue Open Kitchen, and Sid’s Deli.
Wear a flannel shirt
Although flannel shirts can be traced back to 17th century Wales, they’re iconic to Canada. Don’t forget that there are massive forests across the country (BC and Alberta, we see you), and the lumberjack trade has always been huge here. Whether it was loggers who started the trend, or if we simply love the versatility of a checkered shirt (ideal for camping), they’re here to stay. Wear yours this Canada Day over a plain white tee or be cool and tie it around your waist if it gets too warm.
Take a day trip to Niagara On The Lake
Living in Ontario provides you with the opportunity to explore so many exciting areas. Niagara-On-The-Lake is a quick jaunt outside of the city — it takes less than two hours to drive from downtown Toronto to this quaint community filled with tons of great spots for food and wine. Our favourite spot? Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery and Distillery.
This picturesque location has everything that one’s heart could desire: wine, whisky, spirits and beer. Visitors heading down this Canada Day can visit the Estate’s outdoor whisky bar and patio or the newly opened Beer Garden for an ice cold pint of their namesake No. 99 Rye Lager as well as a game of pool, ping pong or bocce ball! The Estate is even open on the holiday Monday — all the more reason for everyone to pop in and enjoy a beer at The Beer Garden.
Make Nanaimo bars with your fam jam
Bring Canada Day to an end by rounding up your favourite people to make Nanaimo Bars. Named after the BC city of the same name, this decadent Canadian treat literally melts in your mouth. There’s no baking involved in making them (always a plus) and they consist of three layers — a cracker crust, buttercream in the middle, and of course a thick layer of chocolate ganache on top. These bars are the most heavenly Canadian treats and they’re ideal for Canada Day.