Canada Day Parade

by Chuck Robert

Canada Day celebrates the enactment of the 1867 North America Act, which united three British colonies into one country, called Canada. The name was originally the Dominion Day but was later changed in 1982 to Canada Day with the passing of the Canada Act. Canada Day is celebrated with parades, carnivals, festivals, barbecues, air shows, fireworks and concerts. There are no standard rules for celebrating Canada Day, and each area celebrates in its own way.

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Significance

In 2011 Canada celebrated its 145th birthday. The Canada Day Parade in Montreal attracted 50,000 spectators. In these parades the Canadians celebrate their country, heritage and history on Canada Day. Paleo-Indians were the first settlers to come to Canada. In the 1600s European settlers began exploring the northern region of North America in search of furs, with the French being the first to establish a successful colony. The British took control of the French territories after the Seven Years War, through the treaty of Paris. Canada remained in the British Empire until 1982, when the Canada Act made Canada legally independent from the British Parliament. Canada Day includes a citizenship ceremony in which new Canadian citizens are recognized.

Parade Destination

Canada has had many annual Canada Day Parades, held on July 1 at various locations, which usually travel to nearby festivals. At the festivals, guests can enjoy fireworks, fine dining and concerts in Toronto. Several locations have craft fairs and booths serving food. Participants in the parade often must fill out a parade waiver.

Activities

Canada Day parades have no set rules, with each parade containing its own unique activities. Parades often feature floats and marching bands. Many parades have celebrities and politicians participating, in order to draw more people to the events. Community groups participate in an effort to raise awareness for social causes. Several participants show off their vintage cars.

Routes

Canada Day parades usually announce the route the parade will take. In the Town of Canmore, for instance, the parade starts at the corner of Fairholme Drive and 15th Street at noon. The parade turns onto Main Street and travels until it reaches the corner of Main Street and Railway Ave. The parade then disbands and returns to the original area on 7th Ave. The parade has marching bands that travel with the floats and eventually head to a festival at Centennial Park after the parade. The East York Canada Day Parade starts at Overlea Boulevard and Thorncliffe Park Drive, travels through East York and ends at Stan Wadlow Park, at Woodbine Avenue and O-Connor Drive.

Photo Credits

  • Scott Olson/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images