Canada Day is just around the corner and this year is a special anniversary. In July, we will celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, also described as Canada 150. This milestone presents a fun-filled learning opportunity for students and the entire family.

Together with my team at Teachers on Call, I’ve found a dozen educational events and festivals across the GTA leading up to and including the big weekend. The best present of all is that they are all free of charge!

Canada 150 at the Toronto Public Library

The Toronto Public Library has educational programming at a wide range of library locations in honour of Canada 150 in June and July. Check your local branch for times and workshop descriptions or see a full list of all Canada 150 events. To spotlight one program of many, the Forest Hill location will host Happy 150th Birthday Canada: a big drop-in birthday party on June 30.

Location: Many Toronto Public Library locations; find your local branch
Date: June 30, 2017
Cost: FREE

ROM Canada 150

In honour of Canada Day, the ROM is offering free admission to their permanent galleries, select special exhibitions, activities and live entertainment.

Location: Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, Toronto
Date: July 1
Cost: FREE

Canada Day Picnic at Spadina Museum

MP Carolyn Bennett will host this celebration at the historic Spadina House and gardens. The event includes a barbecue, live music, face painting, cultural perforances, and tours of the main floor of the museum.

Location: Spadina Museum, 285 Spadina Rd., Toronto
Date: July 1
Cost: FREE

Celebrate Canada 150–Multicultural Canada Day Celebration

A day of festivities at Yonge-Dundas Square begins with the Parade of Nations at 10 am: floats and costumed groups representing more than 20 countries will make their way from Church and Bloor down Yonge Street. Beginning at noon, the festival at Dundas Square begins with a huge birthday cake for Canada and non-stop multicultural performances on stage until 9 pm, plus arts and crafts and food from around the globe.

Location: 1 Dundas St. E., Toronto
Date: July 1
Cost: FREE

Canada Days at Mel Lastman Square

As per Toronto tradition, visit Mel Lastman Square on Canada Day to enjoy musical entertainment, family programming, outdoor theatre, circus arts, and food and drinks. The event will conclude with a fireworks show in the evening.

Location: Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge St., North York
Date: July 1
Cost: FREE

Canada Days at Nathan Phillips Square

Participate in a citywide celebration with a festival over four days at Nathan Phillips Square. A great celebration of music with emerging and established artists from all over the country. Special performances include the Barenaked Ladies, Ron Sexsmith and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) with special guest Rose Cousins.

Location: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. W., Toronto
Date: June 30–July 3
Cost: FREE

Canada Days at Humber Bay Park West

Families in the west end of the city can head to this family-friendly event with live performances influenced by the cultures and communities of the Etobicoke area: Ukrainian, Polish, Filipino, South-Asian, Somali and more. As an added bonus there will be arts performances on the water and throughout the green space.

Location: Humber Bay Park West, 15 Marine Parade Dr., Toronto
Date: July 1
Cost: FREE

Canada Days at Scarborough Civic Centre

Families in the east end of the city can head to Scarborough Civic Centre for Canada Day festivities. Some musical highlights will include reggae and South Asian hip hop that will get everyone dancing. A family activity zone and food and drinks area will be on site for the public.

Location: Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr., Scarborough
Date: July 1
Cost: FREE

Black Creek Pioneer Village Canada Day Weekend

Black Creek Pioneer Village invites you to party like it’s 1867 in their outdoor living history museum. Students will get to experience a 19th-century carnival with fire juggling, magicians and so much more. It will be rich in history for students with many activities including the story of Confederation acted out with comedy, and a citizenship ceremony for 40 new Canadians on July 1.

Location: Black Creek Pioneer Village, 1000 Murray Ross Pkwy., North York
Date: July 1–3
Cost: FREE July 1; general admission applies July 2–3 ($15 adults, kids free in July)

Redpath Waterfront Festival

If you love the waterfront, you won’t want to miss this festival. Major attractions include the launch of the Ontario 150 tour featuring the world’s largest rubber duck. There will be live entertainment with dance and music to tell Canada’s story. For all the shoppers, the Waterfront Artisan Market in HTO Park will feature over 75 artisans, crafters, bakers and makers selling original items.

Location: HTO Park, 339 Queens Quay W., Toronto
Date: July 1–3
Cost: FREE

Oakville’s Canada Day

Join the Oakville community on Canada Day at an all-day family festival at the Bronte Heritage Waterfront Park. There will be live performances, vendor village and fireworks show.

Location: Bronte Heritage Waterfront Park, 2340 Ontario St., Oakville
Date: July 1
Cost: FREE

Blue Mountain Village Canada Day Celebrations

For families heading down to the Blue Mountain area for the big Canada Day weekend, check out their festivities that will be filled with family fun. Special attractions include live music, magic show, dancing and drumming, a children’s sing-along, cake cutting, and a Beaver-Tail-eating contest. Don’t miss the fireworks display on Saturday night and a showing of Beauty and the Beast under the stars on Monday.

Location: Blue Mountain Village, Blue Mountains (Collingwood)
Date: July 1–3
Cost: FREE

Joanne Sallay is the President of Teachers on Call, a personalized home tutoring service with over 30 years of experience, providing one-on-one instruction in all subjects and grades.

Browse our Events Calendar for more thigns to do this weekend and coming up in Toronto and the GTA.

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