Canadians need no invitation to party and this year marks the biggest bash of them all! Consider this your official invitation to help celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.


The sesquicentennial is a historic moment that brings with it a strong sense of community as the entire country acknowledges its rich history and what it means to be Canadian. For travellers, there’s never been a better time to see Canada at her best, to meet her welcoming people, visit the iconic sights, and explore the diverse, lesser-known destinations. 


All eyes are on Ottawa as it sets the party tone of the nation with a year-long program of explosive, imaginative events. But the festivities are not confined to the capital city. From the vast tundra of Manitoba to the lighthouse trails of Nova Scotia, every province and territory will commemorate this very special birthday.


Here are 15 ways to experience the true spirit of Canada and raise a glass to this momentous occasion.


1. Join the C-150 Party

Join the sea of red and white party goers celebrating Canada Day in Ottawa on 1 July at the C-150 Party. Feast on incredible Canadian cuisine prepared by some of our nation’s top chefs, dance the night away and pause to watch the splendour of the fireworks.


2. Visit a National Historic Site

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Discover the stories of Canada’s history at any one of the 168 National Historic Sites. In celebration of the 150th anniversary, admission is free for all visitors to national parks, national historic sites, and marine conservation areas throughout 2017.


3. Ride the Alaska Highway

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Take a road trip through the wild expanse of Yukon all the way to the Arctic Circle as the famous Alaska Highway marks its 75th anniversary in 2017.


4. Tour the tiniest province

Visit Charlottetown in Canada’s tiniest province, Prince Edward Island, where Canada officially became a nation 150 years ago. Stroll the shores of the picturesque red and white sand beaches, or take a ride through Prince Edward Island National Park.


5. See fire-breathing giants roam the streets

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Watch out! Fire-breathing mechanical creatures of gargantuan proportions are set to take over the streets of Ottawa from 26 – 30 July. In a North American first, La Machine will captivate, astound (and terrify!) as the giant robots roam the downtown precinct.


6. Explore the Great Trail

Walk, cycle, run, horse-ride, ski, or paddle along The Great Trail, set for completion in August 2017. Stretching 24,000 kilometres and connecting three oceans, The Great Trail will be the longest recreational trail in the world, embodying Canada’s magnificent urban, prairie, rural and wilderness landscapes.


7. Become a soldier for a day

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Step back in time in the maritime province of Nova Scotia. Become a “Soldier for a Day” and fire a musket at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, or taste heritage chocolate at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. While you’re there, feast on the best lobster you’ll ever taste!


8. Relax at a wellness sanctuary

Rejuvenate the body and soul at the newly opened Le Monastere des Augustines wellness sanctuary. Steeped in history, this boutique hotel in the heart of Quebec City preserves the spirit of the Augustine Sisters that resided there as far back as the 1600s. Taste your way through Old Quebec with a walking Quebec City Food Tour, where you’ll sample both traditional and modern cuisine, and learn what it means to be bona fide Québécois.


9. Live it up in Toronto

Canada’s largest city is a dynamic medley of cultures, cosmopolitan art, fascinating neighbourhoods, designer and vintage shopping, and a world-renowned food scene. Spend the day shopping on Queen Street, Yorkville, and Kensington Markets, and break for lunch at dining hot-spot FRANK, within the walls of the Art Gallery of Ontario.


10. Enjoy breathtaking views by bike

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Cycle the famous seawall of Stanley Park in Vancouver for incredible views of the Burrard Inlet. Explore this 1,000-acre park and marvel at the giant trees that still live in this preserved forest. Take a moment to ponder the awe-inspiring totem poles and learn about the First Nations that lived on this land. Relax on one of the beaches in the morning and then play a round of pitch-and-putt in the afternoon. 


11. Take in endless stars

Camp on the shores of Pine Lake in Wood Buffalo National Park in the Northwest Territories.  When the sun sets, experience the magic of the world’s largest Dark Sky Preserve here in Canada’s largest national park and UNESCO World Heritage site.


12. Watch in awe as icebergs float by

Witness the epic 10,000 year-old glacial giants in the Iceberg Alley of Newfoundland and Labrador. Experience first-hand the sparkling goliaths once responsible for the notorious sinking of the Titanic, just 600 kilometres from the coastline. 


13. Feast at a historic fort

Join the double celebration in Manitoba as the province honours Canada’s 150th anniversary and the 300th anniversary of the Prince of Wales Fort. Originally a fur trading post, the oldest stone fort in Canada is now the only place you can feast on a five-course meal under the Northern Lights. 


14. Experience the majesty of tall ships

Position yourself in one of the eastern provinces of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick or Québec, and witness the dazzling arrival of the Tall Ships, an international regatta set to be greeted with festivals and events in each Canadian port. 


15. Immerse yourself in an edgy fringe festival

Immerse yourself in an edgy fringe festival, New Brunswick style! With more than 100 theatre, dance, and music shows taking place at the Fundy Fringe Festival from 21 – 26 August 2017, Saint John’s biggest event is set to be more spectacular than ever as it marks Canada’s 150th birthday. 

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