Top 5 Canada Day Events
A little something for everyone, here are our favourite ways to celebrate Canada's birthday in Hamilton
1. Bayfront Park
200 Harbourfront Drive (activities also taking place at Pier 4 Park - Leander Drive, west of Bay St. North
The Details: July 1st from 6pm - 10pm (fireworks start at 10pm). Food trucks, face painting, balloon artists, music and family friendly activities.
Age Rating: All ages, but with the late start for the fireworks it may not be the ideal choice for young children who are used to an early bedtime.
$: There is no admission but don't forget to bring cash if you want to enjoy some food truck fare. Also, Welcome Inn Community Centre’s Food Bank will be on hand to collect donations and non-perishable food items at the Bayfront and Pier 4 Information Tents. For more information, visit www.welcomeinn.ca
Why We Love It: This is the big one in the city of Hamilton, THE Canada Day event, so it's definitely worth checking out. There will be food trucks offering something for everyone's taste (grilled cheese and ice cream sounds about right for my kiddos!), activities to enjoy, music to listen to and of course the waterfront for hours of playing and exploring. And of course the night ends with a fantastic fireworks display over the water to end it all off. One of the best parts of this event are the free shuttles offered by the city http://www.hamilton.ca/hsr-bus-schedules-fares/schedule-routes-maps/canada-day-shuttle. There is also free secure bike parking being offered as well as free vehicle parking in the bayfront park lot, however vehicle parking is limited and often full by 7pm so the shuttle may be your best bet.
Kids Will Love: This is definitely the biggest and best fireworks the city has to offer so it offers a "wow factor" your kids won't get elsewhere. For those kids who aren't into crowds and are just wanting to watch fireworks a great alternate option is to take a stroll down the bayfront path towards Princess Point. There are multiple spots with benches (bringing your own chair is a good idea too) along the path where you can still see the fireworks and avoid the craziness of the crowds.
Good To Know: This event runs rain or shine but in the case of more extreme weather such as lightning please call the Events Hotline on July 1 only for Cancellation Information at 905-546-4646. The city is asking that you leave your four legged family members at home for this event since they can be easily scared by fireworks (this is good advice for any event with fireworks!).
2. St. John United Church Canada Day Festival
195 East 38th Street
The Details: July 1st from 5:00pm-9:00pm (fireworks start at 9). Bouncy Castle, obstacle course, cliff hanger slide, face painting, popcorn, music, cotton candy, activity stations, sports tournaments and a BBQ (small fee for the BBQ).
Age Rating: All ages
$: There is a small fee for the BBQ
Why We Love It: This is a great choice for families who maybe don't want to go as large scale as the Bayfront Park festivities but are still looking for something that includes the traditional Canada Day fireworks. There will be plenty of fun for all ages here and it's the perfect opportunity for residents of the neighbourhood to connect with their community.
Kids will Love: Free cotton candy and bouncy castle... need we say more?
Good To Know: This church is within walking distance to Concession Street, the mountain brow and Mountain Drive Park, so if you need a break from the festivities or are looking for something to do before you head over at 5 there will be plenty of options close by for dining, strolling and playing.
3. Wild Water Works
680 Van Wagners Beach Road,
905-547-6141, ext. 5007 or 1-800-555-8775
The Details: July 1st from 11am-8pm. Celebrate Canada at Wild Waterworks with flags, pins, stickers and cake! Join in the fun with Canada themed games and contests.
Age Rating: While all ages are welcome at the park we wouldn't recommend this for very small children - the 3 and up crowd will likely get the most out of it.
$: Prices range from free for children aged 2 and under up to $22.35 +tax for general admission. For Canada Day only receive $3 off admission at the gate if you're wearing red and white. Service persons will receive free entry.
Why We Love It: What better way to welcome in summer than with a whole day of swimming, splashing and playing in the water. We wait a long time for hot days here in Canada so this is the perfect way to enjoy what will (hopefully) be the first of many summer scorchers! Also, if mom and dad's idea of a perfect Canada Day is a quiet evening to yourselves with well worn out kids asleep in their beds, this is all but a guarantee that you'll get that.
Kids will Love: Waterslides, wave pool, lazy river and Squirt Works (ages 0-9) means there is a wide variety of water fun no matter what your little fish are into. Also, there's going to be cake on Canada Day - it's like the most gigantic pool birthday party ever!
Good To Know: There are 3 concessions that offer food and beverages but to save money you are also allowed to bring in your own cooler with a picnic lunch - just don't bring in any glass, knives or alcohol. There are also essential items like towels and sunscreen that you can purchase on site in case you forget.
4. Rotary Club of Dundas Canada Day Pancake Breakfast & All Things Pan Am Celebration
Dundas Driving Park 71 Cross St., Dundas, Hamilton ON,
The Details: July 1st from 8 am – 12 noon. Music, Canada Day greetings, zumba and salsa with a soccer/Pan Am theme and face painting.
$: $7 adult, $4 child, $20 for a family of 4. Price includes pancakes, sausages, juice, coffee, tea and cake.
Age Rating: All ages.
Why We Love it: If you have kids that tend to get up before 6am like some children that we know (not naming any names here...) then this is the perfect way to get out and celebrate Canada Day on the earlier end of things. With a yummy breakfast and lots of entertainment it will be a fun filled morning that will have you home in plenty of time for an afternoon nap. It will also leave you with the afternoon and evening open to do as you wish which is a bonus with families who run at a slower pace.
Kids Will Love: If getting to eat both pancakes and cake in the same morning isn't exciting enough, Dundas Driving Park is home to two playground areas, a splash pad and a wading pool. This is a can't miss for almost any kid.
Good to Know: There is plenty of on site parking as well as washroom facilities. If you're not ready to go home at the end you can stay and enjoy the park or head into downtown Dundas for some dining and shopping.
5. DIY Celebrations at Home
The Details: So technically not an event but this is a very budget friendly option and perfect for families who aren't into being out with a big crowd. Just do as you please and celebrate Canada with your family in whatever way you like. This is the perfect day for running through the sprinkler, BBQing some hotdogs and writing your name with a sparkler (you know you did it as a kid!).
Age Rating: All ages
$: As much or as little as you want to spend.
Why We Love It: For some of us, days all together as a family are a rare commodity and having an unscheduled day is just what's needed to recharge and reconnect. There's something really special about creating holiday traditions that are all your own that can carry on for years down the line.
Kids will Love: Kids don't always need a big outing to have fun, some of their best childhood memories will be made right in their own back yard! Load up the freezer with popsicles, maybe get a fun new outdoor toy (like this one from Giant Tiger ,http://www.gianttiger.com/product/647705.do?sortby=availableOnlineDescend&from=fn) and let them run wild. We promise they'll have a blast!
Good To Know: Please be courteous when setting off fireworks in your neighbourhood. Wrap up your displays before 11pm and consider choosing ones that aren't incredibly loud - the neighbourhood children, pets and parents will appreciate it more than you know. Fireworks can be purchased at everyday retailers such as Giant Tiger, PartyMax, Walmart and Costco (even Dollarama has sparklers!). There are also a number of temporary locations for fireworks retailers throughout the city. More information can be found on the following sites:
(Didn't find an event that suits your family? Remember we have even more events listed here!)
Did we miss your favourite in our Top 5? Is there a hidden gem we're missing? We want to know about it! Send us an email,, contact us via Facebook or Tweet us. Your suggestions may find their way into our honorable mentions at the end of the week!