Canada turns 150 years old this year. Mark the occasion with special events and activities taking place across the country.
From free entry to more than 200 national sites to special luxury hotel packages and unique experiences that bring history to life, here are five ways to celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial throughout 2017.
Explore national parks
Canada’s natural landscape should be celebrated, especially now. From the beautiful winding roads of the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia and the always jaw-dropping Rocky Mountains of Banff National Park to the towering old-growth forests of the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, locals and visitors alike can enjoy free entry to all of Canada’s national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas with a 2017 Discovery Pass.
“Rendez-vous” in Quebec City
In June and July, Quebec City’s festivities for Canada’s big year will be at their peak. During Rendez-vous 2017 (July 18 to 23), the city’s ports will look as they did hundreds of years ago, welcoming an impressive fleet of 40 tall ships as they sail the St. Lawrence River that runs through the city.
Family-friendly activities along the docks and ship tours will take place all week long, so stay at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Auberge Saint-Antoine and don’t miss a thing. Located in the heart of the Old Port, surrounded by Old World charm and a view of the river, Auberge Saint-Antoine will be a great spot to enjoy the festivities.
Head to Toronto for a history lesson
From March 25 through July 15, Toronto’s Market Gallery space at the world-famous St. Lawrence Market will feature an ongoing program called “Becoming Canadian in Toronto.” Lectures, videos, photos and artifacts will tell the story of the city’s immigrants from 1867 to 2017.
Other commemorations include a four-day Canada Day celebration (June 30 to July 3) and the National Aboriginal Day and the Indigenous Arts Festival at Fort York (June 21 to 25).
Partake in it all while staying at Five-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto. The hotel acknowledges the milestone with the 1867 package, a deal that consists of accommodations in the hotel’s Simcoe Suite, Club Lounge access and a daily CAD$600 (approximately USD$458) hotel credit.
The 150-minute My Blend and Maple package (a 90-minute facial and 60-minute wrap) at the hotel’s Four-Star Spa My Blend by Clarins and the $150 tasting menu at the signature Four-Star TOCA restaurant also come highly recommended.
Celebrate Montreal’s 375th
While Canada turns 150, Montreal will celebrate the 375th anniversary of its founding on May 17. Enjoy this historic city from the comfort of the beautifully restored Four-Star Hotel Le St-James, in the heart of Old Montreal.
Visit from January 12 to February 19 to experience Montreal in the winter, and don’t miss Igloofest at the Nordik Village, an interactive space created by seven Montreal design firms giving their interpretation of northern winter living.
If you’re looking for something else to do, go on a walking tour of Old Montreal, where history comes to life with Cité Mémoire, a guided trek around the city (download the app) that starts on May 18. Projections all over town will tell the story of the city’s history through images, music and words.
Experience Canada Day in Ottawa
On July 1, 2017, celebrate Canada Day in Ottawa, the nation’s capital, where the festivities on Parliament Hill promise to be a party of epic proportions and certainly the largest in Canada.
Throughout the weekend, there will be musical performances by Canadian artists, extravagant fireworks displays, a massive sold-out picnic on a bridge and plenty of street art.