What to see and do on Canada Day 2024

People take in the Canada 150 celebrations on Parliament Hill on July 1, 2017. The party falls on a Monday this year, and there's plenty to do in and around Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)
People take in the Canada 150 celebrations on Parliament Hill on July 1, 2017. The party falls on a Monday this year, and there's plenty to do in and around Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)

The mainstage at LeBreton Flats is always an excellent choice to celebrate Canada Day, but there are other events all over the city that might also interest you.

Not sure where to start? We've provided all the details for the main party, local celebrations and other activities in one convenient place.

Canada Day on the mainstage

People clap during Canada Day celebrations at LeBreton Flats in Ottawa July 1, 2022.
People clap during Canada Day celebrations at LeBreton Flats in Ottawa July 1, 2022.

A scene from the Canada Day celebration at LeBreton Flats in Ottawa July 1, 2022. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

  • LeBreton Flats Park and 1 Vimy Pl.

  • 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 1.

  • Free.

The Canada Day mainstage is still the main event on July 1. Performances and activities start at 9 a.m. The fireworks start at 10:30 p.m.

Local celebrations

People watch as fireworks explode over LeBreton Flats area during Canada Day celebrations in downtown Ottawa, on Saturday, July 1, 2023.
People watch as fireworks explode over LeBreton Flats area during Canada Day celebrations in downtown Ottawa, on Saturday, July 1, 2023.

People watch as fireworks explode over LeBreton Flats during Canada Day celebrations in downtown Ottawa on July 1, 2023. (Spencer Colby/The Canadian Press)

Local communities in and around Ottawa will also hold events for those who don't want to brave downtown. Details are listed on each community's website:

Canada Day concert

The National Arts Centre Orchestra, La Chapelle de Québec and soloists perform Handel's Messiah at Southam Hall in Ottawa.
The National Arts Centre Orchestra, La Chapelle de Québec and soloists perform Handel's Messiah at Southam Hall in Ottawa.

The National Arts Centre Orchestra will perform a free concert at Southam Hall in Ottawa on Canada Day. (National Arts Centre/Facebook)

  • National Arts Centre.

  • 2:30 p.m. on July 1, lasting 75 minutes.

  • Free.

The National Arts Centre Orchestra will hold a special Canada Day Concert in Southam Hall featuring special guests including YAO, Kerson Leong and Kellylee Evans.

If you want to attend, you can pick up a bracelet in advance at the NAC between noon and 2:20 p.m.

The ByWard Market

Dreessen spent a lot of time in Ottawa's ByWard Market, seen in this undated photo, when he worked as a chef. In 2020, he proposed a car-free plan to rejuvenate it as a tourist destination.
Dreessen spent a lot of time in Ottawa's ByWard Market, seen in this undated photo, when he worked as a chef. In 2020, he proposed a car-free plan to rejuvenate it as a tourist destination.

The ByWard Market will host special Canada Day performances and activities all weekend. (Submitted by Toon Dreessen)

  • Near 55 ByWard Market Square.

  • June 29 to July 1, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

  • Free.

The ByWard Market's festivities will take place all weekend. There will be live music as part of the Ooh Music, Arts & Streetwear Festival and vintage shopping thanks to a collaboration with The Real Fly Market.

Several restaurants in the area will have special menus and exclusive offers, so ask your favourite spots for their deals.

Free museums

Demonstrations and displays about Indigenous history will be located outside the museum building in August.
Demonstrations and displays about Indigenous history will be located outside the museum building in August.

Admission to many local museums including the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., will be free on Canada Day. (Canadian Museum of History)

Don't forget that many local museums offer free admission on Canada Day, and many will have special guests or events for visitors:

The Diefenbunker Museum is not offering free admission, but tickets will be half price. Most city-run museums will be closed for the day.

Inuit culture on display

Inuit youth from Nunavut Sivuniksavut (NS) perform a song for the crowd gathered in the foyer of 100 Wellington Street.
Inuit youth from Nunavut Sivuniksavut (NS) perform a song for the crowd gathered in the foyer of 100 Wellington Street.

Inuit youth from Nunavut Sivuniksavut perform a song in the foyer of 100 Wellington St. (Avanthika Anand/CBC )

  • 100 Wellington St.

  • July 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Free.

The former U.S. embassy at 100 Wellington St. will be closing for redevelopment as it becomes an official meeting space for Inuit, First Nations and Métis people. First, though, it will host a temporary exhibit about Inuit culture and history on Canada Day.

Canada Day races in Kanata

  • Earl of March Secondary School, 4 The Parkway.

  • July 1, 8 a.m.

  • Between $15 and $84.99

Kanata will again host runs on Canada Day including a 1K race for kids, and a 5K and 10K for adults.

Online registration has closed, but you can still sign up at the starting line on July 1.

Part of the registration fees will go to the Canadian Cancer Society, and more donations are accepted at the race. The Kanata Food Cupboard will provide snacks at the finish line, and will also be accepting donations of non-perishable food item.

OHHH Canada Kids Festival Jeunesse

Mahmuda Barvin's nine-year-old son, Shaiiaan Arifam, went to the Bridgewater Lake's Canda Day celebration with her.
Mahmuda Barvin's nine-year-old son, Shaiiaan Arifam, went to the Bridgewater Lake's Canda Day celebration with her.

A child plays at a splash pad. This year's Canada Day party in Orléans promises a similarly wet and wild time. (Ian Froese/CBC)

  • Millennium Park, off Trim Road in Orléans.

  • July 1, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Free.

The OHHH Canada Kids Festival Jeunesse in Orléans is organized by the Kiwanis Club of Eastern Ottawa and hosted in Orleans.

It grew out of the community's Canada Day celebrations that were hosted at Petrie Island. This year, it's focusing on kid-centric events, activities and music. The splash pad will be running and there will be an enormous birthday cake to enjoy.

Musical performances on Parliament Hill

Members of the Band of the Ceremonial Guard march off in front of reviewing officer Lieutenant-General J.A.J. Parent, centre, at the conclusion of Fortissimo, a military and musical performance, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
Members of the Band of the Ceremonial Guard march off in front of reviewing officer Lieutenant-General J.A.J. Parent, centre, at the conclusion of Fortissimo, a military and musical performance, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Saturday, July 22, 2017.

Members of the Band of the Ceremonial Guard march on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on July 22, 2017. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

  • Parliament Hill.

  • July 1, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • Free.

A variety of bands will perform on Parliament Hill Saturday, including the Band of the Ceremonial Guard, the 75 & 742 Air Cadets Squadrons Band, and the Royal Canadian Air Force Pipes & Drums.

Watch the Capital City Stompers

Ottawa Jazz Festival organizers are frustrated that one of their venues was not subject to a noise bylaw exemption, creating trouble for late night concerts.
Ottawa Jazz Festival organizers are frustrated that one of their venues was not subject to a noise bylaw exemption, creating trouble for late night concerts.

Confederation Park will host a performance on Canada Day courtesy of the Ottawa Jazz Festival. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

  • Confederation Park.

  • July 1, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

  • Free.

Courtesy of the Ottawa Jazz Festival, you can watch the Ottawa-based trad jazz quartet Capital City Stompers perform at Confederation Park. You're welcome to get up and dance, or sit back and enjoy the show.