Canada Day 150

by Gary “Nomad & Judi “Scoop” McWilliams 

In 2007, the year we founded Ontario Visited, we decided to visit the Cobourg Canada Celebrations (aka the Cobourg Waterfront Festival).



We were very familiar with this festival, since in the early 90’s, we were its co-founders.

The focus of this festival was the celebration of Canada’s birthday.

After our first visit, as Ontario Visited, we decided that we would make visiting Canada Day celebrations a tradition!



The real Canada Day visits started in 2009 with a trip to Brighton.

This was our first try at visiting Canada Day celebrations (other than Cobourg’s), so we didn’t know what to expect.

It turned out to be a LOT of FUN! We wanted more, so we drove to Campbellford!


Campbellford’s celebrations were held in the local park beside the Trent-Severn Waterway.

By the time that the official celebrations were about to begin, the park was full.

After the “Town Crier” declared it Canada Day in Campbellford and we had a piece of cake, we left for the third town, Warkworth, on our Canada Day tour!


Warkworth’s Canada Day festivities had already started when we arrived.

This was our third Canada Day celebration, so we were really getting into the “party” mood!

Music was filling the air when we left Warkworth for our forth and final Canada Day celebration, Hastings.


We left one style of music for another.

Canada Day in Hastings was in full swing and the fiddlers were having a ball!

Each community that we visited in 2009 celebrated Canada Day in such different ways. They were all truly inspiring!



Our Canada Day trip was to Prince Edward County and the Village of Wellington.

Canada Day celebrations in Wellington are special. The residents of Wellington are “serious” about celebrating, so it’s a wonderful place to be on Canada Day!

Wellington’s Canada Day celebrations includes lots of great food…

and a fabulous parade! Wellington’s Canada Day celebrations were awesome!



Our Festival Nomad Correspondent, Kevin Stuart, traveled to Sarnia with his family to celebrate Canada Day in Sarnia.

Kevin reported that Sarnia’s Canada Day Parade was amazing.

Kevin and his family enjoy Canada Day celebrations in the Park.

Both Canadians and Americans enjoyed Sarnia’s Canada Day celebrations.

Lang Pioneer Village Museum

Canada Day or as Lang Pioneer Village Museum calls it, Dominion Day (its original name), is always a lot of fun!

Lang’s Dominion Day celebrations take us back to the earlier days of Canada.

They even invite Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, to the event!

Lang Pioneer Village Museum finishes its Dominion Day event with giant birthday cake!


Ottawa (Day)

Unfortunately we had to skip 2012 Canada Day celebrations due to illness.

Fortunately 2013 was a healthier year and we were off to Canada’s official Canada Day celebration in our Nation’s Capital, Ottawa.

The Minister of Heritage had invited us to the Canada Day celebration as his special guests.

We were seated in the V.I.P. section for the daytime ceremonies, so we had a great view!

The ceremonies and entertainment were amazing!

Ottawa (Night)

We were now ready and excited to attend the night-time Canada Dayparty“!

The crowds seemed even greater for the night-time performances!

The enthusiasm of the crowd was catching. We had to make our way through it to get to the “invited guest” entrance.

Once again the entertainment was fabulous and the fireworks were amazing, but best of all, we got to meet Chris Hatfield!


Fort Wellington (Prescott)

In 2014 we wanted to visit historical celebrations. What better place to start than Fort Wellington, which is located in Prescott.

Fort Wellington is located on the shores of the St. Lawrence. Across from it is the American town of Ogdensburg. During the War of 1812 the Fort was a “hotbed” of military action!

Since the area was in the forefront of Canada becoming a nation, we thought that Fort Wellington would be the perfect way to start our 2014 Canada Day celebrations!

We enjoyed the Fort’s Canada Day celebrations, including the demonstration musket firing!


Someone once told us that the Village of Bath held the best Canada Day celebrations.

That was our second stop in 2014. Getting to Bath for its Canada Day celebrations was interesting because all the roads into it were jammed with traffic.

Bath’s Canada Day celebrations were everything we were told they would be! First there was the parade and then there was the festival in the town park.

It’s really not surprising, because Bath is in the “heart” of the British Empire Loyalists!



Our Canada Day celebrations  started with a Pancake Breakfast and then just got better from there, we were in the Village of Clarksburg!

After breakfast, the participant of the upcoming Canada Day Parade started to gather.

Here’s good riddle for you! “Where can you see the a parade finish and with 5 minutes see it start?” The answer is, of course, the Clarksburg/Thornbury Canada Day Parade!


Thornbury is only a few minutes north of Clarksburg and they have combined Canada Day celebrations! Actually the whole municipality of the Blue Mountains combine their celebrations.

Although we had lived in Thornbury for a few years, we hadn’t had the opportunity to enjoy our own Canada Day celebrations! 2015 was our year!

As the Canada Day Parade came down the hill into Thornbury downtown, the crowds cheered! I was wondering how many of those cheering had seen the start of the parade in Clarksburg!

One of the most interesting Canada Day demonstration was by Pub Owner, Gord Price, who is an aerobatic flying pilot. His Canada Day aerobatic demonstrations are legendary and VERY exciting!


Lang Pioneer Village Museum

It was back to Lang Pioneer Village Museum in 2016. We were there with our Oh Canada Eh! Game booth to help then celebrate “Dominion Day” and their “50th” anniversary.

We had a great time presenting our Oh Canada Eh! Game to Lang’s Dominion Day guests. We had so many game participants that we ran out of prizes!

The Lang crew takes a great deal of pride in offering Museum visitors interesting and fun special events and the Dominion Day celebrations was no exception.

Most of Lang’s staff dress up and participate in all the re-enactment activities!


In 2017 we decided to once again stay at home and enjoy the Thornbury Canada Day celebrations, but 2018 was different, we were off to Wasaga Beach and their celebrations!

The day started off with a visit to Wasaga’s Canada Day Artists’ Show & Sale.

From the Art Show it was down to the “Beach“. Thousands of “sun worshipers” were enjoying Canada Day at the Beach!

For those who wanted to get away from the noon day, Canada Day, sun, there were plenty of other things to do.

We hope that you have enjoyed celebrating Canada’s birthday as much as we have! Happy 150, Canada!

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