So you’re spending your hard-earned long weekend in Victoria to celebrate Canada’s 149th anniversary! Congratulations! We take Canada Day celebrations very seriously.
It can be challenging and overwhelming getting around on Canada Day – there are multiple street closures, and events seem to be spread across the city. In order to make the most of the day, we recommend getting around via bicycle, alleviating the stress of holiday traffic and finding a parking space downtown. Come rent a bike from The Pedaler and enjoy your day stress-free and in style – we’ve even created a handy-dandy itinerary (complete with mapped-out route!) in order to maximize your celebration of our nation’s birthday. The entire trip is roughly 30km, or 18.5 miles, and uses the awesome Galloping Goose Bike Trail for the majority of the route.
Let’s Start Celebrating!
First, you must be asking yourself, “Where can I get a free piece of themed sheet cake to properly start my day of festivities?” Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites claim to have Canada Day’s largest birthday cake – and a slice is free, as is admission. The park will have live music playing all day, and a gun salute at noon. Use this sugar rush to kick off your day – the party starts at 10:30 am.
Next, head down to Gorge Waterway Park and check out Gorge on Art – an annual event along the beautiful Gorge waterway. Emerging and professional visual artists line the streets, along with live musical entertainment and market stalls. Enjoy the car free streets and the soothing lull of the tides running parallel to the street fair.
After relaxing along the Gorge, it’s time to join the frenzy. Grab some water (hydration is key) and a white or red t-shirt, and head downtown to join the Coast Capital Living Flag. On the grounds of the Legislature downtown, thousands will be joining in to make a Living Canadian Flag to be photographed from above. The goal this year is to set a new record number of participants – last year there were over 2500 people!
After becoming a part of human-flag history, visit the Canada Day Inner Harbour Market and grab dinner at one of the food trucks hosted in the Inner Harbour. The Market kicks off at 5 pm and will be packed with food, artisans and musicians.
Too crowded to get your bike around? This year, Canada Day Team Green is offering a free bike valet service, giving you a safe place to lock up your bike while you enjoy the festivities. If you rented your bike from The Pedaler for the day, we’re just a short walk from the Legislature lawn – now would be a great time to bring your bike back so you don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the evening.
Lastly, it’s time for the piece de resistance (see? French! Canada!) – fireworks. The Canada Day Firework Show is scheduled to start at 10:20 pm over the Inner Harbour. Grab a seat on the lawn of the Legislature or the grounds of the Empress and enjoy the show!