Canada Day
Canada Day last year was celebrated with strict social distancing measures in place. This year, most events marking the anniversary of Confederation across the country have been cancelled or moved online due to the spread of the coronavirus. Sourc: Cole Burston/Getty Images/AFP

Fête du Canada, Dominion Day, or what is more commonly known now as Canada Day, is a federal holiday celebrating the union of three North American British colonies: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the Province of Canada (now Ontario and Quebec).

In 1867, this act freed these provinces from the self-governing dominion of Great Britain — hence, its previous name as “Dominion Day.” More than a century later, in 1982, the name changed to Canada Day to mark its full independence. Since then, the country has included six more provinces and three territories.

Similar to July 4 in the US, Canada Day is celebrated through flags flying high across the country, firework displays, concerts, barbecues, parades and patriotic activities. From the 70s to the 90s, federal messages emphasised on bilingualism (with French and English) and multiculturalism in official Canada Day publications. 

So how exactly is Canada Day celebrated and what are some interesting facts you should know behind this holiday?

Canada’s flag

As Canadian land was handed over to Britain after France lost much of it, it was agreed it needed its own flag so the British flag was on the Canadian flag on the upper left corner and a crest was added on the right side. 

Canada Day

Canada Day is similar, but not the same as July 4 in the US. Source: Cole Burston/Getty Images/AFP

Then it was decided that another flag was needed to properly represent the country’s self-governance. This search began in the 60s. When the country approached its 100th birthday, the new Canadian flag with the maple leaf was chosen. This was because the maple tree is common and the leaf was a good symbol because of its symmetry.

Canadian food

Tim Hortons — a fast food restaurant chain — is Canada’s pride and joy where many enjoy a classic Canadian Maple doughnut. Poutine is a typical dish that has cheese curds with fries and gravy. There are endless variations of this.

Beavertails, unlike its name suggests, are made out of dough that’s stretched out into the shape of a beavertail. It’s deep-fried and covered in sweet toppings like Nutella. Another typical Canadian food is maple syrup which Canadians put in everything: coffee, pancakes, smoothies, and the Québécois will traditionally pour it over snow so it cools and becomes a taffy-like candy (“tire sur la neige”).


Every year artists celebrate their pride in being Canadian with fireworks and shows. This year’s celebration will take the form of a live broadcast. The two-hour programme will take you on a journey through the provinces and territories featuring artists and artisans on the Canadian Heritage’s YouTube channel. 

So no one misses out on the fireworks, Tim Hortons is hosting a Canada Day Virtual Fireworks event using augmented reality and 3D technology. You can point your device at the sky and enjoy the explosions of lights from wherever you are.