Things to do in Ottawa for Canada Day

Things to do in Ottawa for Canada Day

The nation’s capital is definitely the place to be on Canada Day. Ottawa hosts the best party and draws the biggest crowds to celebrate our nation’s birthday. If you’re looking for some fun things to do to the day our great nation turns 146, there is no shortage of events no matter your tastes.

Here are some of our favourites:

###1. Canada Day at the National Arts Centre

The NAC hosts free concerts and performances from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. annually to celebrate Canada Day. Performers include Central Band of the Canadian Forces, Loyal Kigabiro: Burundian Sacred Drums, Mike Ford sings in memory of 1812, concerts by Servantes and Unisong, Sarah Slean with the NAC Orchestra, Alain Trudel (conductor) and Unisong. Activities include a Canada Day BBQ ($), Kids’ Corner with crafts, face painting and entertainment for kids, a Canada Day Brunch and Table d’Hôte ($), and hip hop dance lessons with Culture Shock.

10 am to 10 pm

National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON

For event times and additional information, visit:

###2. CBC Canada Day Songwriters’ Circle

The Canadian Broadcast Corporation in collaboration with the Cultural Capitals of Canada program, Canadian Heritage presents CBC Canada Day Songwriters' Circle, a free concert at Major’s Hill Park and broadcast live on CBC Radio 1 with performances by Mo Kenney (N.S.), Kae Sun (Ont.), Amylie (Que.) and Kytami (B.C.).

Free, 12 p.m.

Major’s Hill Park, 1 Rideau Street behind the Chateau Laurier, Ottawa, ON

###3. Parliament Hill Events

There is non-stop action on Parliament Hill every Canada Day. The day kicks off with official ceremonies that every Canadian should experience at least once in their lifetime. Be sure to get there early if you want to get close to the action.

Changing of the Guard

Enjoy the pageantry of marching music and military drills, performed by the Governor General’s Foot Guards on the East Lawn at 9 a.m.

Flag Raising Ceremony

It’s always an emotional scene as the national anthem is performed by the band Trent Severn on the East Lawn at 9:30 a.m.

Carillon Concert

A musical experience like no other takes place at 10 a.m. as the 53-bell carillon of the Peace Tower chime a concert by the Dominion Carillonneur, Dr. Andrea McCrady.