Canada Day 2022: Here’s what you need to know about celebrating Canada’s birthday in Toronto

After two years of mostly virtual Canada Day celebrations, the in-person festivities are back in the Greater Toronto Area.

From fireworks to parades and concerts, there should be plenty of options for those looking to celebrate Canada’s 155th birthday.

And if you’re heading to the cottage for a long weekend, you can look forward to some of the lowest gas prices since May.

Here’s what you need to know.

Weather

It will be sweltering hot as Environment Canada predicts a daytime maximum temperature of 30°C, although the humidex will make it feel like 35. The weather bureau says Toronto should get a mix of sun and cloud for most of Canada Day; † however, there is a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms in the evening. it’s unclear if this will affect the Canada Day fireworks.

What is open and closed?

Most tourist attractions will be open, as will several shopping centers, including the Eaton Center. But the St. Lawrence Market will be closed, along with the vast majority of supermarkets. Here’s the full list.

Road closures

Several road closures will be in place to allow for Canada Day events, including a portion of Yonge Street near Mel Lastman Square. Due to the East York Canada Day Parade, Cosburn Avenue will also be blocked from Greenwood to Woodbine Avenues on Friday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Here is the full list of closures.

Firework

Dozens of fireworks shows are planned in the GTA. In Toronto, the ever-popular fireworks display at Ashbridges Bay Park, near Woodbine Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard, kicks off at 10 p.m. Friday. The city has also hosted fireworks displays in front of North York’s Downsview Park and Mel Lastman Square. Fireworks at Stan Wadlow Park have been rescheduled for Saturday, July 2, and fireworks at Milliken Park have been canceled. All fireworks shows start at 10pm

Here’s a list of where to find the fireworks in your neck of the woods.

Meanwhile, police pledge to have additional resources ahead of fireworks displays in the city, to prevent a repeat of the violence that unfolded at Woodbine Beach over the long Victoria Day weekend.

The city will also place a number of cameras at parks and have additional enforcers on hand.

“I can tell you that the police have learned from that kind of experience,” Mayor John Tory said of the violence over the Victoria Day weekend during an interview with CP24 this week. “They will operationalize their own plan to ensure people are kept safe. I think the chef certainly has my full support to make sure that anyone involved in that kind of act is brought to justice and dealt with because it’s just not acceptable in a city like this or anywhere.

Events

The annual Canada Day Parade in East York begins Friday at 10:30 a.m. in Dieppe Park, then heads east along Cosburn Avenue to Woodbine Avenue and ends at Stan Wadlow Park. The party then continues in the park from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., culminating in a fireworks display.

The city’s main Canada Day celebrations are scheduled for both Mel Lastman Square in North York and Thompson Memorial Park in Scarborough. The festivities in Mel Lastman Square run from 2pm to 10pm and include live music, dance performances, family-friendly activities, and food vendors. The celebration at Thomson Memorial Park lasts from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and activities include a pancake breakfast, a soundstage with a DJ, bouncy castles, and face painting. Here are all the details.

Free things to do

Fort York Historic Site and Scarborough Museum are open on Canada Day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is free following the city’s decision to switch to a free model for all 10 historical museums in May.

Riverdale Farm is open from 9am to 5pm, while the High Park Zoo is open from 9am to 7pm. Roads in High Park will be closed to vehicular traffic throughout Canada Day weekend.

The city’s StrollTO program offers free self-guided walking trails in more than 140 neighborhoods across the city. The city says each route will highlight points of interest that are “culturally and historically significant with a spotlight on indigenous placemaking and groups earning shares.” The routes can be consulted via this link.

All of the city’s 55 outdoor pools officially began their summer program on Thursday and will go into operation on Canada Day. There is also lifeguard supervision on the town’s beaches from 10:30 am to 7:30 pm

Public transport

The TTC operates on a Canada Day holiday schedule, while GO Transit sticks to its Saturday schedule. However, the TTC will extend service on the 22 Coxwell, 92 Woodbine South and 501 Queen routes to accommodate those traveling to and from Ashbridges Bay Park for the Canada Day fireworks display. On Friday mornings, commuters in the east should know that buses 70 O’Connor, 87 Cosburn, 91 Woodbine and 93 Parkview Hills will divert between 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. for the East York Canada Day Parade.

Covid-19 vaccines

Toronto Public Health will host several pop-up vaccine clinics on Canada Day for those who are not fully up to date on their vaccinations.

The locations are as follows:

  • High Park Canada Day Festival, 1873 Bloor St. W. (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

  • East York Canada Day Festival at Stan Wadlow Park, 373 Cedarvale Ave. (11:00 to 17:00)

  • Canada Day Celebrations at Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge St. (2:00 pm to 7:00 pm)

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