150 awesome ways to celebrate Canada 150

150 Awesome Ways to Celebrate Canada 150

Canada Day is just around the corner and this year, it’s big. We’re turning 150!

150 years may not seem like much, but we’re pretty stoked about it. In a century and a half, the wide open fields and dense forests of Canada have become home to a nation of immigrants who have contributed to the creation of an identity founded on diversity, perseverance, and kindness.

However, those who consider Canada a young country seem to forget that there were people here long before the Constitution Act was signed. As we celebrate this 150th year as a nation, it’s imperative we recognize and respect the contributions of Indigenous peoples to our culture and society and continue working to make amends with a group that was deeply wronged.

Keeping in mind that we are not perfect, our country is worthy of the excellent reputation it has earned around the globe. Let’s make 2017 a year to remember with a list of 150 awesomely Canadian ways to celebrate 150 years of Canada.

For those of you who have yet to visit my glorious country, I hope this list serves as inspiration to plan an epic trip to Canada. If you are familiar with our culture, take a day to celebrate with us, wherever you are in the world. And if you, like me, are lucky enough to call Canada home, consider this list a challenge: see how many you’ve done and what you have left to cross off!

150 awesome ways to celebrate Canada 150

  1. Eat poutine (vegan options available)
  2. Have maple taffy or do it yourself with a bottle of maple syrup and a handful of snow
  3. Drive one of the world’s most scenic routes, the Icefields Parkway 
  4. Listen to a Canadian playlist on your drive
  5. Canoe on Moraine Lake
  6. Hike the west coast trail
  7. Watch a hockey game featuring a Canadian team
  8. Play shinny on a frozen lake
  9. Going skiing/snowboarding in the Rockies
  10. Try bannock

Moraine Lake Banff

  1. Attend a powwow
  2. See a show at the oldest and largest Fringe Festival in North America
  3. Have a backyard fire
  4. Enjoy Canadian craft beer around the fire
  5. Get your country music fix at BVJ, Craven or both
  6. Search for the Ogopogo, the monster of Okanagan Lake in BC
  7. Inform yourself about the good, the bad, and the ugly of Canadian history
  8. Head up north for the clearest view of the northern lights
  9. Go polar bear spotting in Churchill, MB
  10. Catch a glimpse of our greatest sea creatures on a whale watching tour in BC

whale watching off the coast of British Columbia

  1. Surf in Tofino
  2. Stay at Chateau Louise, or at least have coffee there and enjoy the view
  3. Walk across the bubbles at Abraham Lake.
  4. Do the edgewalk on the CN tower
  5. Walk on a glacier in the Icefields Parkway
  6. Have sushi in Vancouver. How does 24 pieces for $8 sound?
  7. Visit Vancouver’s Asian night market
  8. Have a double-double and timbits at Tim’s
  9. Visit Niagara Falls (the Canadian side, of course)
  10. Take a ride on the Maiden of the Mist

Niagara Falls viewed from the Canadian side

  1. Check out the Village Historique Acadien in New Brunswick
  2. Take the polar plunge
  3. Stay at the ice hotel in Quebec
  4. Escape the city lights and go stargazing at the world’s second-largest dark sky preserve in Jasper, AB. A whole 7000 square miles of pitch-black sky.
  5. Skate on the Rideau Canal
  6. Warm up with hot chocolate and a beaver tail
  7. Take a tour of Canadian Parliament
  8. Take a selfie with Justin Trudeau
  9. Go snowshoeing
  10. Go dogsledding

Parliament Hill in Canada

  1. Eat ALL the Nanaimo bars
  2. Rent a houseboat in the Shuswap
  3. Snorkel with salmon in the Campbell River
  4. Check out the bison at Elk Island National Park
  5. Visit the home of Anne of Green Gables in Cavendish, PEI
  6. Spend a weekend in Muskoka Cottage Country
  7. Buy a two-four, two-six, or mickey to celebrate Canada Day
  8. Participate in Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill
  9. Buy 100% real Canadian maple syrup and find as many uses as possible for it
  10. Watch the goose migration

Muskoka Cottage Country

  1. Walk around the only walled city in North America north of Mexico
  2. Go axe throwing
  3. Visit the human rights museum in Winnipeg
  4. Climb the Dorset Tower in Dorset, ON
  5. Hang out in the hot springs in Harrison, BC
  6. Spend the night in a haunted jail cell in the nation’s capital
  7. See a flick at the Toronto International Film Festival
  8. Spend the day at the Toronto Islands. Learn the history, go on the rides, and soak up the sun on the beach!
  9. Take a cross-country trip by train
  10. Go to a maple syrup farm

take a train across Canada

  1. Take a tour of the vineyards in BC
  2. Have a Timbit eating contest
  3. Take in amazing views of the river valley as you enjoy an eclectic group of artists at Edmonton Folk Fest
  4. Float the river channel in Penticton, BC
  5. Stay in the Free Spirit Spheres on Vancouver Island
  6. Attend the Long John Jamboree in Yellowknife, NWT
  7. Sleep under the northern lights
  8. Drive Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia
  9. Learn from the best at the Hornby Island Blues Workshop
  10. Visit the Yukon Wildlife Preserve

Watch aurora borealis

  1. Drink from a shotski
  2. Go to the Hockey Hall of Fame
  3. Always hold the door open for the person behind you
  4. Say “please” and “thank you” profusely
  5. Apologize for everything, even if it’s not your fault
  6. Living abroad? Have a Canada-themed party complete with trivia. See: bunnyhug, chinook, loonie, Don Cherry
  7. Admire wildlife from a distance and don’t even think about feeding them
  8. Take the teahouse hikes in Lake Louise, AB
  9. Hike Johnston Canyon in Banff, AB
  10. Unwind from a long day of hiking or skiing in a jacuzzi overlooking the mountains

moose in a lake

  1. Visit the Klondike National Historic Site in Dawson City, YT
  2. Re-read your favourite Robert Munsch books and The Hockey Sweater
  3. Discover where diamonds are mined in the Northwest Territories
  4. Float on the Dead Sea of Saskatchewan, Little Manitou Lake
  5. Watch deer graze as you enjoy dinner at historical landmark Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant in Calgary, AB
  6. Watch the world’s highest tides and find out why the Bay of Fundy fills and empties a billion tonnes of water every tide cycle
  7. Visit Miscou Island, NB in fall when the peat bog blooms a brilliant scarlet red
  8. Get informed about important Canadian issues with Global News’ 16×9 documentaries
  9. Learn Canada’s unofficial national anthem (RIP Stompin Tom)
  10. Watch Degrassi, Dawson’s Creek, and Red Green re-runs.


Baby Drake sees right through you.

  1. Try your hand at Quidditch or cool off with a pint of butterbeer at Harry Potter and the Transfigured Town in Goderich, ON.
  2. Canadians in Europe can pay their respects to those who fought for their country in the First World War at the Vimy Ridge Memorial in France.
  3. Nothing says student life in Canada like cooking up a big ol’ pot of KD. Or 1.7 million pots’ worth.
  4. Go out for a rip.
  5. Be in two places at once as you ski the Continental Divide at Sunshine Village.
  6. Silence the haters who laugh at our “Monopoly money” when you whip out the latest in great Canadian minting: the glow in the dark toonie.
  7. Stuff your face with poutine râpée. Don’t be fooled – this Acadian dish has no relation to the cheese curds and gravy goodness you’re used to.  
  8. …And while we’re discussing Acadian food, poor man’s pudding is (in the words of an Acadian) “the best maple dessert you’ll ever be able to make for under $4.”
  9. Learn to two-step in one of many country bars in Alberta, the Texas of Canada.
  10. Check your home high and low for North American House Hippo nests.

 

  1. Put your fresh two-stepping skills to the test at the Calgary Stampede.
  2. Watch Cirque du Soleil where it all began: Montreal, QC.
  3. Check out a snake breeding pit in Manitoba.
  4. Enjoy Canada’s contribution to the cocktail world: the much loved and equally hated Caesar
  5. Grab a 2-4 and your buds and try out one of these drinking games. Also this one. Beersby, anyone?
  6. Get up to speed on iconic Canadian events with the Heritage Minutes series.
  7. Snow blocking your path? Do as the Newfies do and rip through the streets on your Skidoo.
  8. Pay homage to a Canadian hero by participating in one of many Terry Fox Runs across the country.
  9. Become a paleontologist for day at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, AB.  
  10. While in Drumheller, don’t miss the hoodoos. Due to erosion, you can’t walk on the formations themselves anymore, but it’s still worth a visit.

hoodoo drumheller

  1. Go Saskatoon berry picking… in Alberta.
  2. Canada is a hiker’s paradise. Here are 60 awesome ones to get you started.
  3. Experience what life was like for western Canadian settlers in the country’s largest living history museum, Fort Edmonton Park.
  4. Learn about and celebrate Indigenous culture at the Haida Heritage Centre in BC.
  5. Find out how hundreds of Blackfoot from different tribes hunted for thousands of years at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  6. Watch father of communications and media studies Marshall McLuhan give his famous “the medium is the message” lecture and change the way we think about media.
  7. Wonder why on earth eastern Canadians drink their milk from a bag.
  8. Enjoy one of many delightfully Canadian snacks such as Coffee Crisp, Crispy Crunch, ketchup chips, and all dressed chips.
  9. Show off your pride and keep mildly warm in the winter months with a pair of red Olympic mittens sold exclusively at The Bay.
  10. No holiday tradition might be more patriotic than the Shaw fire log, now 30 years strong. Who does that fire-stoking hand belong to? It’s a great Canadian mystery. 

hiking in Banff, AB

  1. Stress-eat an entire box of maple leaf creme cookies.
  2. Take one of many helicopter tours to appreciate the best of the prairies, mountains, lakes, and oceans.
  3. Get a taste of Canadian-made ice wine
  4. Learn about the history of mountaineering at the Banff Park Museum
  5. Indulge in the best of Canadian cuisine at the top 100 restaurants in the country.
  6. Experience the midnight sun in Inuvik, NU
  7. No trip to Banff is complete without a stop at The Fudgery.
  8. Catch the Mounties in all their scarlet glory at the RCMP Academy parade in Regina, SK or at any Canada Day parade.
  9. Take a wander through Old Montreal, stopping at Canada’s own Notre-Dame Basilica.
  10. Keep calm and carry on mowing.

Canadian man mowing lawn in tornado

  1. Come together as a country when the the Jays or Raptors are playing.
  2. Appreciate the influence of hockey on our culture (i.e. liquor laws changing to accommodate a 5 a.m. Olympic hockey game)
  3. At a time when many countries are closing their borders, Canada’s remain open. Find out how immigrants built this country at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax, NS.
  4. Help new Canadians get their feet under them by volunteering in your community.
  5. Head to Iceberg Alley in Newfoundland to catch a glimpse of some major ‘bergs.
  6. Visit one of Atlantic Canada’s gorgeous fishing villages.
  7. Show Canada’s official summer sport some love.
  8. Adopt a new best Canadian friend from your local animal shelter, like a goofy Labrador Retriever or a burly Newfie.
  9. Unless you are an Indigenous Canadian, find out where your ancestors are from. Bonus points if you visit their country!
  10. Host a Grey Cup party

iceberg floating

  1. Dig out your Canadian Tire money and treat yourself to a new pair of skates. On sale for three million dollars.
  2. Have a marathon of Canadian-directed movies like Eastern Promises (David Cronenberg), Water (Deepa Mehta), and Titanic (James Cameron).
  3. Learn “O Canada!” in English and French.
  4. Make sure your plaid shirt collection is up to standard. I’ll take one in every colour, please.
  5. Convince your international friends we ride moose to school and live in igloos. Don’t skimp out on the ehs and aboots.  
  6. Celebrate our diversity and connect with your neighbours by learning a new language. Torontonians speak about 200 of them and 45% don’t have English or French as a mother tongue.
  7. Don’t take for granted the strength of the Canadian passport – travel to 155 countries visa-free!
  8. Take a walk (read: hike) across the Confederation Bridge. At 12.9 kilometers, it’s the longest in the world, connecting PEI and New Brunswick.
  9. Sail the Northwest Passage, because who knew you could even do this and does narwhal spotting not sound like the coolest experience ever?!
  10. And finally, take a moment to truly appreciate the unmatched beauty of this country, the generosity of its people, and the refuge it provides in a world that often makes us wonder what has become of humanity. Acknowledge its flaws and do your part to address them.

Whew! That took some major brainstorming, but there you have it! No excuse now to not enjoy every freedom that this big, beautiful country has to offer.

We may be a young country with few inhabitants, yet we are fiercely proud of the identity we have created. We have a long way to go in ensuring equality for all beings, but every day we strive for improvement.

I feel the need to count my blessings every time I think of whom and where I would be today if my family hadn’t immigrated to Canada. It breaks my heart to think that millions of children will never have the opportunity to grow up in a safe, wealthy, free country as I did.

I am Canadian through and through. As much as I identify with Serbian and Spanish culture, Canada will always be home and I will never, ever forget how lucky am I to say that.

So, tell me, how will you be spending Canada Day this year? How many of these items have you crossed off your list? Leave me a comment below and don’t forget to pin, tweet, and share this post if you enjoyed it!

 

11 Comments

  1. Reply

    Nofar Gluzman

    June 24, 2017

    So cool to see that I’ve managed to cross a few of these off, will definitely need to work on the rest!

    • Reply

      Ivana

      June 25, 2017

      That’s great! I have a ton left to cross off and I live here, so you’re doing well :)

  2. Reply

    lostinthiswholeworld17

    June 24, 2017

    Arghhh so many things to do! I went to Canada when I was 5 but couldn’t afford to go this year for 150th so am going next year instead. Am so excited to go to Vancouver, Banff, Whistler & Jasper. I’ll try and tick off at least a few of these lol – especially vegan poutine! Though I have been axe throwing in London so technically, that’s done ;)

    • Reply

      Ivana

      June 25, 2017

      Your trip for 2018 sounds awesome! I think you’ll absolutely love each of those places, although I have yet to go to Whistler myself. I don’t know when you’re going to Banff, but I think you’ll find Jasper to be a lot quieter and less crowded. I love them both and can’t really pick a favourite!

      • Reply

        lostinthiswholeworld17

        June 25, 2017

        It’s Trek America trip next September.To be fair all the National Parks look absolutely stunning so I can’t wait! Also I’ve wanted to go to Vancouver for forever.

        • Reply

          Ivana

          June 26, 2017

          Yay, I’m excited that you’re going to get a chance to see Canada! The national parks are all fantastic, but there’s something special about the lakes in Banff and Jasper National Park. Enjoy your trip!

  3. Reply

    Lindsay Shapka | The Anthrotorian Travel Blog

    June 25, 2017

    This is an amazing list! I am Canadian too and the more I travel the more I realize how lucky I am to call this country home! I would add “Try fish and chips in Peggy’s Cove” to the list. One of my fave spots on the East Coast!

    • Reply

      Ivana

      June 25, 2017

      Thank you so much, Lindsay! I’m glad you can relate. Oh, those must be super tasty! I’m vegetarian though, so I wouldn’t eat them myself, but I’ll have my boyfriend give them a try when we go out east ;)

  4. Reply

    RoarLoud

    June 25, 2017

    I love Canada! Great food, friendly people and Montreal and Quebec are a quick drive for us! Ready to go see some moose in the more quiet spots in Canada! Thanks for all the ideas!

    • Reply

      Ivana

      June 25, 2017

      I’m thrilled to hear that your experience in Canada was so positive! I take it you live in New England, then? I hope you get to see a moose or two! I’ve only seen a few in my 20-some years living here.

  5. Reply

    Claudi

    July 15, 2017

    Hi Ivana, thank you for this amazing post, Unfortunately I haven´t been to Canada yet but with your post you were encouraging me even more to finally visit your beautiful country,

Leave a Reply

RELATED POSTS

Privacy Policy