There are certain things that set us Canadians apart from the rest of the world. Sometimes, it’s our totally lax attitude towards the odd cracked rib: “Oh, I’ll just pop by the clinic,” we’ll say casually like we forgot to buy toilet paper. Americans want to believe that the concept of Fight Club was born in the seedy underground of LA, but only in Canada are “Break A Leg Contests” a real thing, thanks to our free healthcare. “After-party’s in the emergency waiting room!” we laugh nonchalantly when challenging our buds to jump with all their might on our kneecaps. Oh healthcare! Some people think it’s our nationwide love of hockey that brings Canadians together, but what they don’t realize is that our love of hockey is merely just another manifestation of our total lack of concern for hurting ourselves. In honour of our great nation and its socialized healthcare, we are heading out to party hard for Canada Day. From hip-hop karaoke to rib-eating hoedowns, Canada Day 2013 in Toronto has a little somethin’ for every Canadian. We’ll see you in the emergency room for the after-party.
Hip-Hop Karaoke Canada Day at Harbourfront Centre
It’s hard to even imagine a Canada without our extensive hip-hop history. Like the railroad, our love of the Queen and Tim Hortons, hip-hop is something this country was practically built on. That’s why it’s about time there was a Hip-Hop Karaoke Canada Day, and we have to give it to the Harbourfront Centre for initiating what’s clearly going to be the only way to celebrate Canada in years to come. Just like our healthcare, this show is free, so head down to check it out between 3pm to 4:30pm. Expect multiple tributes to the greatest rapper of all time: Snow…. and he’s Canadian!
Brewer’s Backyard: The Capital Mashup
What do you get when you put Toronto and Ottawa together in a blender, ferment it until it’s capable of mildly poisoning a man, and serve it ice cold? No, you don’t get Stephen Harper… but close! The answer we’re going for is Brewer’s Backyard: The Capital Mashup. The Brewer’s Backyard is back again this Canada Day hosting a mashup event that’s all about “collaboration beers” by Toronto and Ottawa brewing companies working together in semi-inebriated harmony. Collab beers to look forward to include Great Lakes & Cassel, Amsterdam & Broadhead, and Indie Alehouse & Beyond the Pale. Lightweights, fear not: there will be food from Kanga Meat Pies and Sweet Sammies at the event. Admission is free, but you’ll have to pay for your own food and drinks.
Trinity-Spadina Canada Day Community BBQ with Olivia & Rosario
Put your far-left foot in and shake it all about with the NDP on Canada Day! MP Olivia Chow and MPP Rosario Marchese are hostin’ a BBQ in Trinity Bellwoods to toast our nation with free veggie and meat dogs, custard tarts, live entertainment, crafts, raffles and a dog show contest. An NDP dog show? We wouldn’t miss it for the world! Expect rescue dogs to sweep and purebreds to finish last!
Canada Day Celebration in High Park
Who will have the more bada*s sorta-kinda political park party, Olivia Chow or Peggy Nash? Nash Master P is throwing down hard in her ‘hood with the Canada Day Celebration in High Park. There will be tons of activities for the kids as well as drinks and stuff to “Nash” on just to tempt you away from “Chowing” down in Bellwoods. Did we mention that Official Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair will be there? It’s going to be the Canada Day version of Biggie versus Tupaq minus the violence because that’s not the Canadian way, homies. The Canadian way is hot dog eating contests. Bring it!
Canada Day at Queen’s Park
Don’t even try to show up at Queen’s Park on Canada Day at 12:05pm. Angelica Di Castro is belting out “O Canada” at 12:02pm on the dot, but don’t worry, there will be a 21-gun salute by the Toronto Regiment right before to let you know that you’re running late. The rest of afternoon in the park will include an aboriginal dance show, live French Canadian music and shows for the kids, too. For extra amusement, we recommend lying to your young’uns first and telling them their citizenship is being tested by the Ontario Legislature, just to see if they deserve to be Canadian. Fun!
Multicultural Canada Day at Yonge-Dundas Square
America can have its melting pot. The best part about being Canadian, besides healthcare, gun control and ketchup chips, is that we celebrate our different cultures. Head over to Yonge-Dundas Square for Multicultural Canada Day from 12pm to 9pm for food vendors, dance shows and arts and crafts from all backgrounds. Where else are you going to get that kind of diversity in the same place, the Eaton Centre food court? All right, maybe, but at least this is outside.
Sure, Canada is celebrating its 146th birthday this year, but did you know that it’s also the 14th anniversary of Toronto Ribfest? That’s why it’s only right that we make our way out to Centennial Park to scarf down a minimum of 14 ribs, which is obviously the new baker’s dozen… a pig farmer’s dozen maybe? How many ribs are on a pig, anyway? Even the less carnivorous will have fun at Ribfest thanks to carnival rides, live music, midway games, a climbing wall and pony rides… all before the fireworks at dusk.
Mel Lastman Square
We could tell you all about the daytime activities at Mel Lastman Square, but all you really need to know is that this year’s fireworks at Mel’s will be choreographed to a soundtrack made up entirely of Canadian songs. We been trying to get the insider deets from this North York hoedown for months, but they’re keeping it as tight-lipped as the Spice Girls’ reunion at the Olympics. Will Avril and Chad make the cut, or will it be more Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire? All we know is, we’re putting our money right where it belongs: on Snow.
For more Canada Day activities, check out our guide to Canada Day Fireworks in Toronto: Where to Watch Canada Day Fireworks in Toronto.