For many Canadians, the Victoria Day weekend marks the unofficial start – and celebration – of summer. The day was meant to commemorate Queen Victoria but given the gloom of winter in Canada, it’s understandable that some things got lost in translation. It’s a celebration either way and there are a lot of ways to go about celebrating.
Whether you’re looking for family activities or a night out in the city, with beer, festivals, cruises, art shows, parties and fireworks, you can be sure there’s something for everyone. Here are the ten Victoria Day events to be at in Toronto and the GTA.
Canada’s Wonderland Fireworks
Monday, May 20: 10:00pm
You can bet there will be fireworks popping off all over the place. In Vaughan, Canada’s Wonderland fireworks show is custom-designed with an original soundtrack and more than 6000 explosions from atop the theme park’s iconic Wonder Mountain. Celebrate Her Majesty – and the summer – in a firework wonderland.
Spring Beerfest TO
Sunday, May 19: 12:00pm – 7:00pm
Can’t make it to the cottage but really want to go? Downtown at Garrison Common, the Spring Beerfest is where you can enjoy some good beer, eat lots of food, spend time with your friends and do fun stuff all with a cottage vibe! Play a little Bocce, test your inner marksman with Archery Darts and do things big – literally – with Giant Chess, Jenga, Beer Pong and Connect 4.
Sunday, May 19: 2:00pm – 11:00pm
Electric Island’s season opener returns to Hanlan’s Point just in time for Victoria Day weekend. The concert + picnic is the first in a series of five; a pass for the first valid for all the rest. This event’s line-up is a big one: Dubfire, Âme, Bedouin, DJ Minx and Jonathan Rosa to name a few. There’s going to be electricity in the air at Hanlan’s Point.
Sunday, May 19: 10:30am
This Victoria Day, Soca ReggaeLution returns to The Vue at 195 Galaxy Blvd, Etobicoke. An indoor and outdoor event featuring music by King Addies, King Turbo, Outcast Sound, Dr Jay De Soca Prince, Crown Price and Marxman; lose yourself in the sounds of the largest Soca and Reggae extravaganza.
Victoria Day Celebration Sizzler
Monday, May 20: 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Another gem in Etobicoke. Treat the whole family to some fun at Christ Church St. James Anglican Church. It’s a community barbeque featuring games, face-painting, a bouncy castle, street theatre, live music and so much more.
Victoria Day Booze Cruise & Fireworks
Monday, May 20: 6:00pm – 10:30pm
Pioneer Cruises has organized booze, a cruise, and views at The Toronto Harbour. Sail Lake Ontario with drinks, a bar, great entertainment and a lit up dance floor onboard; take in the firework display uninterrupted, from your secluded vantage point. There’s also paid parking available at the dock location. All in all, everything you need for a great night.
Saturday, May 18 – Monday, May 20: 11:00am – 6:00pm
Bring the family to the Historic Distillery District and enjoy a curated selection of 80 artists from across Ontario, Quebec and wider Canada. Find paintings, photography, sculptures, pottery, glass art, jewelry and designer clothing set against a backdrop of live music. Children can even drop into the Artfest Kids pavilion for a free art workshop.
Ashbridges Bay Park Fireworks
Monday, May 20: 9:45pm
Let’s finish with fireworks. What better way to cap off a rare, long weekend in the sun than by watching a dazzling 14-minute display of 2000 sparkling, glittering, exploding and twinkling pyrotechnics over the Lake Ontario sky at Ashbridges Bay Park. Hosted by the City of Toronto, the event is a must-see.
With so much to do and so little time, if you plan your days right, you just might be able to pack in enough to make this Victoria Day weekend one to remember!