Communities in northeast re-establish larger Canada Day events

Plans are underway in various communities to hold larger Canada Day events on Friday.

July 1 events have either been virtual or on smaller scale over past 2 years during pandemic

Plans are underway in various northeastern Ontario communities to hold larger Canada Day events on Friday. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Communities have been making plans to bring back larger events to mark Canada Day.

Activities in 2021 were particularly subdued, as news broke of unmarked graves found across the country at former residential schools. But also, since 2020, the pandemic and public health measures have meant larger events either weren't appropriate or not allowed.

This is the first year since 2019 that communities can hold larger events on July 1.

Prior to the pandemic there had always been two separate events held in Greater Sudbury to mark Canada Day.

One was always held at Science North, and another at the Sudbury Community Arena hosted by the Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association.

The two started a partnership in 2020 to hold a virtual Canada Day celebration. That continued again in 2021.

"It's great that we're coming together and doing this together," said Ryan Land, director of education and northern programs at Science North.

"I mean that really is the theme of the day: celebrating that coming together and community and diversity," he added.

The two partners will hold just one outdoor event, on the grounds of the science centre, with cultural entertainment, food and craft vendors and Science North's Blue Coats holding demonstrations.

A street over a bridge which is lined with flags from different countries.
The Bridge of Nations has 92 flags representing the different cultural communities that make up Greater Sudbury. (Martha Dillman/CBC)

About a dozen cultural groups are on tap to perform, said Judy Cartman, the vice-chair of the Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association.

"We feel it's very important that all the different groups can show off who they are, what they are, and I think it's important for our whole community to understand each other and to live together," she said.

Cartman is a little disappointed that just four cultural food vendors came forward.

"We're absolutely thrilled to welcome people back with our community partners to Canada Day, and we can't wait to celebrate with people," Land said.

The day caps off in Greater Sudbury with fireworks at 10 p.m.

North Bay celebrates at waterfront

The City of North Bay is returning to Canada Day activities, mostly planned around the community's waterfront.

Bryan Kimber, the city's community development co-ordinator, said the day will start with a road race, followed by opening ceremonies at 12 p.m. Entertainment is planned throughout the afternoon.

The Canada Day festivities will cap off with fireworks at dusk.

Kimber understands not everyone is comfortable with larger crowds or ready to make it a festive celebration. 

"We know that, and we recognize that this day holds a different meaning for a lot of different people throughout the country," he said.

"We're just hoping that people come down and celebrate and enjoy a good day of fun, kids' activities and entertainment at our waterfront."

Timmins celebrates at Hollinger Park

This is the first year Tourism Timmins has teamed up with the Timmins Community Park Association (TCPA) to plan Canada Day events for the City of Timmins.

TCPA president Mark Rogers says they've got a family fun day planned at Hollinger Park.

"It's great to see things coming back to life. It's great to see people out in the park enjoying the way things are supposed to be," Rogers said.

"We're about family fun and fitness and getting families out to do stuff."

The TCPA also is responsible for the skating path at the park in the winter.

Rogers said he enjoys seeing families out celebrating Canada's birthday.

"In my opinion we do live in one of the best countries in the world," he said.

The Canada Day Family Fun Day runs from noon to 4pm in Hollinger Park, with a barbecue, a DJ and various family-friendly activities. 

The fireworks display from Rampant Fireworks will be visible from the shores of Porcupine Lake. 

Sault celebrates at Roberta Bondar Pavilion

CBC also reached out to the City of Sault Ste Marie.

A spokesperson said Canada Day festivities will return to the Roberta Bondar Park Tent Pavilion, with opening ceremonies at 2 p.m.

That will be followed by entertainment and attractions throughout the day, with food vendors and children's activities available and fireworks at dusk.


Angela Gemmill


Angela Gemmill is a CBC journalist who has covered news in Sudbury, Ont., for 16 years. Connect with her on Twitter @AngelaGemmill. Send story ideas to


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?