Victoria Day Celebrations Sweep Across Canada

Table of contents


    henever spring finally blooms across Canada, a sense of anticipation fills the air. After a long hard winter, the May long weekend is typically seen as a tipping point where summer is mercifully visible on the horizon. While some Canadians still need to remember the origins of Victoria Day, they are eager to celebrate it nonetheless. After all, who doesn’t love a national party?

    The holiday is always recognized on a Monday, so this year it falls on May 20, 2024. From coast to coast, communities come alive with a myriad of festivities, each as unique as the regions they inhabit. Join ABM College on a journey to explore the significance of Victoria Day and the diverse contemporary ways it is celebrated across this vast and vibrant nation.

    The History of Victoria Day 

    Victoria Day is observed on the Monday preceding May 25th and is a time-honoured tradition deeply rooted in Canadian history. Originally established to commemorate the birthday of Queen Victoria, who reigned over the British Empire from 1837 to 1901. The holiday has since evolved into a celebration of Canadian national unity and pride. Canadians also use this holiday to commemorate the veterans who have served their country. It is also celebrated with parades, firework displays, and other festivities. 

    Queen Victoria's influence on Canada was profound despite being a British monarch. Most notably, she presided over the country's transition from colonial status to Confederation in 1867. In recognition of her contributions and the enduring ties between Canada and the British Crown, Victoria Day was officially designated a public holiday in 1845. 

    The Celebration of Victoria Day

    Victoria Day gathering around the barbeque with lots of food for everyone to enjoy
    Image by Freepik

    Today, Victoria Day serves as an opportunity for Canadians to revel in the splendor of spring and embrace the spirit of community. Across the country, cities and towns burst into life with a dazzling array of festivities, from vibrant parades to spectacular fireworks displays. Picnics, barbecues, and outdoor concerts abound, as friends and families gather to enjoy the company of loved ones and bask in the long-anticipated warmth (weather permitting… ABM College is not responsible for any late-season blizzards…). Museums, parks, and campgrounds also typically choose this weekend to reopen for their summer season. 

    In addition to its festive atmosphere, Victoria Day also holds symbolic significance for many Canadians. It serves as a reminder of the country's rich cultural tapestry and the enduring values of democracy, diversity, and inclusivity. As Canadians come together to celebrate this treasured holiday, it is important to reflect on the shared heritage that unites them and embrace the diversity that makes them unique.

    Calgary, Alberta

    While best known for Stampede, there are other attractions to enjoy around the city all summer, including two that hold their openings over Victoria Day weekend. The first is Heritage Park Historical Village, a fascinating glimpse into Alberta’s past with over 200 exhibits and attractions spread across 127 acres of lush parkland. The second is a more contemporary thrill ride – Calaway Park, western Canada’s largest outdoor amusement park featuring 32 family-friendly rides.

    Heritage Park Opening Weekend

    • Location: Heritage Park, 1900 Heritage Dr SW
    • Start Date: May 18, 2024
    • End Date: May 20, 2024
    • Admission: $22.95 - $34.95
    • Website:

    Calaway Park Opening Weekend

    • Location: Calaway Park, Range Road 33
    • Start Date: May 18, 2024
    • End Date: May 20, 2024
    • Admission: $35.95 - $51.95
    • Website:

    Toronto, Ontario

    Skyline with lots of colorful fireworks celebrating Victoria Day
    Image by Freepik

    Spectacularly colorful fireworks displays are a common sight on Victoria Day. Over a dozen major displays can be experienced across Ontario all weekend. You can search for the closest local venue to learn more. Within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) the best bet for awe-inspiring sky art would be Ashbridges Bay Park.

    Ashbridges Bay Park Victoria Day Fireworks

    • Location: Ashbridges Bay Park, Lake Shore Boulevard East
    • Start Date: May 22, 2024
    • End Date: May 22, 2024
    • Admission: Free
    • Website:

    Winnipeg, Manitoba

    The annual Family Fun Spring Fair can be enjoyed every weekend in May, but it does make for a great Victoria Day outing. Unlimited rides, midway games, prizes, and a variety of tasty carnival treats await for the whole family to enjoy.

    Family Fun Spring Fair

    • Location: Assiniboia Downs, 3975 Portage Avenue
    • Start Date: May 3, 2024
    • End Date: May 26, 2024
    • Admission: $25
    • Website:

    Regina, Saskatchewan

    A young woman tends to the bunny rabbits at a petting zoo.
    Image by Freepik

    Regina will be hosting a family-friendly event full of activities for all ages. Attractions include a car show, petting zoo, scavenger hunt, face painting, and lot of delicious cookies. It only runs from 1 pm to 4 pm, so get there early to experience it all!

    Victoria Day Celebration

    Halifax, Nova Scotia

    In addition to the opening of numerous provincial parks, the Hatfield Farm just outside Halifax will be hosting a “Family Round Up”. Highlights include a wagon or sleigh ride to/from Fort Clayton, a Rubber Rodeo, a playground, zip lines, and plenty of hot dogs and refreshments.

    Family Round-Up

    • Location: Hatfield Farm, 1840 Hammonds Plains Rd, Hammonds Plains
    • Start Date: May 18, 2024
    • End Date: May 19, 2024
    • Admission: $23.99
    • Website:


    Happy Victoria Day banner with lots of Canadian symbolism
    Image by Freepik

    As the final embers of fireworks fade into the night sky and the echoes of laughter from bustling festivities begin to quiet, Victoria Day 2024 will leave behind a tapestry of memories woven across the Canadian landscape. From the historic streets of Calgary's Heritage Park to the vibrant energy of Toronto's Ashbridges Bay Park, and from the family fun fairgrounds of Winnipeg to the tranquil countryside near Halifax. From coast to coast, Canada will celebrate this beloved holiday with a spirit of camaraderie and joy.

    Beyond the picnics and parades, Victoria Day serves as a poignant reminder of the shared heritage that unites us as Canadians. It's a time to reflect on the sacrifices of those who came before us and to celebrate the values of democracy, diversity, and inclusivity that define our nation. One of the things that makes Canada so uniquely great is the diverse heritage of its populace. Let us cherish the moments shared and traditions honored, knowing that the spirit of this holiday will continue to unite generations of Canadians to come. 

    From all of us at ABM College, have a very happy Victoria Day weekend!

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