Story Ideas

Summer’s coming: don’t miss these great Canadian outdoor parties.

Live music, dancing, Caribbean steel drums and great street food: just some of the ingredients that make Canada party central.

09 April 2014

Suggested tweet: Summertime means outdoor party time in Canada: don’t miss these urban spectaculars #explorecanada

Hot summers in Canada mean the fun moves outdoors, from street front to waterfront. Here are some urban parties you won’t want to miss.

Vancouver’s Car Free Festivals feature DJs, a roller disco, open-air feasts and random acts of artistry. Four of the city’s hottest neighbourhoods close down several city blocks to usher in parading drummers, roving performers, tasty street food (such as gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and fried octopus balls), artisanal crafts, kids zone and all-day dancing. Each community has a distinct family-friendly vibe with surprises on every corner.   

Enjoy a stylish summer fête, complete with live music, dancing and millions of partygoers at the Old Port of Montréal, QC. The city's oldest quarter offers a special brand of European urban party chic. Think waterfront dining, an outdoor cinema and a spa-sur-l'eau (boat spa). The Old Port is especially cool during the Festival International de Jazz and the party atmosphere continues for Divers/Cité, a showcase of modern dance, music and cinema in an LGBT-positive, everyone-welcome environment.

Sink your toes into white sand playing pick-up volleyball before an intimate, tingle-inducing waterfront concert at Echo Beach in Toronto, ON. The sunset views of the Toronto skyline are breathtaking. If exotic feather headdresses, calypso, masquerades and steel drums fire you up, don’t miss North America’s largest Caribbean parade at the Caribbean Carnival. Tip: make noise so the floats slow down and play for you. 

Canada Day in Canada’s capital city means barbecues, street hockey and a huge birthday party. Picture yourself swaying before a massive stage on Parliament Hill.  A world-famous Canadian band has the crowd—decked out in red and white—on its feet. Look up: the aerobatic Snowbirds team is performing a flyover, close to the speed of sound. Now join the sea of visitors streaming downtown for street food and more live performances. At nightfall, watch the massive fireworks display leave a glittering trail in the Ottawa sky. 

Canada’s happiest street turns positively rapturous during the six-day George Street Festival in St. Johns, NL. Leading up to the legendary Royal St. John’s Regatta, St. John’s unpacks its party hat for musical acts and dancing—day and night—on George Street, a two-block stretch of musical stages, pubs, patios and high-fiving fans. Pop into one of the pubs and pucker up for the “screech-in” ceremony to become an honourary Newfoundlander.  

Imagine if the whole world showed up in your neighbourhood. That’s the spirit behind Folklorama, Winnipeg’s signature summer event. Pick up your passport and go pavilion hopping around the city. Check out the indigenous Mardi Gras and Afro-Caribbean fire-limbo dancing. Try the Ukrainian honey pepper hot vodka and dine in one of the 40 pavilions, some of which also host late-night weekend parties.

Looking for more visual summer inspiration? Browse our Brand Canada Library for thousands of images and videos from all over Canada.

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