How to Celebrate Canada’s Birthday in Waterloo Region

Canada turns 151 years old on Sunday, July 1, 2018! Canadian Confederation took place in 1867, and Canadians will be celebrating the country’s birthday everywhere this long weekend. Here’s how you can celebrate (for free) in Waterloo Region!

Students at a past UWaterloo Canada Day celebration.

For the 34th year in a row, the University of Waterloo itself is hosting a gigantic Canada Day celebration at Columbia Lake Fields on July 1. The event will feature food and drinks, activities, performances, and fireworks. I spoke to two #UWCanadaDay student volunteers regarding the celebration, and they shared their excitement with me.

Tabinda Ahmad (Faculty of Arts) explained, “The reason why I chose to volunteer for the UWaterloo Canada Day celebration is because it is an event where students and faculty can all come together and celebrate their pride for the country in which they live! I am proud to be a part of an event where Canadian pride and identity can be celebrated!”

Akshar Goyal (Faculty of Arts) went a step further and took on an executive role in the celebration. Originally from India, he told me that volunteering is his way of expressing his gratitude for the respect and the opportunities that the people of Canada have given him. Having already volunteered for Equithon, March Break Open House, You @ Waterloo Day, and many other events, he appreciates how fun volunteering is and the fact that it allows him to learn and meet new people. He wanted to make an even bigger impact in his next volunteer position, so an executive role in the Canada Day celebration was a perfect fit.

What specifically excites Akshar about the celebration? “I have never witnessed a Canada Day celebration before, and I have been told that I will be staying on the field throughout a very long day, so I am excited to see how I will deal with being put in a completely new situation. I know that it is going to be a lively event, and I will be ensuring that everyone is enjoying it!” Being new to Canada, I asked him what Canada Day means to him: “I know that this day is an important day to many patriotic Canadians. Though I am not a Canadian, I would like to thank Canada for helping me get the best education, make new friends, and gain new knowledge. I want to make the Canada Day celebration a memorable event for all Canadians.”

Have fun, and be safe out there, Warriors! If you can’t make it to Columbia Lake Fields on July 1, don’t fret – there are plenty of Canada Day events taking place across the region. Check out our round-up of free, local events below.


1. Waterloo Region Museum

The Waterloo Region Museum is celebrating Canada Day with musical entertainment and historic games like croquet and horseshoes! They have a new exhibit you can check out to learn about the history of Canadian-German relations as well.

2. Downtown Kitchener

Listen to live musical performances, enjoy BBQ and drinks, participate in a variety of activities, and spend some time at one of the many downtown patios. Don’t forget about the fireworks!

3. Schnieder Haus

The Schnieder Haus is a community museum located in downtown Kitchener, and this Canada Day, they’re hosting the Schneider Survival Challenge! Participants will complete a series of tasks, including using a cross cut saw and writing with a quill pen. You can also visit their exhibits and have some cake!

4. Kingpin Bowlounge

Make a trip to Bingemans and enjoy live music at the Kingpin Bowlounge patio. There will be food, giveaways, and fireworks!

Young girl at a Canada Day celebration. 5. Kitchener Market

Join the Kitchener Market for live music, face painting, crafts, and chalk art!

6. Township of Woolwich

Swim, have some birthday cake, listen to live music, and join in on a number of other festivities in Woolwich.

7. Cambridge

Celebrate Canada Day in Cambridge and enjoy a carnival, parade, food trucks, fireworks, and more!

8. Township of North Dumfries

Enjoy a DJ and fireworks in North Dumfries!


Bonus celebrations

These celebrations aren’t free, but if you’re willing to spend some money, they definitely seem worthwhile.

9. Canada Day in Wilmot

Wilmot has a busy Canada Day planned! Join them for food, a petting zoo, a vendor’s market, music, a pie-eating contest, fireworks, and more.

10. Canada Day Steam Train

Experience Canada Day (or rather, the day after) with the Waterloo Central Railway. Take a seat on a nearly 100-year-old steam engine and enjoy a leisurely ride.


Please note: Monday, July 2, 2018 is a statutory holiday and university offices, government offices, and most businesses will be closed on that day.

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