The best Canada Day 2020 events

From dvsn to Sarah McLachlan, Canadian music stars are heading online this year


Canada Day House Party

Toronto R&B duo dvsn, who released their third album A Muse In Her Feelings in April, are headlining this seven-hour virtual music festival that also features a collaboration between rapper Cadence Weapon and DJ Skratch Bastid, pop duo Bonjay, rockers Sam Roberts Band, the Tragically Hip’s Gord Sinclair and indie pop group Caveboy, among others. The event is also a fundraiser for the Canadian Mental Health Association.

3-10 pm.

Virtual Canada Day

Real-life fireworks are cancelled, but you can catch a “best-of” highlight reel of past displays online. Virtual Canada Day celebrations will comprise streaming of daytime and evening shows at the national and local levels. There will be  “artistic collaborations between performers from coast to coast to coast” in the evening starting at 8 pm. The lineup includes CanCon giants like Alanis Morissette, Avril Lavigne and Sarah McLachlan.

1-10 pm. Free. and


Food Truck’n Canada Day Festival

The Arepa Republic, Jerk Brothers and Funnel Cake Dream are among the 10 food trucks participating in this offline event. If sitting in a physically distanced picnic area or licensed patio are not in your comfort zone, you can order takeout or delivery using Uber Eats.

Noon to 8 pm. Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex. 416-542-3789.

Culture Jam

Toronto’s Canada Day events include a pancake breakfast with musician/actor Jully Black and a stacked afternoon of performances. The 35 artist-strong lineup includes Kardinal Offishall, Austra, Witch Prophet, Molly Johnson, Jay Douglas, d’bi.young anitafrika and more.

Breakfast 9-10 am, Culture Jam 2-5 pm. Free.

Ready for Prime Time

Toronto’s evening Canada Day show will feature Haviah Mighty and alt-rockers July Talk performing live in the El Mocambo, folk legend Gordon Lightfoot performing at home and a group singalong by Choir! Choir! Choir! that may just involve you – the viewer.

7 pm. Free.

Virtual Q107 Canada Day Picnic

You’ll have to recreate the glistening, beer soaked patriotism of shirtless, flag-draped Bobcaygeon singalongs this year. Maybe you can build a virtual or IRL campfire? Either way, you can tune into classic rock radio station Q107’s annual July 1 picnic online this year. No lineup yet, but they’re promising tributes to Tom Petty, Journey, AC/DC and a reggae tribute to classic Canadiana. Livestreamed tribute bands seem like a pandemic first.

8 pm. Free.

See the light: CN Tower Canada Day

If you are in Toronto and have a view of the CN Tower, the local landmark will be the closest thing to a fireworks display. A 15-minute light show promises to amplify the tower’s architectural LED lighting with “powerful light canons” and lighting “synched to the rhythms of diverse Canadian artists” simulcast on radio station CHUM 104.5 FM.

10 pm. Free.


#CanadaPerforms Road to Canada Day

The National Arts Centre continues its series of livestreams to fill the festival void this summer. They’re partnering with Canadian music festivals, including Toronto-area ones like Hillside, Small World Music and Toronto Blues Society. These one-hour performances (which actually pay the artists) run on Facebook.

Ongoing, see lineup at

Celebration of Citizenship 

The citizenship ceremony is going virtual for the first time with a “celebration of Canadian resilience and unity, and an opportunity for all Canadians to come together to celebrate and welcome our newest citizens.” Indigenous drumming duo Warrior Women will perform and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will deliver a welcome message.

2 pm. Free.


Brampton’s Canada Day

Brampton will host socially distanced gatherings at five outdoor locations across the city in recreation centre parking lots. Residents are asked to remain in their vehicles to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you prefer to watch online, virtual fireworks take place at 10 pm. Before that, there will be a digital stage featuring local artists and headliners Walk Off The Earth.

Noon-10 pm. Free.

Vaughan Virtual Canada Day

The City Above Toronto has booked the Barenaked Ladies to headline its first virtual Canada Day celebration. The lineup also includes Kreative In Dance Styles (K.I.D.S.), Mini Pop Kids, comedian Susan Stewart and more.

5-8 pm. Free.

Dean Brody Live At The Drive-In

Billed as Canada’s first drive-in concert, the country musician will perform at the Markham Fairgrounds and a fireworks display will take place after the show. There will be large LED screens in case your car doesn’t have the best sightlines. 

Doors 7 pm, all ages. Tickets from $209 per vehicle.


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