Canada 150: Canada Day 2017

June 22, 2017 | Maria Samurin

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Are you new to Canada? Wondering what Canada 150 (or even Canada Day) are? Or maybe just want to know where to celebrate Canada Day (and Canada 150) this year? Well, you've come to the right place.

Over the last few months, I've started noticing "Canada 150" everywhere. Stores are selling Canada 150 merchandise, venues all over the city are planning events and celebrations, and people are getting excited. Toronto Public Library has hundreds of events planned for Canada 150, spread out over our 100 branches... and it's practically all my librarian colleagues talk about. Plus, wonderful new books published especially for Canada 150 have started arriving at library branches all over the city. How can anyone not get excited?

In this blog post, I've shared with you some of my favourite ways to celebrate Canada Day 2017 and Canada 150. Even if you know all the best places to watch fireworks on July 1, or you think you know everything there is to know about Canada 150, I bet some of the events and books I've included in my blog will surprise you.

Celebrating Canada

On July 1, 1867, Canada's provinces joined together to form one country: Canada! Which is why every year, on July 1st, we celebrate Canada Day. 

July 1st

O Canada
Our National Anthem (English version)

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.[1]


If you're new to Canada (or aren't familiar with our national anthem) you can listen to it online at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra Canada Mosaic. The anthem is available in the 12 languages most commonly spoken in Canada: English, French, Mandarin, Punjabi, Spanish, German, Italian, Arabic, Tagalog, Cree, ASL (American Sign Language), and Tamil. The video below is a mix of all 12.  

Canadians celebrate Canada Day with fireworks, concerts, picnics, parades, and events throughout the country. It's always a much-anticipated celebration, but this year it's even more special. On July 1, 2017, Canada turns 150 years old. You might have heard people talking about this momentous occasion, otherwise known as "Canada 150." 

Canada 150 logo
The colourful maple leaf is a special Canada 150 logo. It has 13 multicoloured diamonds, one for each of Canada's provinces and territories.[2] 

Celebrate Canada 150... at the library

At Toronto Public Library, we're celebrating Canada 150 all year long, with hundreds of programs across the city. Check with your local library to see what they have planned and come see how librarians are celebrating Canada 150. Canada day is next Saturday (on July 1, or course), but the library is starting the celebration early. Here's what we'll be doing in the week leading up to Canada Day: 


 Sunday, June 25, 2-3 p.m.All About 1867

All About 1867 - Canada's Great Lakes Ships and Shipwrecks

Fort York Branch

Discover the exciting stories of several Canadian ships from the year 1867, the year Canada became a country!

Canada 150 CelebrationMonday, June 26, 2-4 p.m.

Writers Group: Canada 150 Celebration

Albert Campbell Branch

Celebrate Canada's 150th birthday with the Scarborough Scribblers, Albert Campbell Library's writers' group. Experience an authentic writers group meeting with Canadian-themed writing prompts, readings, inspiration, and more. Writers of all genres are welcome!

Adult CrafternoonTuesday, June 27, 2-3 p.m.

Adult Crafternoon: Canada Day Bunting

Agincourt Branch

Celebrate Canada 150 with a beautiful Canada Day themed bunting/banner to hang up and liven any space! All materials will be provided. Space is limited. Registration is required. Please register in branch or call 416-396-8951.

Canada 150 Shorts CompilationWednesday, June 28, 6-8:15 p.m.

National Film Board of Canada - Canada 150 Shorts Compiliation

Brentwood Branch

Celebrate Canada Day by watching some great shorts from the National Film Board of Canada. These are the shorts: Big Drive, Blackfly, Log Driver's Waltz, I Can Make Art...Like Emily Carr, I Can Make Art...Like Marcelle Ferron, Momentum, Paddle to the Sea, Postcards from Canada, and The Sweater.


Maple Leaf Cross Stitch for KidsThursday, June 29 6-7 p.m.

Canada 150 - Maple Leaf Cross Stitch for Kids

Thorncliffe Branch

Celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday! Learn how to make your own Maple Leaf cross stitch at the library. All materials will be provided. Suitable for children ages 6 and up; parents and caregivers welcome. Space is limited. Call 416-396-3865 to register.


Happy Birthday CanadaFriday, June 30 4-5 p.m.

Happy Birthday Canada

York Woods Branch

Come celebrate Canada's 150th birthday with us. There will be cake, games and more. Get ready to party!

Celebrate Canada 150... on July 1

All Toronto Public Library branches are closed on July 1 for Canada Day, so be sure to check out your Canada Day reads early. On Canada Day, there will be plenty of free events in the community for you to enjoy. 

Canada Days

You can celebrate Canada 150 at Canada Days!, a citywide celebration that is happening at four locations across Toronto. The City of Toronto (in partnership with the Province of Ontario’s Ontario150 Program and the Government of Canada) has one-day events planned at Mel Lastman Square, Humber Bay Park West and Scarborough Civic Centre on July 1, and a four-day festival at Nathan Phillips Square from June 30 to July 3. These events are free.

You can also find a list of other Canada Day events, as well as Canada Day firework times and locations, on

Image courtesy of Tourism Toronto.

Celebrate Canada 150... with books

If you'd rather pass on the Canada 150 festivities, or need a little extra something, you can also celebrate Canada 150 with books. Reading is one of my favourite ways to celebrate anything and everything (it's no wonder I'm a librarian). I've included a selection of Canadian reads below, starting with books published especially for Canada's 150th birthday... followed by books about Canada Day in general. Of course, you might also want to learn more about our beloved Canada, its rich history, beautiful landscape, and diverse population. Luckily, I've included some books about those topics too. If they don't get you in a Canada 150 mood, I don't know what will... except for fireworks, of course!  

For Adults

Now you know Canada
Now You Know Canada by Doug Lennox


Celebrating Canada
Celebrating Canada. Volume 1.


Canada 150 panoramas
Canada : 150 Panoramas by George Fischer


Chicken soup for the soul O Canada
Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada


Canada's odyssey
Canada's Odyssey by Peter H. Russell


Surviving Canada
Surviving Canada


For Kids 

Canada's 150th Birthday
Canada's 150th Birthday by Kathy Middleton


Why I love Canada
Why I Love Canada, illustrated by Daniel Howarth


Who runs this country  anyway
Who Runs This Country, Anyway? by Joanne Stanbridge


The big book of Canada
The Big Book of Canada by Christopher Moore

Discover Canada

And let's not forget Discover Canada! If you immigrated here, this is the book that helps you study for your Canadian Citizenship Test. It's full facts about Canada: our history, government, justice system, economy, and provinces and territories. Why not brush up on your Canada trivia in time for the first of July?  You can borrow it from the library, read it online, or listen to it online

Discover Canada
Discover Canada


Just For Laughs

While I was writing this blog, I also came across some hilarious books about Canada... and this "just for laughs" section was born. Celebrate living in a country you can laugh about (and love for all its quirks) with these hilarious reads. 

150 years of Stats Canada!
150 Years of Stats Canada! 


Fakin' eh!
Fakin' Eh! by Dan de Figueiredo


Is Canada even real
Is Canada Even Real? by J. C. Villamere


The canadaland guide to Canada
The Canadaland Guide to Canada by Jesse Brown


In the History Books

Canada 150 will be remembered for years to come, just like Canada's 100th anniversary: the Canadian Centennial. If you were in Canada in 1967 for that celebration, do you remember what you were doing on July 1, 1967? Share your story in the comments section! And please come back after July 1 and share how you celebrated Canada 150. Who knows... maybe one day, your photo from July 1, 2017 will join archived photos of Canada 100 like the one below. 

CNE Canada Day 1967
"It was young 'CAH- NAH- DAH-' Day at the Ex. Wearing his famed pied piper costume and carrying his special centennial trumpet, Bobby Gimby, composer of Canada's centennial song, leads a parade of his singers and hundreds of other children from the grandstand show to the bandshell yesterday afternoon at the Exhibition."[3]

Happy Canada Day and Happy Canada 150!

I hope you have a wonderful Canada Day and enjoy some of the Canada 150 festivities Toronto has to offer. Don't forget to come back to share your stories! How did you celebrate? Did you attend any of our library programs? Did you enjoy any of the recommended reads? I'd love to hear from you. 


  1. "O Canada : OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM" (PDF). Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  2. Middleton, Kathy (2017). Canada's 150th Birthday. Crabtree Publishing Company. p.4. ISBN 978-0-7787-4108-4.
  3. Feeny, Edwin (1967). "It was young 'CAH- NAH- DAH-' Day at Ex." From the Toronto Star Archives. Call Number/Accession Number tspa_0111822f. Retrieved June 20, 2017.