The Top 10 Victoria Day events across Canada

The travel website has come up with a list of uniquely Canadian events and festivals taking place on or around Victoria Day weekend. Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Victoria each get two of the Top 10:

1. Victoria Day Parade, Victoria, B.C.:

What better place to celebrate Victoria Day than in Victoria? The Victoria Day Parade takes place in downtown Victoria on May 18, with more than 120,000 spectators watching marching bands, floats and clowns. See

2. Canadian Tulip Festival, Ottawa and Gatineau:

Besides Winterlude and Canada Day, the Tulip Festival is Ottawa’s biggest event, says TripAtlas. This year’s festival started last weekend and goes to May 18, featuring the Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe (performances almost daily to May 18), talks on everything from the Dutch tulip crisis of 1637 to surveillance and entertainers such as Sir Bob Geldof (May 16). Oh, and three million tulips. See

3. Juliana Park Victoria Day Festival, Dow’s Lake, Ottawa:

Who knew this was something separate from the tulip festival? The Victoria Day Festival goes to May 18 on weekends and includes a petting zoo, face painting, concessions, bandshell entertainment and fireworks in the park at the corner of Preston Street and Carling Avenue, at Dow’s Lake. See

4. Hot & Dry Weekend, Montreal:

Organized by the Bad Boy Club Montreal (a non-profit gay organization), this festival from May 14 to 18 includes all-night parties featuring DJs from Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Italy. See (click on What-To-Do, then Events, then Hot-and-Dry-weekend).

5. La Biennale de Montreal:

Organized by the National Contemporary Art Centre of Montreal, this festival from May 1 to 31 features conferences, workshops, music and visual art exhibits that highlight contemporary Canadian art. See

6. Heritage Park Historic Village & Victoria Day Tea, Calgary:

Calgary’s Heritage Park Historic Village celebrates its opening weekend with horse-drawn wagon rides, educational activities about the pioneers who settled in Western Canada and afternoon tea at the park’s Wainwright Hotel. See

7. Photography Festival, Toronto:

Contact 2009, from May 1 to 31, celebrates more than 1,000 local, national and international artists at more than 220 venues across the Greater Toronto Area. This year’s festival theme celebrates photography and art as used as a tool for political and social change. See

8. Fireworks on the beach at Ashbridge’s Bay, Toronto:

Experience Victoria Day as a local. Head down to Ashbridge’s Bay, off Lakeshore Boulevard East, on Monday, May 18. Bring a blanket and spread out on the beach to watch the fireworks show light up the bay. See for more on the beach.

9. Vancouver International Children’s Festival, Vancouver:

From May 11 to 18, this world-renowned festival of performing arts for children features storytelling, puppetry, roving entertainers, circus arts and a free outdoor stage featuring some of Canada’s best children’s entertainers. See

10. 72nd Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival, Victoria:

From May 16 to 18 in Victoria’s Topaz Park, visitors will be entertained by an Address to Haggis twice a day, country dancing, bagpiping, haggis hurling, sheepdog herding, fiddling, historical demonstrations, Scottish and Celtic concessions, a beer garden, a pancake breakfast and events for kids. See

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