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Exciting Ways To Celebrate Victoria Day

Archived News Release

Exciting Ways To Celebrate Victoria Day

McGuinty Government Invites Families To Get Out and Enjoy Ontario This Long Weekend

This Victoria Day long weekend, get out and enjoy some of the many great events and activities happening across Ontario.

This summer marks the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, and Victoria Day weekend is a great opportunity to experience some of the historic celebrations taking place across the province.

Historic Adventures and War of 1812 Bicentennial-related activities:

  • Fanshawe Pioneer Village, May 21 -- Participate in Queen Victoria's Birthday Celebrations -- complete with nineteenth century games, historical speeches, and a vintage baseball game..
  • Upper Canada Village, May 20 -- Hear renditions of historical patriotic speeches, see re-enacted  military manoeuvres, lace up for the 1860s athletic games, and help out with the Village's hand-pumped fire engine.
  • Victoria Day at Fort York, Toronto, May 21 --Celebrate the birthday of the longest reigning monarch, Queen Victoria, in Toronto's birthplace. Enjoy tours, kids' drill and baking in the historic kitchen.
 Outdoor Fun:
  • Warblers and Whimbrels, Presqu'ile Provincial Park near Brighton, May 19-20 - Celebrate spring at this birding hot spot where you'll have an opportunity to see many of the smaller birds such as warblers and the shorebirds like the Whimbrel.
  • Spring Wings Weekend, Darlington Provincial Park near Bowmanville, May 19-20 - Join staff on a short hike through the park to look for birds hiding along the trails singing their hearts out! A great stop along the spring migration highway. 
  • Spring Thyme on the Farm, Bronte Creek Provincial Park in Oakville, May 21 - Drop by to see and participate in some spring activities typical of the 1890s.
  • Victoria Day Canoe and Kayak, Midland, May 21 -- Wye Marsh Naturalists will provide canoe and kayak instruction.
  • Festival of Birds, Point Pelee, May 3-21 -- Be part of the spring migration at Point Pelee National Park, and take part in guided activities and social gatherings.
  • Ottawa Orienteering Fest - Ottawa - May 19-21 -- Take part in a variety of orienteering events over the long weekend. Events include: sprint, middle distance, long distance and relay courses.
  • 100 Birds for 100 Years, Nipigon, May 20-21 -- In celebration of the Annual Dorion Bird Festival and Parks Canada's 100th anniversary, Parks Canada staff will be hosting a  birding event to find 100 bird species in a 24-hour period by walking and biking.
 Exhibitions and Shows:
  • Awesome Animals Weekend ROMkids, Royal Ontario Museum, May 19-21 -- Incredible insects, magnificent mammals, and rockin' reptiles are some of the cool creatures you'll meet this weekend at the ROM.
  • The Toronto International Circus Festival, HarbourKIDS, Harbourfont Toronto, May 19-21 -- Three jam-packed days of circus fun, featuring unicyclists, fire-eaters, stilt walkers, balloon sculptors, crazy clowns and so much more!
  • Ottawa Victoria Day Festival, Queen Juliana Park, May 11-21 -- A family event with something for everyone: midway rides, petting zoo, buskers, children's activities, live musical performances and fireworks on May 21st to wrap up the festival.
  • Toronto Victoria Day Fireworks, Ashbridges Bay Park, May 21 -- Join Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall for a traditional Victoria Day fireworks celebration over Lake Ontario.
  • Canada's Wonderland, Vaughan, May 21 -- Go out with a bang this Victoria Day with over 4000 explosions and custom fireworks designed just for Canada's Wonderland, set to a soundtrack of your favourite hits.

With so much to see and do, families will have no trouble finding fun for the kids and the whole family right here in Ontario this long weekend.

Quick Facts

  • Victoria Day is on May 21 this year.
  • Most Ontario Parks, day use areas and camping grounds open on Friday, May 18, 2012.
  • Over 330,000 people in Ontario are directly or indirectly employed by the tourism industry.
  • In 2010, tourism generated over $22 billion for Ontario's economy, an increase of over 7 per cent over 2009.

Additional Resources


“Victoria Day marks the unofficial start of summer and is an excellent opportunity for families to explore the many outdoor activities, historical events and exciting exhibits Ontario has to offer. As we prepare to celebrate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, I encourage Ontarians to learn more about our legacy, a fun and affordable way to spend your long weekend while supporting local economies across the province.”

Michael Chan

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

“Most Ontario provincial parks are open now and provide a great setting to get together with family and friends to enjoy some peaceful, quiet time with nature's beauty or take in one of the many recreational activities our parks offer this long weekend”

Michael Gravelle

Minister of Natural Resources

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