Victoria Day is a day celebrated throughout Canada in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday. It is celebrated on the last Monday before May 25th, and is unofficially known as the kickoff to summer. Patios and terraces open, families break out the backyard BBQ’s, and some take the weekend to escape. If you are in Canada this weekend, take the time to join in the celebration and welcome summer.
Corporate Stays has the top picks in Canada’s biggest cities for the best Victoria Day weekend. You can enjoy fireworks in the garden, catch an outdoor dance party, or browse a nighttime market. Read below to learn where.
Victoria Day Weekend in Montreal
If you’re thinking about heading to Montreal to spend a long weekend over Victoria Day, be ready to experience an eclectic mix of culture, technology, and art. Also known as la Journée Nationale des Patriotes in Quebec, this long weekend is the kickoff to the summer weather and festivals that make Montreal such a welcoming city.
The Salsa Convention is an exciting event, happening from May 17 until May 21. It features plenty of workshops, showcases, free dance classes and competitions. There will also be four days and nights of feasts, parties, and shows for avid salsa lovers to enjoy, as well as DJs and musicians.
If you’re hungry, spending your Victoria Day long weekend in Montreal is going to appeal thanks to Montreal Restaurant Day. On May 20, Montreal will become a hive of activity with a worldwide food carnival. This means that anyone can set up a restaurant anywhere for you to benefit from a range of tantalizing treats.
And if you feel like dancing, Piknic Electronik kicks off this Sunday. Piknic Electronik is a series of outdoor dance parties hosted at Parc Jean Drapeau. Featuring special guest DJ’s throughout the summer, playing enchanting electronic beats, this weekly Sunday dance party is a staple of the Montreal summer. Enjoy the first night of the series in Montreal. After all, you won’t have to go to the office tomorrow!
Victoria Day Weekend in Ottawa
Celebrating Victoria Day and spending the long weekend in Ottawa will ensure you make a lot of new memories while having fun in the great outdoors at the same time. Ottawa is very much a hive of activity, and it’s sure to be even more so as people celebrate both the beginning of summer and Victoria Day.
It is the second weekend of the annual Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa. The Tulip Festival routinely welcomes roughly 650,000 visitors each year to gaze upon the millions of tulips arranged throughout Canada’s capital city. You can enjoy the blooms during the day, but there is also some fun after the sun sets. On Sunday, May 20th, you can sit among the tulips in Commissioner Park, and overlook Dow’s Lake for the annual Victoria Day fireworks.
If you’re interested in the nightlife more than anything, get ready to be impressed. At any time in Ottawa, you are sure to find plenty of live bands, pubs, clubs, restaurants, and tourist hot spots to grab your attention. In fact, if you’re looking for the real “hub” of Ottawa, Byward Market is sure to tick all of the boxes. It has many different shops, restaurants, and eateries to appeal to everyone’s tastes.
Victoria Day Weekend in Toronto
If you want your Victoria Day and subsequent long weekend to go off with a “bang,” then consider grabbing a group of friends and heading to Toronto. Celebrating Victoria Day in style, Toronto offers a jam-packed calendar of events to appeal to all tastes.
Check yourself into accommodations in the heart of downtown; you can then make your way to Victoria Day fireworks at Ashbridges Bay Park. About 2,000 fireworks will be let off in a spectacular display, and it’s well worth being a part of. If you’re looking for more of a daytime activity, what’s a Spring long weekend without some baseball? The Blue Jays are playing at home, and the Roger’s Center is fun time for all ages.
If you’re on a family trip for your long weekend, then attending the International Children’s Festival is a must. There will be a range of productions held by artists from as far away as Norway and Australia, all to animate young minds, inspire, and help with feelings of belonging.
Victoria Day Weekend in Calgary
The winters can get cold in the Prairies, so the arrival of summer in Calgary is a welcome one. Victoria Day weekend is the kickoff to many of Calgary’s summertime activities. Calaway Park, Calgary’s amusement park, and Heritage Park, the historical village, have their opening weekends starting May 19th. Both promise to be great fun for the whole family.
For those who like to rise early in the morning, Royale, on 17th Ave SW, will be hosting a Royal Wedding viewing party. Enjoy tradition English food while toasting the new couple with sparkling wine as this pub opens early for the event. Guests will also be leaving with a special gift bag!
And if you’d rather sleep in and enjoy the outdoors, Calgary’s Picnic on the Park series is back on for 2018. Enjoy the afternoon in Victoria Park, right in the heart of downtown. The best part of this picnic? You won’t even need to pack your own basket! Enjoy the choice of food from nearly 15 food trucks who will be in the area from 11:00AM until 7:00PM on Saturday and Sunday.
Victoria Day Weekend in Vancouver
If you want to enjoy a more extended holiday, rather than just the standard long weekend offered by the inclusion of Victoria Day, then gathering your friends or family and heading to Vancouver is a must. While there is always so much to see and do during the year, May is the month where everything kicks off.
Outdoor markets are a staple of the Canadian summer. Vancouver adds to the fun by having a few open at night. The Shipyards Night Market, in North Vancouver, is open on Fridays from 5:00PM to 10:00PM. It features food, crafts, and live music. There is also a beer garden, where you can enjoy a pint while overlooking the water.
And if we caught your attention with the words “beer garden,” Fort Langley is hosting its annual beer festival Saturday May 19th. This festival features specially-brewed craft beer, the best of local food, and live music throughout the weekend. It is only a 45-minute ride from Vancouver’s city centre, and tickets are available here.
Finally, for more family-friendly activities, enjoy the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival will be going on throughout the weekend. Unlike most comic conventions, this festival focuses on the artwork of the comic medium. Expect fewer sci-fi actors and more illustrators and graphic novelists. Finally, in something that will thrill both adults and children, the Telus Science Centre will be opening its newest exhibit on Saturday, May 19th. The Science Behind Pixar looks into the science that goes into developing beloved characters like Buzz Lightyear, Edna Mode, and Dory. It is certainly to be a great bonding experience.
If you are looking for somewhere to stay during your long weekend adventures, Corporate Stays has serviced apartments in the heart of all of Canada’s largest cities. Get in touch with one of our Corporate Housing Specialists today to see how we can help you enjoy your long weekend.