While going to watch the Ashbridges Bay fireworks at Woodbine Beach can be fun, as many in the area know, it can also be a logistical nightmare due to the sheer amount of people who visit the area for the annual celebration. For those who don’t feel like braving the crowds and inevitable traffic jam, we have compiled a small list of other things to do for Canada 150 in the Beach area — or, if you insist, things you can do before turning your eyes to the show in the sky.
Host a barbecue in your own backyard
Hosting a barbecue doesn’t have to be hard. Check out these tips from design and style columnist Christine Roberts for advice on hosting the perfect backyard party and these recipes from our food columnist Jan Main to make the perfect burger. Make sure to shop in advance, as the LCBO is closed on Canada Day. If you do forget to stock up in advance however, The Wine Shop at 228 Queens Quay will be open from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. and there is a handy list of independent bottle shops that should be open (be sure to call first).
East York Canada Day Parade and Event
East York’s Canada Day Parade will begin around 10 a.m. at Dieppe Park, and continue through East York to Stan Wadlow Park, where the day will continue with all day events. The event, which is celebrating its 60th year, will feature former East York mayors Michael Prue and Alan Redway, and will end with a fireworks display at 10 p.m. For more information on the parade route, visit http://www.eycdc.ca/index.html.
Canada Day Picnic
OK, so this is kind of cheating, but before the fireworks begin, Q107 is hosting a Canada Day picnic at Woodbine Park. The event will start at noon and will feature a music line up of tribute bands, leading up to a tribute to AC/DC that will play as the fireworks go off. Just make sure to leave a few hours before this if you want to avoid the fireworks traffic.
Scarborough Baptist Church
If the bigger crowds at Woodbine Beach don’t appeal to you, you can check out Scarborough Baptist Church’s Canada Day celebration from 12-2 p.m. The free event features live music from Michael T. Wall and band, and also includes a free barbecue and refreshments.
Watch the fireworks from a different part of the beach
Who said that Woodbine Beach is the only place you can see the fireworks? The fireworks can also be seen from Kew Beach and Balmy Beach, areas that are usually far less crowded. No matter where you go though, it is probably better to walk down to the beach, as the whole neighborhood usually has some amount of traffic, and it can be difficult to find a parking spot even near Neville Park.
Happy Canada Day!