If you like car shows, climbing walls, free entertainment and kid-friendly activities, it’s the place to be on July 1st, at least in years where there isn’t a global pandemic.
Note: This article is about what Canada Day is like in the Lower Lonsdale District in typical years, so ones without COVID-19. To learn about what’s happening in 2021, click 2021 North Vancouver Virtual Event or see the Rotary Club of Lions Gate’s website.
CANADA DAY GOES VIRTUAL IN NORTH VANCOUVER!
The North Shore’s Canada Day event is taking place online in 2021. For the second consecutive year, in-person celebrations won’t be happening. Instead, starting at 1 o’clock on July 1st, North Shore musicians and local acts are performing on Facebook and YouTube livestreams.
Although Canada Day won’t be the same as usual in 2021 because of COVID-19, that doesn’t mean that it won’t still be a lot of fun! In fact, it’s looking like it’ll still be pretty impressive, at least on the North Shore!
Click North Vancouver Virtual Canada Day Celebrations for details.
Lower Lonsdale on Canada Day
North Vancouver’s main Canada Day festivities usually take place at Waterfront Park between noon and 4:00 pm on July 1st. In 2021 the online event starts at 1:00 pm.
Waterfront Park is just a 5-minute walk west of Lonsdale Quay and the SeaBus terminal. At the park on Canada Day, in a typical year, you’ll find free entertainment, live music on the outdoor stage, kid-friendly activities, birthday cake, hot dogs and lots of people having fun.
Also in the Lower Lonsdale area, at the Shipyards (and so just a 10-minute walk from the park), there is usually a car show. At Lonsdale Quay, there is also free live music in the plaza most years in the late afternoon.
If you’re looking for a variety of free things to do on Canada Day, North Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale District is a great place to go. It’s a beautiful spot and there’s so much going on!
Canada Day at Waterfront Park
The Canada Day festivities at Waterfront Park are exceptional and highly recommended. Except for the food and vendor products for sale, pretty much everything is free! That includes the balloon animals, face painting, climbing wall, bouncy castle and other fun activities. It also includes some great bands and other live entertainment.
Performers at the Waterfront Park venue in 2019 included Marcus Mosely (of The Sojourners) and The Day Trippers (which is also a great local band).
In 2021, at the online event, performers include Andrea Superstein, Adam Woodall, The Benders, Brockton World Music, Melanie Dekker and Joel Eddington, all of which are fairly well-known figures in North Vancouver.
Canada Day Video
The following video was taken on Canada Day at Waterfront Park in 2019. As you’ll see, it’s an event full of food, music and family-friendly activities.
THANKS ROTARY AND EVENT SPONSORS!
The Canada Day festivities at Waterfront Park are proudly hosted by the Rotary Club of Lions Gate which is a great service club based on the North Shore.
Some of the event sponsors of the online event in 2020 included Vancouver’s Best Places, Adaptive Marketing, Lonsdale Quay, Re/Max Crest Realty, Neptune Terminals and Western Stevedoring, among others. The Federal Canadian Government, City of North Vancouver and District of North Vancouver were also very important financial supporters, both in 2020 and in the past.
Canada Day at the Shipyards
In addition to all the afternoon festivities at Waterfront Park, on Canada Day there is sometimes a car show at Shipbuilders’ Square. In 2019 there was also a Canadian naval ship at Burrard Dry ier for people to explore.
The car show celebrated its 7th anniversary at the Shipyards in 2019 and ran from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. HMCS Winnipeg, meanwhile, is a Canadian naval frigate. It happened to be in town on July 1st last year and offered free tours between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm.
Note: Activities at the Shipyards on July 1st are not related to the festivities hosted by the Rotary Club of Lions Gate at Waterfront Park.
Canada Day at Lonsdale Quay
Not only are there cool things to see and do at both Waterfront Park and the Shipyards, but there is also live music at Lonsdale Quay on Canada Day.
Karen Fowlie & The Originals performed last year from 1:00 until 3:00 pm. The VOC Sweet Soul Gospel Choir then took the stage from 3:15 until 5:15.
Note: Canada Day activities at Lonsdale Quay are not related to the Rotary Club of Lions Gate-hosted festivities at Waterfront Park.
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your Canada Day experience in Lower Lonsdale and the Shipyards.
TIP #1: North Vancouver also has a Canada Day Parade. In years when there isn’t a global pandemic, the parade starts at 10:00 am and goes west along 13th Street from Grand Boulevard, north up Lonsdale Avenue and then west again along 17th Street to Mahon Park. It’s a great parade and fun for young families.
TIP #2: If spending the full day in North Vancouver, we recommend heading to either the parade or the Shipyards first and then to Waterfront Park in the afternoon. The city’s main festivities take place at Waterfront Park and the headliner bands are always great. Especially if you have young children, Waterfront Park is definitely where you’ll want to spend the afternoon.
TIP #3: To get to Waterfront Park from the SeaBus, turn left (i.e., head west) as you exit the terminal. The park is just a 5-minute walk away. That’s where you’ll find the main festivities between 12;00 and 4:00 pm (at least in years when the event is live and people attend in person).
TIP #4: The public market at Lonsdale Quay usually closes at around 7:00 pm, so check it out after the festivities finish elsewhere.
TIP #5: Fireworks take place across the water by Canada Place in Vancouver starting at about 10:30 pm (in years where there isn’t COVID-19). Great locations to watch from include Waterfront Park, Lonsdale Quay and the Shipyards in North Vancouver. The views are good and the crowds much less crazy than in downtown Vancouver.
TIP #6: If hanging out in Lower Lonsdale until the fireworks, enjoy the evening and explore the area. There are lots of great bars and restaurants in the neighbourhood.
To learn more about the festivities at Waterfront Park see the official North Vancouver Canada Day website.
For information about the virtual event, click Canada Day Reimagined.
For more information about July 1st celebrations in the area in a typical year, see our main article about Canada Day in North Vancouver.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- North Vancouver Bars & Restaurants
- Canada Day Events in Metro Vancouver
- Festivals & Events Calendar
- Vancouver’s July Calendar
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Free Summer Concerts