Canada Day in North Vancouver

On July 1st each year there are Canada Day festivities throughout the Lower Mainland including at Waterfront Park near Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver.


CANADA DAY ONLINE IN NORTH VANCOUVER!

Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Lower Mainland didn’t celebrate Canada Day the same as it does most years. On the North Shore and elsewhere, there weren’t any major in-person events happening on July 1st in 2020. There was, however, a Virtual Canada Day Celebration in North Vancouver. It was fun, entertaining, educational and a great community event!

Also in 2020, instead of North Vancouver’s regular pancake breakfast and parade in the morning, the Lynn Valley Lions Club hosted a free drive-through-style Canada Day breakfast and parade where people could pick up a plate of pancakes. Participants were also encouraged to decorate their cars.

For details about the virtual online event (which ran from around 1:00 until 2:30 pm), click North Vancouver Canada Day Reimagined. For details about the event in the morning  of July 1st (which ran from 8:00 until 11:00 am), click Canada Day Drive-Through.


In this article you’ll find information about the following topics:

Canada Day at Waterfront Park | North Van Canada Day Video | Canada Day Activities | Entertainment Lineup | Canada Day Map | About the North Van Event | Pancake Breakfast | Canada Day Parade | Red & White Picnic | Other Lower Lonsdale Activities | Burrard Inlet Fireworks | Other Information

Click on any of the above links to jump to a specific subject, or continue reading to learn all about Canada Day in North Vancouver and the surrounding area.


Canada Day at Waterfront Park

Canada Day festivities at North Vancouver‘s Waterfront Park usually include bouncy castles and activities for children, as well as food and entertainment for everyone.

See below for details on the Canada Day celebrations at Waterfront Park, and far below for details about other Canada Day activities elsewhere on the North Shore.


Click North Vancouver Canada Day Reimagined to learn about the community’s July 1st celebrations in 2020.


Canada Day in North Vancouver

North Vancouver’s July 1st celebrations take place at Waterfront Park from noon until 4:00 pm each year (or at least in years when there isn’t a pandemic).

Waterfront Park is a nice grassy park just a five-minute walk to the west of the SeaBus terminal exit at Lonsdale Quay. It’s right on the water with magnificent views of the Vancouver skyline.

RCMP Officer at Waterfront Park
Canada Day at Waterfront Park

North Vancouver Canada Day Video

For an idea of what to expect at the Canada Day celebrations at Waterfront Park, check out the following video of scenes of the event from a couple of years ago. In the video, bands featured include 5 on a String, Mazacote and The Day Trippers who have all performed at the celebrations in recent years.

In the video you’ll see a large artisan market along the waterfront, which no longer happens. You’ll also see scenes of the fireworks which take place several hours after the official Canada Day festivities at Waterfront Park end. Most of the other scenes though are pretty much the same as what you’ll see in typical years. It’s a great event!

North Van Canada Day Activities

At the Waterfront Park celebrations there is a wide range of live entertainment including street performers, a bagpipe marching band, dancers and various local bands. It is a great family-friendly North Shore community event.

On Canada Day there are also food vendors selling things like fish & chips, cold drinks and hot dogs. Different community organizations have informational booths set up and there is face painting and all kinds of fun, kid-friendly games and activities.


Click North Vancouver Canada Day Reimagined to learn about the community’s July 1st celebrations in 2020.


Entertainment Lineup

Below was the official schedule of performances for 2019. We expect 2021 details to be comparable.

(Note: Details are subject to change.)

  • 12:05 pmMarcus Mosely Chorale: a choral group singing Gospel style music.
  • 12:55 pmJ.P. Fell Pipe Band: a pipe band made up of volunteer pipe music enthusiasts.
  • 1:20 pmPro Arté: a dance group with amazing technique and choreography.
  • 1:30 pm – Singing of O Canada and Blessing by Squamish Nation.
  • 2:00 pmShowStoppers: a well-known Vancouver Glee group.
  • 2:35 pmLos Tambores: a World music percussion band.
  • 3:00 pmThe Day Trippers: a Vancouver-based Beatles tribute band.
Day Trippers Beatles Band at Waterfront Park
The Day Trippers in North Vancouver on Canada Day

Food at the Festivities 

Below are the various food vendors scheduled to be at North Vancouver’s 2019 Canada Day festivities at Waterfront Park. We expect 2021 details to be similar.

  • ​Mama’s Fish & Chips – a food truck offering fresh and classic fish and chips.
  • Chickpea – a vendor specializing in plant-based Mediterranean food.
  • Mr. Bannock – a food truck offering Indigenous cuisine.
  • Rico ‘n Lalo – a vendor offering traditional Mexican frozen treats.
  • Rotary Club Hot Dogs – volunteers serving hot dogs and sausages.
  • Cupcakes –  Canada Day cupcakes offered by local community leaders.
Waterfront Park on July 1
Waterfront Park near the Main Stage on Canada Day

Waterfront Park Canada Day Map

Below is an illustrated map of Waterfront Park on Canada Day from last year.

As you can see, food vendors at the event are located at the north end of the park near the Spirit Trail (which is a great cycling path).

North Vancouver Canada Day MapGames and activities are primarily along the west side of the park. Things you’ll find in this area include a bouncy castle, climbing wall and other free family-friendly things to do.

The Main Stage is located at the south end of the park. It’s in a pretty spot not far from the waterfront with views of the Vancouver skyline in the distance. The Main Stage is where the Marcus Mosely Chorale started the afternoon in 2019 and The Day Trippers finished the day.

In the map you’ll also see that there is a craft station in the southeast corner of the park, conveniently close to the playground. There are also public washrooms with flush toilets and a first aid station.

New for 2019, there was a bicycle valet service where you park your bike and they’ll look after it for you.

About the North Vancouver Canada Day Celebrations

The festivities at Waterfront Park are put on by the Rotary Club of Lions Gate. The event is free, but funds raised through the sale of hot dogs and vendor fees go towards charitable projects on the North Shore. Buy lots of hot dogs at the Rotary booth and feel good about supporting the community!

The North Vancouver Canada Day celebrations not only try to be an environmentally GREEN event, but a NEGATIVE-WASTE one!

Styrofoam is banned at the event, there are recycling and composting stations everywhere and people are encouraged to ride their bikes or take public transit.

Attendees at the event are also asked to bring their own reusable water bottles, and folks are even welcome to bring their old batteries and light bulbs to be recycled (which helps keep the event’s impact limited or even negative).

Way to go Rotary Club of Lions Gate and all your event sponsors and volunteers!

Click North Vancouver Canada Day Celebrations for more details about the event.

Lions Gate Rotary

Other North Vancouver July 1st Events

In addition to the afternoon celebrations at Waterfront Park, other Canada Day activities also take place on the North Shore at various times and places. There is a pancake breakfast in the morning, and a parade, other activities around Lower Lonsdale, and evening fireworks in Burrard Inlet. There are also Canada Day Celebrations in West Vancouver which is the other main community on Vancouver’s North Shore.

Canada Day Pancake Breakfast

The Lynn Valley Lions Club hosts a pancake breakfast every year. It usually takes place at the park at Grand Boulevard near the start of the parade route. In 2020, however, there was no parade. There was still a pancake breakfast, but not at the usual Grand Boulevard location.
In 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the pancake breakfast took place in a “drive-thru” format in the parking lot of the Lynn Valley Legion. At the “Canada Day in a Box” event people reserved a time slot in advance online and then showed up on the morning of July 1st at their designated time. As cars arrived they lined up, were greeted by Lions Club volunteers, got their take-out pancakes and picked up their free box of treats (which included a full-sized Canadian flag).
As you’ll see in the video, volunteers all wore masks. People lined up in their vehicles, picked up their pancakes and got a box of goodies which included a Canadian flag, toys and a variety of Canada Day souvenirs. It was a fun event and very well organized. It was also all free. There was no charge for the pancakes or the box of treats.

North Vancouver Canada Day Parade

Prior to the celebrations at Waterfront Park, North Vancouver also has a parade which takes place from 10:00 am until noon most years (although not in 2020).

The parade goes along 13th Street from Grand Boulevard before heading down 17th Street via Lonsdale Avenue to Mahon Park. It’s a small community-style parade, but lots of fun, especially for young children.

By the time the parade finishes it’s time to head to Waterfront Park for all the afternoon celebrations, as mentioned above.

For more information about the parade, see the North Shore Canada Day Parade website.

J.P. Fell Pipe Band in Canada Day Parade

Burrard Inlet Fireworks

At the same time as fireworks take off from a barge in the waters of West Vancouver, a second barge blasts them out in Burrard Inlet’s Coal Harbour, directly across the water from North Vancouver’s Waterfront Park and the Lower Lonsdale waterfront.

Great places to view the pyrotechnics from North Vancouver include Waterfront Park, Lonsdale Quay and the pier by Shipbuilders’ Square (which is just a 5-10 minute walk from the SeaBus terminal in the opposite direction from Waterfront Park).


VANCOUVER FIREWORKS

Did you know that you can see the Canada Place fireworks from North Vancouver (at least in years where there isn’t a pandemic)?

Good places to see the pyrotechnic displays most years are from Waterfront Park, Lonsdale Quay and Shipbuilders’ Square. The fireworks blast off from a barge that’s quite a ways into Burrard Inlet from Canada Place, so the view is pretty good from the North Shore.

Fireworks also take place most years in West Vancouver at the July 1st event there, as well as in over half a dozen other communities around the Lower Mainland.

For information about other fireworks venues, click Metro Vancouver Fireworks or check out Canada Day at West Van’s John Lawson Park.

Note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are no fireworks planned for the Lower Mainland in 2020 (except for virtual ones happening online.)


Waterfront Park on Fireworks Night
Fireworks in the distance from Waterfront Park at night

Canada Day in West Vancouver

Shortly after the end of the Waterfront Park festivities in North Vancouver, West Vancouver begins its Canada Day celebrations at John Lawson Park. Previously called the Red and White Picnic, the event there usually starts at about 4:00 pm or so and finishes around 10:30.

Participants at the West Vancouver event are invited to bring their lawn chairs and picnics and enjoy an evening of live entertainment. The festivities at John Lawson Park finish with a fabulous display of fireworks just off the shore.

Click Red & White Picnic for more information about the Canada Day celebrations in West Vancouver.

Canada Day Audience
Canada Day at West Vancouver’s John Lawson Park

Other Information

Check out the official North Vancouver Canada Day website for more details on the event at Waterfront Park.

Click Canada Day in the Lower Mainland for other July 1st events in other parts of Metro Vancouver.

 

 

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