Canada Day 2024: When Is Canada Day? | History, Celebrations, and More | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Canada Day 2024

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Canada Day History, Celebrations, and More

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O Canada! It’s time to celebrate Canada Day, observed on Monday, July 1, 2024. Do you know why Canada Day is celebrated? Is it similar to Independence Day (U.S.)? Learn all about the national day of Canada, its history, and what foods are eaten on Canada Day.

What Is Canada Day?

Originally called “Dominion Day,” Canada Day (French: Fête du Canada) is the national day of Canada, commemorating the unification of the three North American British colonies into one confederation: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Province of Canada (which was made up of parts of modern-day Ontario, Quebec, and Labrador).happy canada day, july 1, plane pulling the canadian flag

The Creation of Canada Day

  • On July 1, 1867, the British North America Act (today known as the Constitution Act of 1867) created Canada, formally joining several colonies into a single, unified, semi-independent Dominion of Canada. Essentially, Canada became a self-governing dominion within the British Empire.
  • In 1879, a federal law makes July 1 a statutory holiday (a public holiday enacted by law) as the “anniversary of Confederation,” which is later called “Dominion Day.”
  • On October 27, 1982, “Dominion Day” was officially renamed Canada Day. Many felt “Dominion Day” was a colonial-era type of name; in addition, 1982 brought about the patriation of the Canadian Constitution, which officially removed any UK authority and established the final step in complete Canadian sovereignty as an independent country.

Canada Day, two women waving canadian flags

When is Canada Day?

Canada Day is a federal statutory holiday that is always celebrated on July 1. Public workers are given the day off. If this holiday falls on a Sunday, then July 2 is the statutory holiday. Celebratory events will often still take place on July 1. Also, if the holiday falls on a weekend, some businesses will give employees Monday as a day off.

Canada Day Dates
YearCanada Day
2024Monday, July 1
2025Tuesday, July 1
2026Wednesday, July 1
2027Thursday, July 1

Canada Day Celebrations

Many Americans ask if Canada Day is similar to Independence Day in the U.S.  They are similar in that both are related to gaining independence from the United Kingdom. For Canada, however, Canada Day marks only one (but one very important) milestone on the path to full independence. It took many more years for Canada to gain complete sovereignty—with the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931 and the final passing of the Constitution Act in 1982.

Similar to the Fourth of July, Canada Day is celebrated widely, with firework displays, concerts, barbecues, patriotic parades, and celebratory festivals. The Canadian flag flies high across the country. Many people paint their faces red and white, which are Canada’s national colors. There are often citizenship ceremonies as well.

The nation’s largest Canada Day celebrations typically occur in the country’s capital, Ottawa, right in front of the parliament building. See a list of Canada Day festivities in Ottawa.

Canada Day Trivia

  • July 1, 1867: John A. MacDonald became the first Prime Minister of Canada. The current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has served since 2015.
  • In 1967, Montreal hosted the World’s Fair (Expo 67), celebrating 100 years since Canadian Confederation. It was the most successful World’s Fair of the century.
  • July 1, 1980: “O Canada” became Canada’s official national anthem. (See below for lyrics.) Originally written in French, the song was first performed 100 years earlier, on June 24, 1880, in Quebec City.
  • On July 1, 2017, Canada celebrated its 150th anniversary. 

Want to sing along on Canada Day? Here are the lyrics to “O Canada,” Canada’s national anthem:

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all of us command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North, strong and free!

From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

–from “O Canada,” orig. by Robert Stanley Weir (1856–1926)

What Foods Are Eaten on Canada Day?

On Canada Day, pancake breakfasts are very popular across the country. Why not make some pancakes with real maple syrup? Here are our best homemade pancake recipes.

Or, if you love that real Canadian maple syrup, celebrate by baking a Canadian-inspired cake. Try our delicious Maple-Walnut Layer Cake with Maple Frosting!

For a more traditional Canadian recipe, bake these tasty Canadian Butter Tart Squares.

BBQs are also very popular on this day of independence. Check out our best Grilling Recipes for some savory ideas.

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day, Canadians! How will you celebrate? Let us know in the comments!

About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann