Canada’s best yearly events

Annual events in Canada

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Kai Sedgwick

Kai Sedgwick
HomeAway travel expert

Canadian flag For those at one with the great outdoors, Canada makes for an alluring holiday destination. With its sprawling wilderness and expansive cities, Canada feels less like a country and more like a limitless empire. Cross-hatched with diverse landscapes and bustling cities of industry and commerce, it's a place people visit for vastly different reasons, whether they’re seeking adventure or relaxation; to sample culture or cuisine.

Due to the vast size of the country, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when plotting a Canadian holiday. After all, which region should you visit? What locale would prove best for enjoying the quintessential Canadian experience? With so much to see and do, you certainly won’t be short of options. The HomeAway Holiday Rentals website leases thousands of Canadian properties, from British Columbia to the Yukon Territory. Why not browse our cottages and condos to see what’s on offer? Before you start plotting your North American holiday, however, here’s something that should whet your appetite: our guide to Canada’s most exciting annual events.


Top five events in Canada


Winterlude Winterlude

The Winterlude festival is held annually in Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec. As its name suggests, it’s a festival celebrating the snowy season which is synonymous with the country itself, and runs for three weeks each February. Here, you can skate in the world’s largest ice rink, the glorious Rideau Canal Skateway, or check out incredible ice sculptures; the ones in Confederation Park are illuminated nightly. Take advantage of the programme of events which includes music and performance, tobogganing, skiing and guided tours, and make sure to check out the ice sculpture museum carved out of snow. 

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Calgary Stampede Calgary Stampede

Billed as the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, the Calgary Stampede certainly gives visitors bang for their buck. This ten-day bonanza gets under way each July, attracting over one million visitors every year. As well as featuring one of the world’s largest rodeos, the festival of events includes carnivals, parades, concerts, agricultural competitions and chuckwagon racing, many of which are televised across Canada. There’s also a massive market selling everything from cowboy-themed artwork to the finest local produce. The festival is a great introduction to Canadian history, having been running since 1912: simply unmissable.

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Canadian National Exhibition Canadian National Exhibition

There’s something special about the Canadian National Exhibition. It’s not just the sense of togetherness one experiences when attending the concerts and parades, or experiencing the rides and fireworks, at Canada’s largest community gathering: you really get the sense that decades of history have been distilled into this 18-day Toronto event that precedes Labour Day. Walk amongst aromatic food stalls and stilt-legged acrobats, mingling with tourists from around the world. Visitors come here for the horse shows, ice skating, talent competitions, exhibits and zoo. The festivities culminate with the Canadian International Air Show, where you can watch F-16s and B-2 Spirits take to the skies over Lake Ontario.

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Just For Laughs Just For Laughs

Just For Laughs is Montreal’s equivalent of the Edinburgh Fringe, and as a comedy festival it is the largest in the world. Close to two million people jostle into the city every July, keen to catch some stand-up, a theatre show or a movie. Choose from over 1,500 shows during the two-week event, or catch the overspill on the street - there are plenty of free performances to enjoy. Like Edinburgh during the Fringe, Montreal’s cafes, pubs and clubs are abuzz during festival season; look out for world-famous comedians and entertainers mingling with the crowds between shows.

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Winter Festival of Lights Winter Festival of Lights

Few experiences literally take the breath away, but the Winter Festival of Lights comes pretty close. Not only does the festival take place amidst the spectacular beauty of Niagara Falls, but it includes 125 animated light displays, as well as a staggering three million tree and ground lights. A grand fireworks display sees rockets explode over the illuminated falls, which can be taken in from the open-air ice rink at the brink of the Horseshoe Falls. Not many people can say they’ve skated just a snowball’s throw from one of the most stunning natural attractions in the world – will you be one of them?

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Holiday Rentals in Canada

Kelowna Executive Home with Pool and Hot Tub

This beautiful executive home is located in prestigious West Kelowna Estates. 10 minutes from downtown Kelowna and the downtown lakefront. Just 8 minutes from the Quails Gate and Mission Hills Winery and 10 minutes away from Okanagan Lake and some...

1214 Great Apartment 2 Bedrooms Old Montreal

We rent this great apartment of 842sqft (80m2) in the residence Les Etoiles placed in the center of Montreal accessible by the subway station Place D’armes from 2min on foot, close to the Vieux-Port and face to the Palais des Congrès. Situated on...

Exquisite Vacation Home - One Of Whistler's Finest

One of the finest vacation homes in Whistler, this home is beautifully appointed with a gourmet kitchen, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, media room and generously-sized bedrooms and bathrooms. Perfect for family and friends gathering for a ski hol...

Private Hot Tub,3 BR, Sleeps 10 (8 in beds),Ski in/Out,Family Friendly, Parking


Country house in Shefford, Québec.

Peacefull House In The Country Very nice and clean house in Eastern township in Shefford, about 2 minutes from Bromont' s village. Our house sit on a two acres of land. Very quiet and charming and surrounded by mature trees and a lake close by. P...

Arrowhead Point 15 | 2 Bedroom Townhome Near Ski Trail, Private Hot Tub

About the Home Arrowhead Point 15 is a two level, two bedroom, two bathroom townhome offering a serene and forested setting, private soft hot tub, and is only steps to the ski trails on Blackcomb Mountain and the free shuttle to Whistler Village....

Breath Taking 2 Bedroom Apartment Centrally Located in the Middle of Downtown

Enjoy the vibrant Montreal night life as you settle into this gorgeous 2 bedroom apartment on the 16th floor, that showcases a beautiful and rich view of what Montreal has to offer. Located by Montreal's famous restaurants and the best night club...

Private, 5 Bedroom Log Chalet Located 5 Min From Mont Tremblant

This luxurious log chalet boasts an outdoor hot tub, 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 living areas and 2 kitchens. This home is located just minutes from the north side lifts of Mont Tremblant and 10 minutes to Mont Blanc and Mont Tremblant National Park. T...

Vacation Home with Mountain Views, World Class Golf & Skiing!

Get Away: Just bring your personal belongings and food if you want to cook. You'll be right at home in one of North America's most sought after recreation resort areas. Enjoy the mountain and wildlife views right from our 2 decks. Location: One a...

beautiful large 2ha terrain5km st savior, pleasing head season

very beautiful light house, quiet but only 5km from the typical village of St Sauveur, Lively both in winter than in summer station nearest ski Montreal, only 5km from the resort skiing, hiking , skiing for children, huskies, etc45mn the airport i...

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