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

Totally Renovated 3 Bedroom Basement Suite

Newly renovated and fully furnished 3 bedroom suite near Deep Cove. Close to public transport, Cates Park, shopping, Mount Seymour, and only 20 minutes from downtown. Includes cable TV and free wireless internet. We welcome families and pets (w...

Ridgehaven Comfortable, relaxing central Calgary home with hot-tub

Property with easy access to Canmore and Banff- Gateway to the Canadian Rockies. This centrally located home is close to the downtown, universities, hospitals, Canada Olympic Park, Stampede Park, and the sporting venues that host the Calgary Stamp...

Gorgeous One Bedroom In The Heart Of Downtown, Montreal!

Located in the Heart of Downtown, or in a area better known as Quartier des Spectacles, Our Sweet Charlotte is the perfect One bedroom condo for anyone! Amenities AC DVD Player Linens & Towels Concierge Services Restaurant/Bar Hardwood Floor...

15 mins. C-84 m2 city-Jar. Botanical-Olympic Stadium-PIE-IX metro, etc..

Large apartment (84 m2) sunny very comfortable and very clean, large air-conditioned room. Tranquility to rest, large trees, wide streets, the bike path, the great Parc Maisonneuve for his shows or just walk there, Botanical Garden, one of the mos...

Addie's Attic

We are centrally located on Saltspring Island within walking distance to town (and the popular Saturday Market with products made by local artisans and growers), a walking distance of about 1 km. It is easy to download a web-brochure 'Saltspring I...

New Condo At The Heart Of North York Built and furnished at the end of May 2014

NEW AND HIGH FLOOR CONDO IN THE HEART OF NORTH YORK, if you are seeking a new, convenient, luxury, and definitely comfy 2 bedrooms condo, here is the best choice for you, and it's the decision you would never regret to make..... available on June...

Gorgeous One Bedroom Located in amazing/quiet/friendly neighborhood

This gorgeously redesigned 2 floor condo comes with everything you need. From the perfect location to the bowl you need for your soup! This loft truly encapsulates Montreal city living at its best. Want to know what its like to live in the shoes ...

Luxury Studio Apt. Close To Beaches,fishing, Hiking,dining All At Your Doorstep!

This luxury studio apartment is situated off a tributary of the fraser river. With amazing views of mountain cheam, wildlife such as heron, eagles, beavers, bears and so much more! Walk in off your own private deck with bbq, into this spacious ope...

Beautiful Brand New 2 Bedroom With Reserved Indoor Parking

12 month minimum reservation. A beautiful new urbanized environment awaits you, a short 10 minute walk to the bustling downtown core or to the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal and the Old Port - the best of both worlds in modern luxury living!...

Amazing 3 Bdrm Tremblant Condo - Available For Ironman 70.3 World

Beautifully appointed, spacious 3 bedroom 2 bath condo at Mont Tremblant Resort. Our condo at Tremblant-Les-Eaux (1400 sq. ft. or 130 sq. m) is situated on the 11th hole of Le Geant golf course offers a breathtaking view of the mountain and vil...

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