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

Affordable Luxury, 5 Br Condo With Spectacular View Of Lake And Mountains

Our condo sits atop the Mont-Plaisant and has a stunning view of Lake Mercier and the surrounding mountains. 5 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, fully equipped kitchen, 2 balconies, BBQ, 42' flat screen TV, WiFi. A whirlpool bathtub in the upstairs bath...

Walk Everywhere Spadina Apartment

The Marigold is a bright, spacious 1 bedroom apartment nestled in the heart of the Annex area, Easily accessible by car or public transit, an ideal location for those seeking a 'real Toronto' experience & the convenience of being close to everythi...

5 Star Cabin In The Heart Of Gibson's Steps From The Ocean!!

Brand new (designed like a westin suite) cabin. We have spared no expense when building this romantic yet modern retreat in the best location in gibson's. You will enjoy 5 star amenities yet feel like you are far away from the city hustle and bu...

POWDER CHALET! Under 1 minute drive or short walk to gondola!

This unique and totally renovated swiss designed chalet is AWESOME! Located extremely close to Revelstoke Mountain Resort on a private 1 acre lot with mountain views. Enjoy such modern amenities as stainless steel appliances, quality cookware an...

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


100 Yr Home , 2 Bd Condo, 1500sf. Fireplace , Close Water, Lachine Canal

La Maison Marlo is located in the beautiful waterfront district of Lachine (15 minute drive from downtown Montreal). Built in the late 1880s, the home was completely and tastefully restored in 2010 to reflect its rustic beginnings. This is a 1500 ...

Whistler - Two Bedroom Condo In The Upper Village

Welcome to the Powderhorn Resort! This large two bedroom ski-in ski-out condo is located in the upper village 150 meters from the ski slopes. The ski in ski out trail is roughly 50 meters from the condo door. If you are visiting us in the summer ...

Gorgeous Waterfront Refuge

Perfect for a honeymoon! This hidden jewel is on a quiet bay only a few minutes to downtown Victoria, Goldstream Park, Thetis Lake Park, Fort Rodd Hill. The view is very special - Olympic mountains to the south and waterfront at your front door. ...


This wonderful turn of the century home has been completely updated. Spacious and comfortable, it boasts a large kitchen, dining room, living room, 2 bedrooms + den and 2 bathrooms, all beautifully finished. In suite washer dryer, dishwasher, et...

Cozy 1bdr suite Cook St Village

Very cozy, bright and private 1 bdr suite on the top floor of an old 7 unit conversion with balcony and gas fireplace. Exceptional location in Fairfield within walking distance to Beacon Hill Park, Cook Street Village, the ocean and downtown. The...
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