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

Westlake Fully Furnished 3 bedroom Luxury House with loft & Hot Tub- Upper Beach

This beautifully renovated bungalow offers a fully opened living and kitchen area with a cathedral ceiling. Large picture windows frame out the ravine that this property backs on to, stretching your eye won't be a problem! Enjoy 5.1 surround sound...

A True Ski-in Ski-out, One Of A Kind Family Home

This is truly a unique new home. It has been described as a late 60's early 70's, Scandinavian ski home. There are two master bedrooms upstairs with king sized beds. A bunk room downstairs that sleeps six, and an additional three beds in the TV ro...

Enchanted Garden Home central to the best of Victoria!!!

This beautiful home offers visitors a truly wonderful indoor and outdoor living experience. Guests can enjoy the warmth, comfort, and modern conveniences offered inside this 2 level home, or relax outside on the gorgeous 3 level custom built deck ...

Gibsons Premier Sunset View Location - Atop the Town's Tranquil Bluff

Enjoy the entire lower suite of our beautiful Tuscan-style home. We are a short but healthy walk from the vibrant Lower Gibsons with its market, shops and coffee houses - not forgetting the famous Molly's Reach restaurant (home of the Beachcombers...

Affordable Whistler Luxury Vacation Home

This cozy mountain lodge, set in spectacular surroundings will make the perfect setting for your holiday, bridal shower, family or corporate retreat. Brilliant mountain views and charming accommodations welcome you to the #1 resort in North Ameri...

3 Bedroom Cottage - Nightly Rentals @ The Port Albert Inn and Cottages

Mary's Cottage is one of our 3 bedroom cottage at the Port Albert Inn and Cottages. Nightly and weekly rentals. All bedding, linens, towels, and soaps are provided. It has a south facing sun room which is very well lit. It is just steps to the ...

New Condo With Great Views

New 2 Bed, 2 Bath Spacious Unit with wrap around Balcony! Views of Toronto and the Lake, Minutes from Humber Bay Park, Ontario Place, the CNE and Lakeshore Biking, Hiking and Beaches. In a great development with Indoor and Outdoor Pools, Whirlpoo...

Condo Mont Ste-Anne - 2 bedrooms

Brand new 4th floor condominium unit located a few seconds of Mont Ste-Anne ski resort, fully furnished with all amenities you need for a long stay! 2 bedrooms with queen size bed to sleep 4 guests comfortably. A full equipped kitchen with applian...

Huge Private Hot Tub, Pool, Village location, wifi, free parking sleeps 6

Location: Glacier's Reach, Whistler Village, Village North, Whistler, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (1.5 hours by Bus or Car from Vancouver International Airport) next to Marketplace (IGA, liquor store, pharmacy, starbucks, McDonalds, 7-11, ...

Cozy Master BR in New Condo

My brand new Condo is minutes from the Airport and is perfect if you are here for Stampede and have a car. You get the master bedroom with full ensuite bathroom. Air Crew, Business people and first timers to Calgary are very welcome. Wi-Fi, Kit...

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