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

Bear Paw Lodge - A Retreat Near to Golden & Kicking Horse.

Welcome to BEAR PAW LODGE. Only a short drive from Golden BC and the incredible Kicking Horse Mountain resort you will find Bear Paw Lodge, nestled in the beautiful Blaeberry Valley. Set in a tranquil 'get away from it all' location with 360 d...

The Seide Room in Fraser River View Holiday House

Enjoy the incredible view from our one acre garden property high above the Fraser River. Watch the tugboats go by and listen to the cry of the wild geese or catch a glimpse of the soaring eagles. Mount Baker in the distance amazes you with its eve...

Fraser Riverview Holiday Apartment

Enjoy the incredible view from our one acre garden property high above the Fraser River. Watch the tugboats go by and listen to the cry of the wild geese or catch a glimpse of the soaring eagles. Mount Baker in the distance amazes you with its eve...

Panoramic Views, Best Area (Deep Cove), 20 Mins from Downtown, Garden w Stream!

A RARE OPPORTUNITY TO LIVE IN A UNIQUELY BEAUTIFUL LOCATION YET CLOSE TO DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER... At Eagle's Nest you are immersed in the incredible wild nature of B.C., and still only 20 minutes from Downtown Vancouver! We are at the foot of Mount ...

Stormbay Cottage And Conference Centre

Beautiful, fully equipped, lake front Cottage. Located on the shores of Lake of the Woods Ontario, this magnificent cottage features features 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a beautiful spacious kitchen/living space, and 4 private common areas. BBQ is si...

Whistler, British Columbia Whistler Mountain Town House

Our Whistler Mountain town house (1400 square feet) is located minutes from Whistler Creekside Gondola (Whistler Mountain) and Alpha Lake Beach Park, making it the perfect winter or summer retreat. With stunning views of Alpha Lake, you'll feel li...

Stoney Creek 2 bedroom condo. Village location with free parking

The Stoney Creek Northstar complex is a guest favourite for a handful of reasons including a fabulous year round pool and hot tub area and free, secure, underground parking. Stoney Creek Northstar is located directly across the street from the Mar...

Ski Out & Cozy, Sleeps 4 With Full Kitchen Which Is Family Friendly.

Village and restaurants, all less than 1 km away, free shuttle. Bedding & towels provided for use during your stay. Studio unit has one queen bed and double sofa bed in an open-concept room w/full kitchen (all cookware & dishes included). New 32...

Voted 'Best Vancouver Accommodation 2011 and 2012!'

Avalon Guest Suite and Coach house is located on a quiet tree lined street but just steps from shops, restaurants and easy direct transportation links to downtown Vancouver and UBC. There are over 30 different restaurants and cafes located within ...

2 Bdrm/2 Bath (Gold Rated) Condo - Best Location in Whistler, Carleton Lodge 402

Carleton Lodge #402 (gold rated) is located in the skier’s plaza just steps from both Blackcomb and Whistler ski lifts. * You cannot get accommodations any closer to either the ski lifts or the shops and restaurants of Whistler Village than Carle...
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