Canada Day

This year, Canada Day will be different. 

This year, in light of the COVID pandemic and the recent discoveries at former residential schools in Canada, this nation-wide event has taken on new significance.

This Canada Day, there is hope for a brighter future for us all. This is the hope we wish to celebrate on July 1st for our country, our home.

Thank you to everyone involved in Canada Day this year. 

The Niagara Falls Canada Day Drive Thru Parade will be aired on YourTV (Channel 700 HD and on Epico Channel 100) on the following dates:

Wednesday, July 7 at 7:30 pm and Friday, July 9 at 4:30 pm. Thank you to Jack Custers and YourTV for their community support.

Indigenous Tributes

Tributes

  • In partnership with the Illumination Board and Niagara Parks, Niagara Falls will be illuminated orange on Canada Day as part of our remembrance, in addition to the traditional red and white illuminations. City Hall will be illuminated orange from dusk on June 30 through dawn on July 2 in remembrance of the 966 children found at residential school sites.
  • A nation-wide drumming event had been planned as part of Canada Day, and Niagara Falls is slated to participate.  It will be a 6-minute long drumming at 3 p.m. to pay special homage to our friends in Indigenous communities. This drumming has a new resonance in light of the recent discoveries in Canada.  This was originally intended as a way to partner, unify and participate together, in a manner that honoured and respected our Indigenous and cultural roots.  This now has become even more meaningful.  It will be a moving way to reflect on our history, to stand up, to be heard, drumming in concert with our friends and the families who are hurting; it is one small way we might express our empathy, our hurt, disgrace, and to stand by our friends as we start to mend, together.  Drumming is a universal way to let them know that their history is a rhythm that resonates in us, not just through the drums, but on the land and in our hearts
  • September 30th to October 7th will be proclaimed Residential School Remembrance Week by City Council at their next meeting. The week will include the important date of September 30th which is Orange Shirt Day.  Though this is after Canada Day, this is another important part of stating our unity publicly and voicing our support of our Indigenous friends, family and neighbours.  

We encourage all Niagara Falls residents to take the time to respect, remember and reflect on the recent events.

Wear orange on July 1 and tie an orange ribbon of remembrance for the children lost in the residential school system at your home. Download an orange heart to hang in your window.

You can make your support heard in government, or ask questions, by writing to your local member of parliament. The MP for Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Fort Erie is Tony Baldinelli.

If you wish to make a donation, here are several organizations you may wish to consider:

The Legacy of Hope Foundation

This foundation is an Indigenous-led charity that works to educate and raise awareness about the history and ongoing impacts of the residential school system. Part of the LHF's goals are to provide needed resources for schools and to prevent the spread of misinformation. Donate to the Legacy of Hope Foundation.

The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund

This fund continues Gord Downie's commitment to improving the lives of First Peoples in Canada. The fund works to build awareness, and eduction on the true history of Indigenous people in Canada, the history of Residential Schools, and encourages reconciliation through events and programming. Donate to the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund.

The Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS)

The IRSSS is an organization out of British Columbia that provides essential services to residential school survivors, their families, and those dealing with Intergenerational traumas. Donate to the IRSSS.

Messages

Message from Mayor Diodati

Greetings from Tony Baldinelli, M.P.

Transcript: Hi, everyone. I'm Tony Baldinelli, your Member of Parliament. I am so honoured and proud to represent the communities of the Town of Fort Erie, the City of Niagara Falls, and the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. On this Canada Day, as we celebrate our country and all that it has to offer, it is also important that we reflect upon and learn from our past. I encourage everyone to take the time this summer to explore the significant history of our region and of our country as we acknowledge the deep sorrow and mourning that all Indigenous people and survivors of residential schools are experiencing at this time. Let us commit ourselves to building a much stronger, more inclusive and united Canada for us all. Happy Canada Day, everyone!

Greetings from Wayne Gates, M.P.P.

Transcript: I want to take a moment and talk about Canada Day. It comes as no surprise that this year's Canada Day is going to be different after the discovery of grave sites on Residential School lands. The graves of Indigenous children. Children of parents who have never known where they were, where their bodies were left. We recognize that it is impossible to celebrate our country fully during this time of mourning. I know so many of you and that you love your country. And many of you know that I love taking part in community parades and events. But loving our country also means acknowledging the full history of our country and the things it has done well, and acknowledging the untold horrors it has inflicted on the nations of this land. It means, that despite (how) much we love these community events, this year is a time to reflect and to mourn.

So many of you know Niagara has a vibrant, wonderful and active Indigenous community who gives us so much, to our community. Now is the time to listen to them, hurt with them, and to do what we can to be part of the healing process. Now is the time to recognize how much further we have to go in the process of reconciliation.

So, on Canada Day, think of your loved ones who you spend so much time with, and think of the ones our country took away from others. It's difficult this year, but we can't look away. By recognizing these tragedies we can begin to walk the path to make this country the country we know it can be. Thank you.

Canada Day Drumming

Canada Day Virtual Drumming - New!

This nation-wide drumming event which was organized by Legacy 150 Celebrations Society, a Vancouver-based non-profit organization was intended to deepen intercultural understanding, and enhance civic engagement through one of the world's most ancient and widely-adopted art forms, percussive arts.  This year, in light of recent discoveries at former residential schools in Canada, this nation-wide event has taken on new significance.  Not just in our Indigenous communities, but universally, drumming has deep cultural roots.  Mayor Diodati has reached out to organizers to ensure that this observance on Canada Day pays special homage to our friends in Indigenous communities.  In Niagara Falls we will be participating in the drumming with a tone of reflection and introspection.  It will be a moving way to get involved yourself, to reflect on our history, to stand up, to be heard, drumming in concert with our friends and the families who are hurting; it is one small way we might express our empathy, our hurt, disgrace, and to stand by our friends as we start to mend, together.  Drumming is a universal way to let Indigenous communities know that their history is a rhythm that resonates in us, not just through the drums, but on the land and in our hearts.

Wouldn’t it be beautiful if we could set a World Record for nation-wide drumming while reflecting for 6 minutes.  This is a unique chance to get online, share your drumming, and show your support.

Nationwide Simultaneous Drumming for 6 minutes (Watch live)

Join in the nationwide simultaneous drumming for six minutes on July 1 at 3 PM. Everyone is welcome and no experience is necessary!  Add: Take 6 minutes to drum, participate and to reflect, on the type of Canada that you want to be a part of moving forward.  Any type of drums may be used. Participants will join on Facebook Live and YouTube Live. Results will be announced at 3:10 PM.

Parade Details

Tickets (bookings have closed)

Limited tickets are available for residents of Niagara Falls, ON. One ticket per household. There is no charge for tickets, however we regret that we can accommodate only a limited number of vehicles during the drive-through this year and appreciate your cooperation in helping us keep traffic moving smoothly throughout the city.

Free Parade Shuttle

Every 15 minutes from 11 AM to 2:45 PM

You don't need a ticket to experience the drive-through parade when you take the free parade shuttle courtesy of Niagara Falls Transit. Parking will be available at the Niagara Falls Public Library (Victoria branch). The shuttle pick-up and drop off location will be on Buckley Av, beside the Taps parking lot (south of Queen St, on the east side of the street). The bus will run every 15 minutes from 11 AM until approximately 2:45 PM with physical distancing and capacity limits in place to help keep everyone safe. All riders must wear a mask.

Important Info

If you are driving, it may take 30 minutes (or more) from the time you enter the queue until you enter the drive-through route. Please prepare accordingly. To help manage the flow of traffic and limit waiting times, we may limit access to ticket holders only and using a new queueing route with traffic control measures including road blocks and parade security officers (in addition to the NRPS). As we all know, in Niagara Falls, July 1st is a very busy day on our roads and highways. Thank you for helping us keep things moving smoothly by arriving no more than 5 minutes ahead of time with your ticket displayed on your dashboard (we'll send details and directions for free printing with your ticket confirmation).

Parade Updates

Tune in to 105.1 FM The River before you head downtown and while you're waiting for official parade updates throughout the day.  Tune in also if you're staying home to decorate your ride (see Contest below) or taking it for a spin around the block to get a great video.

Request a ticket on Eventbrite! (now closed)

Please select one of the available times. Ticket confirmations may take 1-2 business days. Please send us an email if you have any questions about the process. If you cannot print your ticket from home, the library will print it free of charge. Pick up times are during regular library hours only (closed July 1). Visit the Niagara Falls Public Library's website for details and locations.

Contest

Decorate your ride for a chance to win great prizes courtesy of Heart Niagara, St. John Ambulance, and the City of Niagara Falls.

We want YOU to show us what makes you proud, inspired, happy or hopeful. You may enter any or all categories:

  • Cars, trucks, vans, etc.
  • Bicycles, tricycles
  • Scooters, wheelchairs, any other ride!

How to enter the contest:

On Thursday, July 1, 2021 between 12:01 AM and 11:59 PM:

  1. Have fun decorating your ride
  2. Take a great photo of it
  3. Complete our online entry form: Decorate Your Ride Contest!
  4. Upload or send in your photo for judging (see item 3 under Eligibility, below)

Please stay safe and follow all provincial and local gathering restrictions and public health measures.

Social sharing and tagging

Got a cool video of your decorations coming together? A 360-view of your ride? If you're sharing on social, we'd love to see it. Our handles will be listed below. Remember to use the online form to enter the contest and be eligible for prizes.

  • Niagara Falls Recreation: @niagarafallsrecreation on Instagram
  • Heart Niagara: @heartniagara
  • St John Ambulance: @sjaniagarafalls

Eligibility:

  • Contest runs July 1, 2021, from 12:01 AM  to 11:59 PM.
  • Entries not received within this time period will not be eligible to win a prize.
  • Contest open to Niagara Falls residents, all ages (participants under 16 must have parent/guardian permission to enter).
  • Photo and video must be appropriate and abide by City standards.
  • Keep everything family friendly!
  • No purchase necessary to enter or win.
  • Online form must be filled out to receive/claim prizes. Tagging photos on social media does not constitute an official entry and will not be eligible for prizes.
  • Prizes have no cash value and cannot be substituted or transferred.

Agreement:

By entering the contest, you allow the City of Niagara Falls and/or social media accounts to use your photos/videos in their promotional posts related to this contest (i.e. prize announcements and participation highlights).

Relevance:

Contest entries will be judged by their relevance to the event, ingenuity, and creativity. While taking your photos, remember the three most important protocols: practise physical distancing with those outside your household, stay home, and wash your hands often!

Winners will be notified via email by Wednesday, July 7, 2021.

Good luck to all entrants and thank you for participating!

Assessment Criteria:

For the Judges Favorite, displays will be assessed on the following scoring:

  • Overall Presentation (30 points)
  • Originality (25 points)
  • Theme (15 points)
  • Creative Effects (15 points)
  • Detail (15 points)

For more information, please send us an email or call Recreation & Culture at 905-356-7521 ext. 3330 during regular business hours (office closed on July 1st). 

Canada Day: A Time to Reflect

Canada Day: A time to reflect

Run for St. John Ambulance

9th Annual Run for SJA: Run, Walk or Wheel!

UPDATE: Run extended until July 5th! Complete your 5k anywhere, anytime between June 26th and July 5th.

Run for St John Ambulance

Proceeds from the Run for St John Ambulance will provide medical supplies and equipment for their community services programs, including Medical First Responders, Search and Rescue Niagara, Therapy Dogs, and Youth Cadets.  All entrants will receive a race bib and medal. Kids can participate for FREE in the 1k Fun Run!

To learn more and register, visit 5K Run for St. John Ambulance

Sponsors

The 2021 Niagara Falls Canada Day Drive-Thru Parade is sponsored by the Federal Government of Canada - Heritage Canada, the City of Niagara Falls, The Authentic Downtown BIA, Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc., the Niagara Regional Police Service, Niagara Helicopters, the Professional Hockey Players Association, Niagara Peninsula Amateur Radio (NPARC), St John Ambulance, Artista Design and Print, Heart Niagara, Niagara Region, 105.1 FM The River, 101.1 MORE FM, YourTV Niagara, The Niagara Falls Review, the Niagara Falls Public Library, JD Louis Media, Keefer Developments Ltd., Vann Advertising, Cruising on the Q, and Talk Wireless.

Notice to Neighbourhood Residents

Important Notice to Residents/Business/Property Owners

The Niagara Falls Canada Day Drive Thru Parade will be held on Thursday, July 1 from 11 AM to 3 PM on Queen Street. Access to and from your property may be affected during this time.

Road Closures (Important Information):

Queen St (between Victoria Av and Zimmerman Av) will be closed on Thursday, July 1 from 6 AM until 6 PM. In addition, the following streets between Bridge St and Queen St will be affected in order to bring spectator vehicles safely into the line-up area for the parade:

  • Queen Street
  • Buckley Avenue
  • Lawrence Avenue
  • Crysler Avenue
  • Clair Avenue
  • Ontario Avenue
  • Erie Avenue
  • Bridge Street
  • Park Street
  • Zimmerman Avenue

Please note:

All vehicles in these areas MUST BE REMOVED FROM THE STREETS BY 7 AM.

Any vehicles remaining on the streets WILL BE TOWED at the owner’s expense.

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

We hope you will be able to join in the Canada Day Drive Thru Parade.

Register online (see Tickets, above) in order to drive through the Parade entertainment, or ride the free Niagara Transit Shuttle to enjoy the Parade entertainment. The Niagara Transit Shuttle will begin at 11 AM and run every 15 minutes. The Niagara Transit Shuttle pick-up and drop off location will be on Buckley Avenue, south of Queen Street, on the east side of the street beside the Taps parking lot. All riders must wear a mask.

Important! Due to the covid situation, there will be no large gatherings allowed on Queen Street, and all covid protocol will be followed. Everyone is encouraged to social distance and wear a mask. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Event updates will be posted on this page.

Should you have any questions, please contact the City of Niagara Falls at 905-356-7521, extension 3330 or send us an email

Photos

 
Arty the Circus Drummer with Silka the Contortionist and Hockey Guy (photo by Arty)

Arty the Circus Drummer with Silka the Contortionist and Hockey Guy (photo by Arty)




"Not All Heros Wear Capes" (photo: Images by Bruno)

Crash Rhythm (photo: Images by Bruno)

Crash Rhythm (photo: Images by Bruno)

Silver Starlet (photo: Images by Bruno)

Silver Starlet (photo: Images by Bruno)

NIOMA (photo: Images by Bruno)

NIOMA (photo: Images by Bruno)

Mermaid (photo: Images by Bruno)

Mermaid (photo: Images by Bruno)

Project Share volunteers (photo: Images by Bruno)

Project Share volunteers (photo: Images by Bruno)

Club Italia (photo: Images by Bruno)

Club Italia (photo: Images by Bruno)

Great Wolf Lodge mascots Wiley and Violet (photo: Images by Bruno)

Great Wolf Lodge mascots Wiley and Violet (photo: Images by Bruno)

Jimmy Stahl Big Band (photo: Images by Bruno)

Jimmy Stahl Big Band (photo: Images by Bruno)

Niagara Symphony Orchestra (photo: Images by Bruno)

Niagara Symphony Orchestra (photo: Images by Bruno)

Vehicles driving along the parade route (photo: Images by Bruno)

Vehicles driving along the parade route (photo: Images by Bruno)

Special thanks to Bruno Campagiorni, longtime volunteer parade photographer. To see more photos from this year's event, check out Images by Bruno on Instagram and Facebook.

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The Niagara Falls Canada Day Celebration has been recognized as one of the TOP 100 Festivals and Events in Ontario!

2017 Canada Day photo of children


Media

Read our Jun 17 Media Release