The fact that a vast majority of Canada has a federal statutory holiday called Victoria Day and the UK doesn’t, may make it appear as though Canada holds the Royal Family close to their hearts and is clinging on to patriotism of times gone by. Well, it’s not. More of a holiday that someone can’t be bothered to do the paperwork to get rid of (and why would they), Victoria Day is a Canadian public holiday celebrated on the last Monday before May 25, in honor of Queen Victoria‘s birthday.
If anything, it has come to informally mark the beginning of the summer season in Canada. Quebec on the other hand unoficially celebrated what was known as Fête de Dollard from the Quiet Revolution until 2003, held on the same day as Victoria. It is now an official provincial holiday and has come to be known as National Patriots’ Day, still held on the same day as Victoria Day.
I celebrated Victoria Day by going to see some awesome fireworks at Ashbrige’s Bay down by the Lakeshore in Toronto. The beaches were packed with people of all ages and backgrounds and it was a great atmosphere. The fireworks started at 10pm but some people, children included decided to light their own fireworks which didn’t always go up in the air vertically!! Bring in the beach police on the little wobbly carts.
My friend and I planned our escape route before the fireworks had even begun, as the queues for buses back to Woodbine station were clearly going to be packed. After a good 5 minutes of fireworks, we headed for the bus and watched the rest of the display on there, with the bus driving off just as the fireworks finished. Perfection!