Financial Literacy

5 Ways to Celebrate Canada Day on a Dime

By: Lucy Zemljic on June 30, 2014
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Want to have some frugal Canada Day fun, but not sure what to do? We’ve got 5 free (or really cheap) things to do this July 1st so you can celebrate our nation’s birthday on a budget!

1. Get a Free Meal at Mandarin 

To celebrate Canada’s 147th birthday, Chinese-Canadian buffet Mandarin will be offering an all-you-can-eat meal to Canadian citizens in Ontario. This famous buffet restaurant will open its doors at noon and will be dishing out free meals until 8:30 pm. In order to eat for free, you’ll have to provide your proof of Canadian citizenship, so don’t forget to bring your birth certificate, passport or citizenship card.
Mandarin was opened up by four immigrants, James Chiu, Diana Chiu, George Chiu and K.C. Chang. It started as a small restaurant in 1979 but now boasts 22 locations across southern Ontario, and is a true Canadian success story. It’s also celebrating its 35th anniversary this year – all the more reason to celebrate with a totally free meal this Canada Day!
2. Watch the Fireworks Explode
Fireworks celebrations are quintessential Canada Day activities – honour this lively tradition by taking in one of the many fireworks displays across the country!
If you’re in Toronto this July 1st, why not make your way to the city’s official Canada Day celebration at Mel Lastman Square in North York. Events start at 5 pm and will feature plenty of entertainment and family fun, including live music and circus performances. The fireworks show will start a few hours later at 10:15 pm, and will be choreographed to Canadian music.
There will be plenty of fireworks displays going on from coast to coast, so that you can celebrate wherever you are! If you’re in Calgary, catch the fireworks at Centre St. Bridge, where you can be a part of the city’s main Canada Day celebration. If you’re on the East Coast, take in one of 2014’s biggest July 1st events at Dartmouth Crossings in Halifax. If you’re in downtown Vancouver this Canada Day, why not make your way to the Waterfront Party at Canada Place and enjoy the live music and annual parade!
3. Rock Out With the Q107
If you’re a fan of classic rock, then you can’t miss out on the Q107 Canada Day Picnic at Woodbine Park! Brought to you by Toronto’s favourite classic rock station, this concert will be jam-packed with legendary classic rock tribute bands like Desire, the fastest rising International U2 Tribute in the world, and Rikki Nicks, celebrated Fleetwood Mac tribute band. At 9:30 pm, the stage will be graced by Queen tribute band Queen Flash, who will play right through the fireworks starting at 10 pm. Rock out this Canada Day with these legendary acts on the Q107 stage!
4. Celebrate in Our Nation’s Capital
If you’re in Ottawa this July 1st, why not join in on Canada Day in the Capital, where you can be a part of the country’s biggest birthday celebration.
At Parliament Hill, the party goes on from morning ‘til night, and features a traditional Flag Raising ceremony and Changing of the Guard. Take in some great Canadian musical talent with concerts both at noon and in the evening, featuring Serena Ryder, Marianas Trench, Brett Kissel, and more. What better way to celebrate Canada’s big day than with some of our country’s biggest talents in our nation’s capital!
5. Take in the Savings
If you’re not one for big celebrations or concerts, there’s no reason to feel left out this July 1st. Why not treat yourself to some retail therapy and take advantage of the amazing Canada Day savings across the country?
Save on Electronics and all your favourite gadgets with Canada Day sales at great retailers like Future Shop, Best Buy and If you’re more of the outdoorsy type, check out the savings at Bass Pro Shops to stock up for your next fishing trip or cottage vacation.
If you’d rather add to your closet instead of your electronics, head down to Old Navy and catch their Firework It Sale, going on in stores and online. Get kids’ t-shirts from only $4, dresses from $8, and adult tees from $8.
Show off your Canadian pride with a red and white flag tee for only $4! 

Whether you’re looking to rock out this Canada day with thousands of people or spend some quality time with just a few friends, make sure to drive carefully and celebrate our nation’s birthday while staying safe. Happy Canada Day from all of us here at!