Every year when the calendar marks December 31st, millions of people gear up as Canada dazzles with fireworks, enthralls with lights, and pumps up the energy to give a warm (albeit cold) welcome to the New Year.
Whether you want to watch the balls drop at Nathan Phillips Square, visit the breathtaking Niagara Falls, or celebrate at the numerous parties that happen throughout the country, Canada’s got you covered. To brighten up your mood, you can enjoy a memorable holiday season with friends and family with fun-filled themed celebrations across the country.
Every city brings something unique, so let’s take a look at how Canadians like to celebrate their New Year’s.
What do Canadians do During NYE?
Canada is geographically vast and has one of the largest ethnically diverse populations. People from different parts of the world call this country their home, and each culture has its customs and traditions for celebrating New Year’s.
In many parts of Canada, people take dips, plunges, or Vancouver’s famous ‘Polar Bear Swim’, which sees thousands of participants plunging into the English Bay to welcome new beginnings in grand style.
Yet in other parts, clapping, roaring, and loud noises are made as soon as the countdown to New Year’s ends. This tradition is based on the belief that loud sound waves dispel evil spirits and invite positive vibes for the New Year.
Another important Canadian tradition is to go ice fishing with friends and family. As per this custom, it’s believed that fishes bring abundance and joy to the New Year’s.
There’s also a Canadian folklore that included people collecting coals from hearths and presenting them to their dear ones. Today, the coals are replaced by gifts that Canadians present to their friends and family.
Thus, we can see the sheer diversity of celebrations that Canadians do during the new year. People still abide by these customs across the country.
However, a large part of the celebrations includes NYE parties across the country. There are hundreds of other events and activities, ranging from watching the Northern Lights at midnight to viewing the fireworks light up the magnificent Niagara Falls.
To help you prepare for a night to remember, we present our guide to the must-visit places across Canada.
Watch the Amazing Niagara Falls Fireworks
There’s an unparalleled thrill that awaits your presence at Niagara Falls. As a local, you may have seen the falls numerous times, but it’s also home to adrenaline-pumping parties and mesmerizing displays during New Year’s. While events are nothing new to the falls – attracting thousands of Canadians and tourists throughout the year, the energy amp up to the maximum during NYE.
Splendid fireworks go up at Queen Victoria Park that light up the falls in vibrancy as live music rings through the air. You can also attend brunch and dinner on 31st December near the falls.
Glimpse of the Splendid Northern Lights
The Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve is a wild expanse of nature that spans 2.5 million acres. Amid the wild and under the blanket of stars, you can watch the eccentric dance of Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) in the night sky. The ideal escape for nature lovers, this unique display is probably the most romantic way to welcome the New Year. This rare spectacle is only glimpsed by a few, and it’s safe to say that it spellbinds everyone lucky enough to witness it.
Celebrate at L’olympia Montreal
Montreal’s L’olympia is a hugely popular event that attracts more than 2,000 guests every year. Canadians flock to L’olympia every year to party all night long in a vibrant and boisterous atmosphere.
Apart from grooving to the lovely tunes, you can enjoy a wide array of delicious food and cocktails. By midnight, the whole event turns into a joyous spectacle that culminates in a stunning display of fireworks. A must-visit event if you haven’t experienced the festivities before.
Dine on Top of the CN Tower
CN Tower is an architectural landmark in Toronto standing tall at 553 m. The structure is the third-tallest man-made building in the world, one which offers you the chance to dine with panoramic views of the city. The 360° restaurant offers a sumptuous and picturesque dining experience as you watch the city lights below while rotating on your seat.
Chow down on mouth-watering dishes that include locally sourced ingredients for Canadian delicacies along with a flurry of international cuisines. While you’re at it, you can also watch the fireworks go up from your seat on top of the world (almost).
Attend the Waterfront Festival
The shimmering Lake Ontario awaits your presence with banging music, sumptuous food, and a wicked fireworks display as Toronto’s skyline rests in the background.
Let’s get to the music first, which is unmissable owing to its impressive lineup of musicians and DJs who make sure that your energy levels don’t drop till midnight and beyond.
Next, we get to the sheer number of choices you have with food. Local vendors and international labels offer everything from local favorites to international delicacies to cater to every taste bud.
The grand finale, of course, is the fireworks display that’s worth waiting for. As the unanimous chants of countdown ring in the air and the clock turns midnight, you can see the brilliant Lake Ontario dazzle up in rainbow colors as the fireworks go up. Simply breathtaking.
Dance at the Dancing Sasquatch
The Dancing Sasquatch in Alberta is where you can flaunt your dance moves to chart-topping music all night long. The New Year’s festivities here are unparalleled with its nature-inspired theme, live DJ music, and an expansion selection of drinks to keep your adrenaline pumping as the New Year draws closer.
As midnight approaches, the celebrations peak to an absolute maximum with a marvelous light display as you raise a toast of champagne and enjoy fun party favors.
Join the Halifax Grand Parade
The Halifax Grand Parade is a massive street party that engulfs the city in vibrant colors and infectious vibes. Thousands of people descend to the streets to party with loud music blaring from public speakers.
The experience is akin to a massive outdoor live event amidst the snow-covered streets of Halifax. Local and international musicians play their rhythms and beats to keep you engaged till midnight when the grand spectacle of fireworks launches from Citadel Hill. This larger-than-life display is something to behold and believe only when you see it in person.
The Halifax Grand Parade is a free-to-attend and family-friendly event, making it a complete entertainer.
Ski Through Banff
The holiday season turns Banff into a Shakespearean hamlet wonderland. Banff is a hugely popular winter destination full of fun-filled activities where you can hit the local cafes and restaurants, and ski down the pristine snow slopes as vibrant fireworks linger in the backdrop.
This is one of Canada’s most attended events during New Year’s for those who want to celebrate new beginnings in a beautiful setting with alpine trees and endless snow tropes.
If your skiing skills aren’t great, you can also opt for snowboarding and snowshoeing here.
Party at Barcode Saturdays
Folks in Toronto who want to let loose and welcome the New Year’s in opulent style head to Barcode Saturdays. We’re a luxury nightclub that has created a cult following among loyal clubbing connoisseurs in the city. Our annual NYE party is something of a spectacle and a must-attend party for those who want to escape into another dimension of celebrations.
Be part of a celebrity crowd in a lively atmosphere, drink premium champagnes, wines, and other liquors to fuel your NYE spirit, and leave nothing behind the new year with your dancing moves all night long. Reserve our premium bottle services and upgrade your celebrations with lavish couches, bar tops, and booths.
Have a memorable end to the year and keep spinning as the calendar marks a shift to another year. We await your presence.
Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Canada
Canada is widely known for its pandemonium of great events, parties, and nature escapades. Start your New Year with a bang and make unforgettable memories with these leading NYE events and activities.