Friday, May 16, 2008

Victoria Day - Holiday weekend

Victoria Day is a statutory holiday in Canada, and falls on the last Monday before May 25th. In 2008, Victoria Day is on May 19th.

Most people in Canada consider the Victoria Day weekend the real start of summer. The problem is that it's often still pretty cold for the first long weekend of summer (I recall getting snowed on while camping near Stratford a few years back). Still, chances are good the weather will be nice enough to be outside, even if you may need a spring jacket. This is why gardening, camping, patio-lounging, fireworks and other outdoor entertainment are all popular choices over the Victoria Day weekend.

So What's the "May Two-Four"? If you're new to Ontario you should know this weekend has another name - one which has very little to do with celebrating royal birthdays.

A "two-four" is slang for a case of 24 beers, and since the Victoria Day Weekend often ends up including the date May 24th, well, the "May Two-Four" is that weekend where you have an extra day to drink, or recover. However you want to look at it.

The Start of Gardening Season In the hopes that the frost is really over, many people break out the gardening gloves for Victoria Day and get dirty. If you're one of them, check out the Green Toronto calendar for gardening workshops, or visit a nursery to get the plants you need (just don't forget to check their hours, first!). Many grocery and department stores also have garden centres open for this weekend.

Victoria Day Fireworks

Free Fireworks Display at Ashbridges Bay Grab a blanket and head down to the Beaches on Monday May 19th to enjoy a free fireworks display that should start after 9:30pm. Just remember it will be cooler by the water, so dress appropriately and bring something comfy to sit on.

Fireworks at Ontario Place On Sunday May 18th and Monday May 19th you can spend the day at Ontario Place and then enjoy fireworks in the evening. The park will be open from 10am-10pm with regular admission rates. Of course, you can also just get near Ontario Place and keep your eyes on the sky.

Jubilee Queen Cruises - Fireworks Cruise If you'd rather see the fireworks from the water, Jubilee Queen Cruises offers a special evening cruise on the Victoria Day Weekend that also includes dinner and dancing.

Fireworks at Canada's Wonderland Weather permitting, the giant theme park just north of Toronto will be putting on a fireworks display on Sunday May 18th at 10pm. There's also a brunch being served starting at 10am, that has nothing to do with Victoria Day exactly, but if you're going to go, you might as well make a day of it. Regular admission applies and the brunch is extra.

Other Special Events for Victoria Day 2008

HarbourKIDS and the Toronto International Circus Festival Harbourfront and Zero Gravity Circus team up to present three days of FREE events exploring the theme of "fearless". Other performers will be at Harbourfront as well, plus there are numerous hands-on and interactive events to participate in.

Victoria Day at Toronto's Historic Sites Fort York will be open from 10am-4pm on Victoria Day, while the Gibson House will be celebrating the Queen's Birthday from noon-5pm. The Scarborough Historical Museum is having a tea Sunday afternoon to celebrate and Montgomery's Inn is having one on Monday.

Drive Safe everyone!

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