The True North Strong and Free: Canada Celebrates 150 Years of Greatness


Birthdays are always a reason to celebrate, but a 150th birthday calls for a nation-wide party. This July 1st Canada is set to celebrate 150 years since becoming a country and it seems that everyone from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean is getting in on the festivities – including us here at ILSC! We are very lucky to be located in three wonderful and diverse cities here in Canada. Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal were ILSC’s very first three locations, so our history with this wonderful country is rich, after all, we are the International Language School of Canada. Across the country there are events celebrating our amazing country, with some of them happening at our very own locations! Let’s take a look at how ILSC is saying “O, Canada,” and maybe some Canadians facts that just might surprise you!



The birthplace of the very first ILSC is showing their patriotism by encouraging all staff and students to wear our beloved colours of red and white! In addition to this the whole school with have some cake (it is a birthday, after all!) followed by singing both O’ Canada AND Happy Birthday. There will also be a contest for best red and white costume and a Canada themed photo booth for everyone to enjoy.



Another huge celebration taking place in Vancouver is Canada Day at Canada Place (where else?!) This 2 day event boasts 5 different music stages featuring famous Canadian artisits such as Fefe Dobson, Dragonette, Emerson Drive and Sam Roberts, so be sure to bring your dancing shoes. This event will also hold a Canadian citizenship ceremony welcoming 150 new Canadians! Best of all, the event starts with a pancake breakfast, end ends with what’s sure to be a spectacular fireworks show.


If you’re one of the thousands of people who take transit around Vancouver every day then you might see a little change to your typical Compass card (the card used for travel in the city.) For Canada’s 150th TranksLink will be releasing 20,000 special, limited edition Canada 150 Adult Compass Cards, starting June 22nd. Just another way to say Happy Birthday Canada!


What do the walkie-talkie, ice hockey, electric wheelchair, Superman, ginger ale, peanut butter and garbage bags all have in common? You guessed it, they ALL were invented in Canada! 




If you would assume that Canad’as biggest city would have some of the biggest Canada Day celebrations, you would be absolutely correct! One of the long-held traditions is the Canada Day event held right downtown at the iconic Nathan Philips Square. This party has it all, from music (like the world-famous Barenaked Ladies!) to dance, circus performers, and street art. Their musical acts are just as diverse as the city; including urban, indie, roots and pop, so you’ll be sure to find something that you love! Lastly, is it even a Canada Day celebration if it doesn’t end with fireworks? The nightly display is accompanied by music – now that’s they way to do a 150th birthday!



If you’re looking for a more child-friendly event, then the celebration at Queens Park in Toronto is perfect. They have all types of international food vendors, professional makeup artists and face painters, and an entire inflatable zone filled with bouncy castles – we don’t blame you if you’re an adult and still want to go for a bounce or two! For some more fun facts about this amazing city check out our video here!

Did you know: Canada has more bodies of water than the rest of world COMBINED! Another fun fact: approximately 30% of the entire country is forest! No wonder we have so many nature lovers here.




Our third and final stop on our cross-Canada birthday celebration tour is the historic city of Montreal! Staff and students from our location there are travelling up the nations capital in Ottawa to celebrate at Parliament Hill. Thousands and thousands of people come out for activities like the 21 gun salute, a salute to the Canada Armed Forces and an air show display put on by the famous Snowbirds. Another person who is attending this particular celebration is the Prime Minister himself, Justin Trudeau. They didn’t forget about the music lovers either, with performances by Walk of the Earth, Patrick Watson, Alessia Cara, Gordon Lightfoot and Bono! There will also be a massive designated dance space so you can get down to some of Canada’s most famous artists.



Lastly, happening in the very historic Old Part Montreal at Carre Saint-Laurent is a unique celebration of Canada Day. Ironically enough, this year marks Quebec’s 375th birthday, as wlel as Canad’as 150th – talk about a party! Quebec set aside a $110 million to plan for this YEAR-LONG party, so you know its’ going to be good! On July 1st specifically, this event will have the usual musicians and dancers, as well as face painters, a petting zoo, giant picnic area, inflatable obstacle course and the traditions 21 Canadian salute. Take a look here to learn some more things we bet you never knew about Montreal!


Guess what? It’s a cultural traditional in Churchill, Manitoba to leave their cars unlocked in case their neighbours needs to make a quick escape from a polar bear. Which makes sense once you find out that 15, 550 out of the 25, 000 polar bears in the world call Canada home, too.

How about a fun fact speed round?

  • Canada is the most education country in the world, with 42% of the population having a higher education qualification.
  • Half of Canada’s provinces, which account for more than 85% of the population are governed by women. 
  • 77% of worlds maple syrup made in Quebec
  • Some other things that come from Canada include the Blackberry, snow blower, basketball, insulin, electric oven, Hawaiian pizza, the pacemaker and the game Trivial Pursuit!
  • As of 2015, almost half (46%) of Canadians were born outside of Canada! How’s that for diversity?


As we can see, there is no shortage of lakes, trees, maple syrup, multiculturalism or patriotism here in the Great White North. There also is no short supply of Canada events. Whether you’re celebrating in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, or anywhere in between, be sure to get out there, wear your red and white and proudly say: O, Canada, our home and native land!




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