Fireworks will light up the night sky this weekend for Canada Day.

The biggest celebration in Waterloo Region has always been held at Columbia Lake.

"We've certainly seen crowds upwards of 60,000 to 70,000 people," says Kelly McManus, the Senior Director of Community Relations and Events at the University of Waterloo.

The school has been hosting the event for the past 35 years.

But this year will be its last.

"The decision to make this our last Canada Day certainly wasn't an easy one," says McManus. "It was really started by our students as an opportunity for them to give back to our community. As you can appreciate, lots has changed in our community in 35 years. Even though we've been really proud to host it and welcome our community to our campus, we decided it was time to evolve the event and see what other opportunities may exist in the future."

They say the cost of the event and security were major factors in their decision.

This year's Canada Day celebration at Columbia Lake will only include fireworks. There will be no live music or other events scheduled at the park. Visitors are encouraged come by Columbia Park after 8 p.m. on Canada Day.

Here's a look at more Canada Day events in our area:

Waterloo - Columbia Lake Field

  • Limited parking starts at 8 p.m. but public transit is encouraged
  • Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and snacks
  • Fireworks start at 10 p.m.

Kitchener – City Hall

  • Free concert by the Juno-nominated country duo The Reklaws, Emily Reid, Jessica Mitchell and Jessie T
  • Kid zone with inflatables and other family-friendly activities (4 p.m. – 9 p.m.)
  • Food and a licensed patio
  • Fireworks start at 10:15 p.m.

Cambridge – Riverside Park

  • Parade along Concession Road (from Trico to Dunbar) at 10 a.m.
  • Mopar Show (12 p.m. until 6 p.m.)

Cambridge – Calvary Assembly (127 Hespeler Road)

  • Children’s events include inflatables, games, facing painting, balloon animals and more
  • Food and music
  • Fireworks at dusk

Ayr – Schmidt Park

  • Musical performances
  • Fireworks after 9:45 p.m.


  • Citizenship ceremony (4 p.m.)
  • Musical performances throughout the day
  • Fireworks at 10 p.m.

Stratford – Market Square

  • Music, food, carriage rides, face painting and more activities for the kids

Brantford – Lions Park/Steve Brown Sports Complex

  • Citizenship ceremony (9 a.m. at the Boys and Girls Club)
  • Kid zone (12 p.m. – 11 p.m.)
  • Food, beer, vendors, pony rides
  • Fireworks at 10 p.m.


  • Breakfast with Batman at the community centre (8 a.m. – 11 a.m.)
  • Vendor’s Market beside the Grandstand (1 p.m. – 10 p.m.)
  • Puddicombe House Kids Zone featuring bouncy castles, funny photos and face painting beside the playground (2 p.m. – 8 p.m.)
  • Petting zoo by the Wilmot Agricultural Society (2 p.m.)
  • New Hamburg Legion Beer Garden under the Grandstand (2 p.m. – 8 p.m.)
  • Freestyle Motocross Stunt Show at the Grandstand (2:30 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 6:20 p.m.)
  • Pie eating contest (3:15 p.m.)
  • Fireworks at dusk

Grand River Transit and ION service will be operating on a Sunday schedule throughout the day but extra train and buses will be added starting at 10:30 p.m. until the end of service.

Best of all - passengers can ride for free!