Canada Day cancelled: Ford government says no to annual Ontario bash

A crowd gathers for the Canada Day celebration on the lawn of the Legislative Building at Queen's Park on July 1, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

With Canada Day less than a week away, the Ontario government has decided on a drastically more limited approach to the celebration.

Doug Ford’s government has announced the Ontario legislature will not host a Canada Day celebration this year, due to low attendance and hefty costs totalling approximately $400,000.

Instead, the government has decided to offer free admission for the first 500 people to 10 Canada Day attractions in the province, which will cost about $80,000.

"Instead of hosting a single event at Queen's Park, we are providing free admission for thousands of people to Canada Day events across the province," Ford's executive director of communications Laryssa Waler said in a statement to The Canadian Press. "Ontario families should have the ability to celebrate Canada Day with us, regardless of where in the province they live."

The free Canada Day event locations are:

  • Ontario Science Centre in Toronto

  • Cinesphere at Ontario Place in Toronto

  • Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto

  • Fort William Historical Park in Thunder Bay

  • Huronia Historical Parks in Midland and Penetanguishene

  • St. Lawrence Parks Commission in Morrisburg

  • Butterfly conservatory in Niagara Falls

  • Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington

  • McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Vaughan

  • Science North in Sudbury

Last year, approximately 5,000 people attended the Queen’s Park event, which has historically included performances, a 21-gun salute, and various crafts and activities for children.

Once Ontarians heard of the cancellation, many took to social media to share their thoughts on the new approach by the provincial government:

What do you think of the Ontario government cancelling Canada Day celebrations at Queen’s Park this year? Vote in the poll above and leave your thoughts in the comments below.