You only turn 150 once, and in Hamilton Halton Brant we’re firm believers that a milestone this significant deserves more than a one-day celebration. Join the party! Invite some family and friends and celebrate the red, white and true with us this spring.
1. Make a Run for it
Hamilton’s Around The Bay isn’t just Canada’s oldest road race. The 30-km race has been challenging avid runners since 1894, longer than any other race in North America! Whether you choose to pound the pavement with the best of them or join the cheering fans who line the route on March 26th, the excitement and adrenalin of the day will warm your heart and fill you with a great sense of Canadian pride.
2. Sweeten up Your Sappy Side
It doesn’t get much more Canadian than tucking into a stack of steaming pancakes smothered in fresh maple syrup. There are plenty of great options in Hamilton Halton Brant:
- In addition to their Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival, Terra Cotta Conservation Area in Halton Hills is hosting a Maple Syrup by Lamplight event on March 31st complete with hot drinks and treats by a crackling bonfire and a sugar bush photo booth with fun props for taking the quintessential Canadian selfie!
In Oakville, Bronte Creek Provincial Park’s Maple Syrup Festival celebrates days gone by with guided tours of Maple Lane, where interpreters costumed for the 1890's demonstrate historical ways of collecting and making maple syrup. The tour ends in the middle of Spruce Lane Farm where visitors learn how to make fresh maple sugar or enjoy a stick of delicious maple taffy before visiting the various farm animals in the yard.
To experience a sugar bush that’s been producing maple syrup for almost all of Canada’s 150 years, head to Mountsberg Conservation Area’s Maple Town. Enjoy a guided wagon ride through the sugar bush and learn about the history of maple syrup. Climb, jump, and run in the Play Barn. See dramatic birds of prey demonstrations in the Raptor Centre and view bison, eagles, hawks and owls along the Wildlife Walkway.
- To learn more about how maple syrup was discovered and used by Ontario’s First Peoples, visit the reconstructed Iroquoian Village at Crawford Lake Conservation Area. Foodies will enjoy trying a tasting flight of the different grades and types of maple syrup and kids will love completing the maple themed discovery hunt!
- What does Canada’s prettiest town look like when its main street shuts down to celebrate all things maple? Find out for yourself by attending the Maple Syrup Festival in Paris on April 8th. Enjoy great food, fun demonstrations and shopping.
3. The Big Freeze
Ever wonder what Canada looked like four million years ago? See for yourself at the Royal Botanical Garden’s The Big Freeze through April 17th. This hands-on exhibit explores the Ice Age at its very coolest with mega-sized mammals, interactive demonstrations, expert talks and more.
4. Ride Along in one of Canada’s Most Rugged Bike Races
Inspired by the beloved Paris to Roubaix bike race in France, the Paris to Ancaster race has taken place for the past twenty-three years over the roughest farm lanes, trails and gravel roads our region has to offer. On April 30th, you can choose from a 20-km, 40-km or 70-km route and bring young riders along to enjoy the special route for kids.
5. Take off, eh?
Courtesy of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, flight fanatics can enjoy a one-of-a-kind aerial view of our great country by purchasing a ride in a vintage Beechcraft Expeditor, Douglas Dakota, Noorduyn Norseman, de Havilland Canada Chipmunk, Fairchild Cornell, de Havilland Tiger Moth, Boeing Stearman, North American Harvard, Fairey Firefly, North American B-25 Mitchell, Consolidated Canso or Avro Lancaster. Depending on the aircraft, flights are available year-round or from June through November.
6. Rock on
Fossil fans and gem and mineral enthusiasts can dig up unexpected Canadian treasures at two fun events in Hamilton Halton Brant this spring. The Gem and Mineral Show in Paris on April 1st and 2nd will feature gem, mineral and fossil dealers, demonstrations, jewellery vendors and fun activities for kids like mining for gems and digging for fossil fish. From May 5th through 7th, Robert Hall Originals will host Spring Mineral Madness to launch the opening of the Rock Yard.
7. Comedy a la Canuck
Canadians are known for our signature sense of humour, so what better way to celebrate our country’s big year than with a night of laughter courtesy of a Canadian comedian? Great options this spring include Bob Cates in Brantford, Gerry Dee in Hamilton and Rick Mercer in Burlington.
8. Art with Canadian Heart
Hamilton Halton Brant’s fantastic galleries and museums are getting into the Canada 150 spirit with a collection of engaging exhibits that are sure to ignite your sense of Canadian pride.
The Oakville Museum at Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre is showcasing a collection of artifacts, photographs and interviews from 150 current Oakville residents representing different cultures and traditions from around the world, woven together to showcase Oakville’s vibrant community and its Canadian identity.
The Art Gallery of Hamilton’s Evolution of Form: 150 Years of Sculpture from the Collection offers visitors the chance to experience both asked-after favourites and rarely-seen masterworks from the Gallery’s extensive collection.
- Beginning May 27th, the Glenhyrst Art Gallery in Brant will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada by showcasing masterworks by artists from Canada in it’s The View From Here exhibit.
We’re just getting started! We’ve rounded up dozens more different ways to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in the months ahead. Choose from the following categories to find the fun that best suits your interests:Taste of Canada