11 things to do on Canada Day in and around Edmonton

Ideas inspired by the NAIT community

The time has come once again to show your love for Canada by enjoying all it has to offer. Will it all be little different this year? Yep. But since we are a resourceful, hardy and fun-loving country, different can still be great.

Here, we lean on our grads and staff for ideas to make Canada's 153rd birthday memorable for the ways we'll spend it together, even if we may have to do so two metres apart.

1. Have some cake

canada day cupcakesWhat kind of birthday doesn't have cake? Probably not a happy one (unless maybe pie is your thing). Some of Edmonton's finest bakers happen to be NAIT grads, and you'll find them on this list (along with a few dozen other places offering takeout, if you really want to put your feet up for the day).

2. Fire up the barbecue

barbecueThe weather may or may not cooperate, but we're Canadian – we're used to that! Take the opportunity to not just grill a great meal, but to perfect your technique with these tips.

3. Enjoy a nature walk

Big Lake at sunset at the BLESS platform in St. Albert

Leave the bustle of the city behind for a leisurely stroll. Watch the ducklings and other water fowl at Lois Hole Provincial Park, follow the winding banks of the North Saskatchewan, or marvel at native orchids at ponds of Wagner Bog.

4. Take a picnic with you

food properly safely packed in a cooler

We'll leave the contents of your cooler up you, but we have advice on how to keep it fresh until you arrive at your destination. Here are 10 food safety tips you shouldn't leave home without.

5. Avoid mosquitoes

OK, this one is a little more practical than fun. Or, do the two go hand in hand? If one of those hands isn't busy smacking mosquitoes, why not? Check out these tips on avoiding them. 

6. Enjoy a beer, but not just any beer

a sample of Alberta craft beer

There's no shortage of options for great beer made by small businesses near you, and even more from within the province. Some of it's even made by NAIT grads, including Dog Island, the Growlery, Town Square and Odd Company. Cheers to buying local!

7. Plant a maple tree

maple tree

Head to the garden centre and pick up a symbol of pride in the country. There are varieties native to every province, including Alberta. But that's not to say you couldn't try planting the classic that inspired the design for our flag. You'll just need to know a few tips and tricks.

8. Plan a  camping trip 


A day's holiday isn't likely to do justice to the rugged wilderness and beautiful landscapes that make up most of the country. Instead, take the time to map out a future route to relaxation. Consult our guide to happy camping to make sure you'll know and have everything you need.

9. Make perfect pancakes

canada day pancakes

You need something to put that maple syrup on, right? Courtesy of NAIT Culinary Arts instructors, here's a simple recipe for fantastic flapjacks.

10. Go for a run

woman stretching before a run

Burn off those pancakes – and make room for that cake! If you've never run before, Canada Day might be a good time to turn over a new (maple) leaf and start working your way toward 5K. With this plan from a NAIT Personal Fitness Trainer instructor, you're sure to get that glowing heart pumping.

11. Raise a toast with a Canadian cocktail 

These two tasty tipples were designed at NAIT for Canada's 150th – just in case you need another use for that maple syrup. Time to dust off your that martini glass and bottle of bitters. Cheers, Canada!

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