Canada is a great country to visit, and a perfect destination for holidays for disabled travellers – its modern, forward-looking attitudes mean that equality of treatment and accessibility are part and parcel of its national character. |
But while a holiday in Canada is a great option for wheelchair users and those with other disabilities, this year is special: it’s the Confederation’s 150th birthday!
On December 31st this year, Canada won’t only be counting down the minutes to the New Year; it will be counting down the moments until its official 150th birthday. In cities across the nation Canadians will be celebrating, making it the perfect time for tourists to join the party.
Where to Share the Fun
There are a number of events scheduled across the country, but one of the best places to base yourself to enjoy the celebrations is Ottawa-Gatineau – the capital region of Canada.
Holidays for disabled travellers are, as always, facilitated, as organisers at the official celebration sites have done their best to make sure all areas are accessible. They do, however, warn that adverse weather may limit accessibility. Be at the heart of the celebrations on Canada’s Parliament Hill, where organisers have created a designated area for people in wheelchairs at the top of the west lawn. The event, running from 7pm to midnight, will include musical performances, an early evening pyromusical fireworks display, and a spectacular fireworks display at midnight to kick off the country’s celebrations.
If you can’t get to Parliament Hill, you can watch the events there on a giant screen outside the Canadian Museum of History. The Museum will be hosting its own fireworks display at midnight.
- Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau
Another party which will allow you to take in the festivities on Parliament Hill is an event a Major’s Hill Park, close to Ottawa River and Parliament.
- Major’s Hill Park, Ottawa
Other Events to Enjoy
Wherever you are in Canada, you will find local celebrations going on. Here are some of the highlights of the night. Nathan Philips Square in downtown Toronto will be hosting a fun-filled event including ice skating, DJs, animations by indigenous artists and a concert. At midnight they will launch a Canada 150-themed pyrotechnic show. Visit Québec for a very special version of their traditional Jour de l’An à Québec (New Years Day in Québec) celebrations. A winter fair will run from 27-31 December, and on the 31st the Parliament Square will be transformed into an outdoor disco with fireworks at midnight. The historic Old Montréal will be the hub of activity during the celebrations in Montréal, with a Christmas market, outdoor movies and interactive experiences aplenty. It claims the city will have “the biggest New Year’s Eve party in Canada”, with live music and fireworks. Family festivities will kick off in the city’s Olympic Plaza, with a Canadian-themed art exhibition, youth animation and ice carving, an ice slide and ice skating. Live music will count down to a dramatic fireworks display at midnight.
With all this fun going on plus Canada’s great reputation for accessibility and welcome, no matter where you go in the country, holidays for disabled travellers will be spectacular this winter. Get in touch with my team at Can Be Done to book yourself a last minute holiday to join in the celebrations – if you haven’t already done so!
Philip Scott is the owner and founder of Can be Done, a fully licensed UK tour operator specialising in worldwide holidays for disabled individuals and groups. With over 31 years’ experience organising long and short breaks for disabled travellers, Philip has built a reputation for helping his clients select hotels and accommodation that offer high standards of accessibility, to ensure that those with special needs can experience truly relaxing and carefree holidays.
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