Celebrating Canada Day during a pandemic

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / michele

It won’t be your usual Canada Day in London, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t fun to be had.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, still a big part of our daily lives, the City of London is encouraging people to make safety their top priority when they mark Canada’s birthday on Wednesday. Provincial orders still prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people, so the city is offering family programming and special online activities.

The London Heritage Council will hold virtual celebrations that will be streamed online. The celebrations will include live music, demonstrations at Fanshawe Pioneer Village, and a homemade fireworks science experiment from the London Children’s Museum.

When it comes to fireworks, the city is allowing individual household fireworks displays. However, it said neighbourhood displays are discouraged because of physical distancing concerns. It also reminds people to adhere to bylaws governing fireworks. Displays are only allowed between dusk and 11 p.m.

The city said several parks and spray pads are now open and will be available for Londoners to use to cool off on what is expected to be a hot and muggy Canada Day. If you plan to go to a park or spray pad, you are reminded to follow all physical distancing guidelines.

“I’d like to wish all Londoners a happy Canada Day,” said Mayor Ed Holder. “Although we may be apart physically this year, we can still celebrate Canada Day together online and close to home,” ssaid Mayor Ed Holder. “I encourage Londoners to look for new ways to celebrate on July 1 and make new memories and traditions this year while keeping health measures and precautions in mind.”

Many businesses in the city will be closed on Wednesday, as Canada Day is a statutory holiday. Malls, including Masonville, White Oaks, and Westmount will be closed. Grocery stores, banks, the Beer Store, and the LCBO will also be closed for the day. The Labatt retail store on Horton Street will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The London Transit Commission will run buses on a Sunday schedule.