Canada is 148 years old today! There are plenty of Canada Day celebrations underway — the public ones in parks, and private ones in decks and patios across our nation.The boardwalk at Spencer Smith Park in Burlington was pretty colourful at midday today. Some of the kids CHCH News spoke to said they were going to enjoy some ice cream; others were going to jump on the bouncy castle.Canada Day is about the celebration of the birth of our nation. Hundreds here are wearing our nation’s colors and sporting the maple leaf from parades to musical performances to face painting. The grand finale will be fireworks at 10 o’clock tonight. In Niagara Falls they will take place at the park next to the falls; in Hamilton they’ll be held at Bayfront Park. Those also start at 10. On this Canada Day prime minister Stephen Harper says it is no accident that Canadians live in the best country in the world. He says it is the direct result of visionary leaders, of the courageous men and women in uniforms, the waves of immigrants that have come to our shores, the athletes that make us proud and because of Canada’s families.He and his wife will be participating in the celebrations on the hill this year which starts at noon along with Governor General David Johnston and heritage minister Shelly Glover. It is a party every year and you can bet it will be this year.A few locals are being appointed to the Order of Canada. Hamilton’s Lawrence Hill will be recognized for his stories for the black community and his advocacy work on behalf of women and girls in Africa. Other local appointees include McMaster professor Barbara Kristina Schmidt, Paul Hebert of Puslinch and from Oakville, Christine Magee & Frank Newfeld.Rideau Hall says there will be 100 new appointments to the Order of Canada. One of them is a promotion to the highest level, which will go to former Ontario premier and Liberal MP Bob Rae. The Order of Canada is one of the country’s highest civilian honours. Hundreds of people turned out for Lynden’s Canada Day parade, with 40 floats and a few bands. Organizers say this has been going on since 1959 to celebrate our country’s birthday.Events include the antique car and farm equipment show, face painting, balloon art, and a dunk tank. The event is free and donations are welcome. They are going to finish off Canada Day tonight with the fireworks display.Roads around Queen’s Park in Toronto are closed until 7 pm tonight for Canada Day festivities.The front lawn of the provincial parliament buildings was transformed into a Canada Day playland for children and their families. The annual celebration included face painting, puppet shows, crafts, midway rides and playgrounds.Dancing, juggling and other entertainment runs all afternoon. Admission is free and the party runs until 5 pm.Thousands of people lined the streets in downtown Niagara Falls this morning for the annual Canada Day parade. There were marching bands and floats, and people covered from head to toe in red and white. It wrapped up with a birthday celebration at City Hall.Government offices, banks, libraries, LCBO and beer stores are closed for Canada Day, along with most grocery & retail stores outside tourist areas.There’s no mail delivery, and electricity will stay at the off-peak rate all day. In most areas, garbage and recycling collection will be delayed a day for the rest of the week.Transit is running on holiday schedules, mostly the same as on Sundays except for GO which is using its Saturday schedule. Not everyone has the day off, though.Crews are busy this Canada Day working on Hamilton’s new GO station on James St N. Metrolinx says the station will open next Thursday, in time for the Pan Am games. The government agency that oversees transportation projects in the GTHA says the new building will be finished and include washrooms, a ticket booth, and an elevator.CHCH News will have team coverage of Canada Day tonight on the Evening News at 6.

Celebrating Canada Day
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