Canada Day festivities moving off of Parliament Hill
A construction sign hangs on the Queen's Gates on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Monday January 27, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
OTTAWA -- Canada’s largest birthday party has been evicted from Parliament Hill.
Canadian Heritage confirms the main stage for Canada Day celebrations will be moved from Parliament Hill to Major’s Hill Park due to renovation work on Centre Block.
“Having the Canada Day celebrations shift over to Major’s Hill Park is obviously a big challenge and to some visitors it will be a let down because the most spectacular backdrop, obviously, is Parliament Hill,” said Mayor Jim Watson.
With major renovations underway to Centre Block, part of the front lawn has been taken over by fencing and construction material.
In statement to CTV News Ottawa, Canadian Heritage spokesperson Amélie Desmarais said “there will be no stage on Parliament Hill for Canada Day celebrations in 2020. Canadian Heritage will be offering revisisted and varied programming coming to Parliament Hill throughout the day and evening. There will be a large stage in Major’s Hill Park with programming throughout the day."
The main stage on Parliament Hill was home to the Canada Day Noon Show and Evening Show. Last year’s performers included Brett Kissel and the Strumbellas.
Canada Day festivities were also held on Major’s Hill Park and at the Canadian Museum of History.
Desmarais says “Public Services and Procurement Canada and Canadian Heritage are working together to ensure that Parliament Hill remains one of the iconic sites where visitors can come to celebrate Canada Day.”
Watson told reporters after Wednesday’s Council meeting that he is concerned the loss of Parliament Hill will impact tourism.
“We’re going to be out for a long period of time, which is something we’re going to have to work very hard with the tourism industry to attract people here – not just for July 1, but the whole tourism season.”
The full Canada Day lineup will be announced later this year. Canadian Heritage says full details regarding operations, security and street closures will be announced closer to the celebrations.