OTTAWA -- Fireworks sales at pop-up and corner stores are booming in the lead up to Canada Day celebrations.

Business at Kaboom Fireworks on Merivale Road has been nonstop since 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, according to manager Snowy Sethi. 

“As compared to last year I think it’s crazier this year, just because no one has anywhere else to go. None of the fireworks are happening in the city as well so everyone wants to do fireworks in their backyard and somewhere it’s allowed.”

Sethi says sales are becoming comparable to levels in 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday, with customers spending, on average, a minimum of $150 on fireworks. 

“I think that everyone is really excited this year, as well, because they’ve been in quarantine for so many months, so they want to get out and do something,” says Sethi.

If you do have plans to put on your own backyard fireworks display, Ottawa By-Law recommends the following safety tips:

  • Appoint a responsible adult in charge of the fireworks
  • Read and follow the labels and directions on fireworks
  • Keep a hose or bucket of water nearby
  • Shoot fireworks away from buildings, trees, and dry grass
  • Keep onlookers a safe distance away and upwind
  • Only light one firework at a time
  • Do not light fireworks if wind conditions are not safe
  • If someone gets burned, run cool water over the wound for three to five minutes and seek medical attention, if necessary

No show on Parliament Hill

Normally a staple of Canada Day celebrations in the capital, the fireworks display on Parliament Hill will not take place due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The company behind the spectacular show, Royale Pyrotechnie, says they’ve lost 85 per cent of their business this year due to events being cancelled because of COVID-19.

“It’s one of the biggest events of the year, Parliament. [...] But all these events like Parliament, [...] it’s just impossible to create an event like that,” says Yanick Roy, owner of Royale Pyrotechnie.

Instead, an augmented virtual reality fireworks show by Heritage Canada will take place this year. You will be able to point your smartphone at the sky at 10 p.m. on Canada Day. A three minute, 3D fireworks display will begin, with the ability to image capture for sharing with family and friends.