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Preparations continue for Ottawa's Canada Day celebrations and events

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The excitement is building as the National Capital Region prepares for Canada's big birthday bash.

Rim, an international student working in the ByWard Market says, "I like the atmosphere. Everybody's wearing Canada Day shirts. Everybody's buying cookies. It's a happy occasion. I celebrate the heritage, the city, the country, the legacy of it."

Ottawa resident Ermany Victor has celebrated Canada Day in previous years and says, "It's packed. It's beautiful. Usually everyone fills the streets around here at Parliament, then we all celebrate on the Hill, then we wait for the fireworks."

A major construction project at Parliament Hill has moved the usual backdrop for Canada Day celebrations until at least 2030. This year, scaled-down events will be held on Parliament Hill, other events will occur in Old Hull, and the nation's biggest celebration will be held at LeBreton Flats Park.

The City of Ottawa, along with OC Transpo, Ottawa Police, Gatineau Police and the RCMP, will implement a crowd management plan to get visitors in and out of the downtown core, and to manage the anticipated large crowds.

There will also be major street closures starting at 6 a.m. on Canada Day until July 2 at 2 a.m. The Chaudière Bridge will be completely closed to all traffic. The Portage Bridge, The Alexandra Bridge, The Kichi Zībī Mīkan, and major routes along Wellington Street and Queen Street will be closed to motor vehicles. In the evening starting at 7 p.m. additional routes along Albert, Slater, Bank and City Center Ave. will be closed to motor vehicles.

At Old Hull, Parliament Hill and LeBreton Flats, there will be security screenings and bag checks upon entry. No alcohol, pets (except for service animals) or bags exceeding 35.5 cm x 30.5 cm x 19 cm will be permitted.

Doors open at LeBreton Flats at 9:00 a.m. Public Transit, walking, or cycling are your best options to get there, Visitors can only access the park at the main entrance off Wellington St at Booth St.

OC Transpo says will be free on Canada Day. To get to LeBreton Flats via O-Train, riders will exit at Lyon Station and then walk about 25 minutes to the park. OC Transpo also says people with reduced mobility will be allowed to exit at Pimisi Station for a shorter walk to the park entrance.

Throughout the day, family friendly events and concessions will be available at LeBreton Flats. The Daytime Ceremony kicks off a 12 noon, highlighting Canada's diversity and includes: dignitary addresses, Indigenous reflections, a tribute to the Canadian athletes competing in the Paris Olympics this summer, and a flypast by the Royal Canadian Air Force showcasing aircraft from the past, present, and future.

From 8 to 10 p.m. there will be a free two-hour concert for music lovers coast-to-coast-to-coast with a line up to be announced in the coming weeks.

From 10 to 10:15 p.m. Canada Day celebrations end looking up at the night's sky with the highly anticipated fireworks show.

Local businesses are also looking forward to the influx of visitors throughout the Canada Day long weekend. Ellen Rivers from the Irving Rivers Souvenir Shop says, "It's the best. It's just a sea of red and white from early morning to late at night. We're hoping to see big crowds on Canada Day."

Jill Anguaya from Tickled Pink in the ByWard Market says, "It's a busy day. Traditionally, it's very busy. There's a lot out there to do and see and spend on. So it isn't like, you know, the biggest day of the year, but it's a very busy and important weekend for us." 

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