Big Bang Views: 6 Spots to Watch the Canada Day Fireworks

By Jordan Whitehouse
Get out the red and white, and wave that flag high — it’s time to celebrate Canada’s 149th birthday. Downtown Kingston will throw the biggest bash around on July 1st, and, as always, the all-day partay will culminate in a fireworks show on the waterfront. Here are 6 of the best places to catch the big bang show, which, by the way, will start just after 10 pm.


Confederation Park


This is the go-to fireworks spot for most, and for good reason. Not only is it ground zero for Canada Day festivities, but with the park’s wide views of Kingston Harbour and 100-metre long path along the waterfront, you won’t have any trouble seeing the show. If large crowds aren’t your thing, take a stroll along the waterfront path towards Delta Kingston. And if you have a boat, nab one of the 350 slips in the marina or venture out into the harbour for your own private viewing.

Fort Henry

Photo from Agatha Barc's Flickr
Photo from Agatha Barc’s Flickr

For the best backdrop to the Canada Day fireworks, get yourself up to the top of Point Henry and find a grassy perch just outside of Fort Henry, the 19th-century fortification that once protected a naval dockyard, the entrance of the Rideau Canal, and Kingston itself. Once there, you’ll be treated to panoramas of downtown K-town and Lake Ontario as it narrows into the St. Lawrence River. Just remember to bring a sweater; there’s usually a breeze at 100 metres of elevation.

The Vu at AquaTerra


Pair your pyrotechnics with a glass of wine and a charcuterie board at The Vu, the lounge inside AquaTerra restaurant that comes with big windows and bigger views of the harbour. Known as one of the more elegant restaurants in the city, AquaTerra serves up new Canadian fare ranging from lobster brioche to roasted duck to rib eye in a relaxed space. Come on: a waterfront vista, fine food, fireworks — what more do you need on Canada Day?

Jack Astor’s Bar & Grill Rooftop Patio


More in the mood for a beer and wings but still want those bright bangers as a background? Then grab some friends and a table on Jack Astor’s rooftop patio, which overlooks Market Square. Granted, City Hall might partially block some of the fireworks, but you shouldn’t have any trouble seeing those larger splashing displays of colour. Try to snag one of the tables along the railing, but get there early; this is one of the most popular patios in the city.

Cruise Boat


Whether you’re a local or a first-time visitor, a cruise is one of those Kingston adventures everyone has to do at least once. And because Kingston 1000 Islands Cruises has a full range of evening cruises, including dinner voyages, there are few better seats to watch the fireworks from. Whichever boat you choose — The Island Star, Island Belle or Island Queen — each comes with a full service bar and, just maybe, the most memorable Canada Day fireworks experience you’ve had yet.

Wolfe Island Ferry

Photo from Liz's (NapaneeGal's) Flickr
Photo from Liz’s (NapaneeGal’s) Flickr

This is a personal favourite of mine, mainly because it’s free, you’re on the water and there’s nothing to impede your view. With a car or without, hop on the 10 pm ferry from the dock just north of Confederation Park and keep your gaze fixed on downtown. Like Fort Henry, the backdrop of the city is a stunning match to the light show. Stay on the ferry when you get to Wolfe Island for a 20-minute trip back to Kingston, or stick around and get a room at The General Wolfe Hotel.

(Header graphic from Mr. Blixt’s Flickr)