Harbourfront Centre: Canada Day Weekend
Every year our country comes together to mediate upon national identity and brotherhood. A true-north self-hug, as it were. With that in mind, Harbourfront offers a weekend of urban dance battles, a martial arts workshop, a poetry slam, and outrageous displays of pyromania (fireworks, on June 30). All that and music, from Chloe Charles, Elliott Brood, Jully Black,Vieux Farka Touré and Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq. June 29 to July 1. Free. 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000 or harbourfrontcentre.com.
The participants in the BBQ competition are clearly underfed. Why, when you look at them, you can actually count their ribs. The slow roasters are just some of the 200,000 people expected to show up for an annual Canada Day weekend of food, fun and fireworks, all in the name of charity to help eradicate childhood hunger. June 29 to July 1, 11 a.m. Free. Centennial Park, 256 Centennial Park Rd., torontoribfest.com.
National Coin Show
If one more jokester yells "show me the money" at this popular event involving dollars and beaver-emblazoned cents, the organizers might just shut the whole thing down and cash out. Actually, that's not likely, given that hobby affair has been around since 1962 – back when Canada Day was called Dominion Day and a pocket full of two-dollar bills meant that you were in the pink. June 29 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and June 30 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.). $7 (under 16, free). Hyatt Regency, 370 King St. W., torex.net.
CHIN International Picnic
Billed as the "largest free multicultural festival in the world," the annual outdoor event is highlighted by the his-and-hers bikini contests, which are surely meant to emphasize that in this most mosaic of countries, we are all one and the same under our tuques, turbans and other culturally unique garb. Right? June 29 to July 1, noon to 10 p.m. Free. Exhibition Place, scotiabankchinpicnic.com.
Official Canada Day Celebration
At Mel Lastman Square, expect dancing moose puppets, music from Aboriginal stars She King and two-time Juno Award winner Derek Miller, hoop dancing, big-top acrobatics and more fireworks than you can shake a fireworks-igniting stick at. July 1, 5 to 11 p.m. Free. 5100 Yonge St., toronto.ca.