a peek inside the fishbowl

03 Jul, 2018

Canada Day 2018

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

Canada Day fireworks on Parliament Hill

How was your Canada Day? Ours was low-key, to say the least. We spent the afternoon lounging around my inlaws swimming pool and trying to stay hydrated. By the time the evening rolled around and we were home again we were too hot and tired to eat the BBQ dinner I had planned.

The heat wave put a bit of a damper on things on July 1. I just couldn’t bear the idea of going downtown to watch the fireworks even though it’s been a family tradition here at Casa Fishbowl ever since I can remember. I was the one who suggested we stay home, yet I think I am the saddest about not going.

I like the fireworks, but Canada Day fireworks, for me, is about more than just watching colourful explosions in the sky. I find the unity of it all very moving. The fireworks begin and the chattering crowd is silenced. There we all are, gathered in a crowd, with our faces lifted to the night sky, watching the same thing and feeling the same thing. It’s remarkable, really. The people here are young and old, rich and poor, new Canadians and longtime residents. For some, it’s their first time experiencing it, for others, it’s old hat but somehow made new every year. Somehow, people from all points along the political, religious, and economic spectrum share the same moment in time in pretty much the same way: with wonder, and joy in their hearts. Maybe because, for a short time, we are transported back to our childhoods. We ooh and ahh and elbow our friend or family member and say DID YOU SEE THAT and then look back up to see another burst that is somehow bigger, louder, more beautiful than the one that preceded it. How do they do that, anyway?

Too soon, there is one last hurrah and then it’s over. The black sky is grey with smoke. There’s applause; sometimes a spontaneous singalong of the national anthem. The crowd, which a moment before was a single unit, starts to dilute and separate. The shared moment is over, and I wonder, when will we all come together again?

2 Responses to "Canada Day 2018"

1 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive Are you an entertainer? - a peek inside the fishbowl

July 5th, 2018 at 4:47 pm


[…] recent Canada Day post got me thinking about this topic. If you spend any time online in the week leading up to Canada Day […]

2 | Claudette

July 6th, 2018 at 1:53 pm


We live in a neighbourhood that used to get together and do fireworks off a beach or cliff into Lake Ontario. It might have been 9th St. and 3rd St. and it was like a mini competition. Everyone would come out en masse, we’d all supervise all the children, it was fun and laid back.

Then the city came and said no more. That it’s illegal.

They did say we can do it in a backyard though.

which, if you ask me, is ridiculous. What could be less safe in a high density neighbourhood where a spark could end up on a roof of a neighbouring house?

Plus the heat.

Anyway, we were going to just sit on the porch and watch some of the neighbours do that when I discovered a puddle behind the furnace so guess what we did for the Canada Day evening?


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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark. We have two daughters: Emma (19) and Sarah (17). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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