“Victoria Day” is a significant annual celebration in Canada that commemorates the birthday of Queen Victoria, who was born on May 24th, 1819. It is observed on the last Monday before May 25th every year. The holiday was established in 1901, after the demise of Queen Victoria when it was officially made into a holiday by law.
Before 1952, the holiday was celebrated on the actual date of May 24th, but it was later extended to become a long weekend holiday. This meant that the first Monday before May 25th became the official day to observe Victoria Day, giving Canadians a three-day weekend to enjoy. This change in date coincided with the transition of Victoria Day from a formal commemoration of Queen Victoria’s birthday to a day that marks the start of summer, also known as the May Two-Four weekend.
Some Canadians like to refer to the May Two-Four weekend as a way to pay homage to the queen’s birthday, as “two-four” is Canadian slang for a case of 24 beers. This year, the May Two-Four weekend falls on Monday, May 22nd, which signifies the beginning of the summer season for many Canadians. As such, it is a time for Canadians to enjoy the warm weather, indulge in outdoor activities, and spend time with family and friends.
Victoria Day Events:
Victoria Day Weekend Fireworks
Returning to Niagara Falls for Victoria Day, you can now see the full array of colorful explosions in the sky above Niagara Falls. The fireworks will kick off on Friday, May 19th at 10:00 pm and then continue nightly straight through to Monday, October 9th!
Victoria Day Illumination
The Falls will be illuminated in a shade of Purple on Victoria Day; Sunday, May 22nd, 2023 starting from 10:00PM at the top of the hour every 15 minutes. Click here to see the current Niagara Falls Illumination Schedule.
Watch it here below:
Queen Victoria Park in Niagara Falls
Queen Victoria Park was official opened on Victoria Day – May 24th, 1888. The park spanned a 155 acres at this time from the base of Clifton Hill to Dufferin Islands.
Queen Victoria Park is the largest park area located in Niagara Falls, Canada facing the American and Horseshoe Falls. Formalized in 1885 by the Niagara Falls Park Act and opened in 1888, the park is managed by the Niagara Parks Commission and is considered a focal point in Niagara Falls tourism. Queen Victoria Park is known for its exceptional floral displays of many different flower species and carpet bed designs.
Some Interesting Queen Victoria and Victoria Day Facts
- Victoria Day is the oldest state holiday of Canada and it is the only country to honour Queen Victoria with an official holiday.
- Victoria was the first Queen of Canada, when the country was founded in 1867.
- Victoria Day marks the beginning of summer season for many Canadians.
- Victoria, British Columbia is named after Queen Victoria.
- Queen Victoria was Canada’s sovereign at the time of Confederation in 1867. The fathers of Confederation could not create the new country without her royal assent. She is also credited with turning Ottawa into the nation’s capital a decade earlier.
- All federal governed buildings and organizations will close for the day
- Queen Victoria was the longest sitting sovereign in history who kept her seat on the throne for 63 years 216 days.
- Until 2003, the day was called Fete de Dollard in Quebec. Now it is celebrated as National Patriots’ day.
- Queen Victoria became queen at the age of 18. She was a successor of William IV.
- Federal protocol dictates that the Royal Union Flag should be flown at all federal government building from sun up until sun down.
- Celebration of Victoria Day is a Canadian tradition and does not exist in most of England. That being said, it is celebrated in some parts of Scotland, where it’s observed on the Monday before May 24.
- Queen Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert and because of her position she proposed to him.