The leaves are slowly changing colours, it’s getting chillier by the day, and it’s almost October…which means the Thanksgiving holiday is right around the corner!
What is Thanksgiving, and how did it start?
Thanksgiving is a national annual holiday in Canada and falls on the second Monday in October. While the first Thanksgiving in North America was celebrated by European explorers and settlers in 1578, the tradition officially started on November 6th of 1879 as a way to give thanks and celebrate the year’s harvest and blessings. Today, the Thanksgiving holiday is regarded as a statutory holiday in all provinces and territories except Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
What to prepare for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner!
Thinking of preparing a delicious meal this year? Foods that are traditionally served at Thanksgiving dinner include roasted turkey, roasted beef, chicken, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet corn, and various autumn vegetables. Desserts usually include the classic pumpkin pie (with whipped cream or ice cream), apple pie, and glazed yams. Depending on some provinces, Thanksgiving dinners may also serve regional dishes like salmon, pudding, and B.C’s infamous Nanaimo bars. Yum!
Thanksgiving Events in Toronto
Experience a 175-year-old county fair that is filled with fun activities for the entire family. From rides and games to animal shows, a petting zoo, and a giant pumpkin contest, you can celebrate your Thanksgiving weekend outdoors this year. The Fair also expects a load of community displays, local vendors, and food to try, as well as some virtual events that will be hosted for those who cannot attend.
Where: Woodbridge Fair Grounds, 100 Porter Avenue, Woodbridge, Ontario
When: Saturday, October 8 to Monday, October 10
Tickets: Adults ($10), Students (6-14: $5), Kids (5 and under: Free), Family Day Pass ($30)
Thanksgiving Harvest Dinner Train
What better activity to do than to ride on a historic train decorated in a traditional Thanksgiving harvest theme? With the soft music playing in the background and the autumn colours surrounding you, the nearly three-hour ride will be one to remember forever. Better yet, you’ll enjoy a delicious dinner! The train will depart from Uxbridge Station at 7 pm and return to Uxbridge at 9:30 pm.
Where: York-Durham Heritage Railway, 19 Railway St., Uxbridge, Ontario
When: October 7, 2022
Tickets: $79.99 per person
If you’re looking to experience fall in Canada, Toronto Pumpkinfest is the place to be. This family event which runs for three days is stocked with great food, vendors, entertainment, events, and, of course, pumpkins! This year, the event’s highlights include a Kiddie Midway, a Giant Inflatable Corn Maze, an Inflatable Cliff Climb & Slide, a Fun House Obstacle, performances by the President’s Choice SuperDogs, a trackless train, special character meet-&-greets, and a large pumpkin patch with plenty of pumpkins to choose.
Where: Downsview Park, 35 Carl Hall Drive, Toronto, Ontario
When: October 8, 2022, to October 23, 2022 (on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays; hours vary by the day)
Tickets: Varies. Click here for the full details.
Thanksgiving Events in Vancouver
Granville Island Turkey Trot
Calling all runners and walkers! This 10-kilometre run is a Thanksgiving tradition in Vancouver and a hallmark event for Granville Island. What’s great about this event is that it brings together a large group of runners and walkers who represent the community of running, gratitude for the sport, and a commitment to supporting others. The event also supports local food banks through fundraisers. This year, you can run a virtual 5 kilometres, the in-person 10 kilometres, or join a combo race for the “Double” and win a bonus medal. Race entries are limited, so make sure to sign up for a spot before it sells out!
Where: Granville Island, under the Granville Street Bridge
When: October 10, 2022
Entry tickets: In-person ($65), Combo + Virtual ($95) and Virtual or 5-KM ($35). Click here for the full details.
Fort Langley Cranberry Festival
One of Fort Langley’s most popular events in October is the Cranberry Festival, celebrating the annual harvest and history of cranberries. Starting in 1995, This event is free and celebrates Langley’s local markets with food and family-friendly activities. Today, over 60 vendors and ten food trucks are featured every year with live music, drinks, and demonstrations on the side. Of course, there are cranberry cooking demonstrations and all kinds of cranberry-themed activities to check out during the event. This year, the festival will most likely feature its signature activity, the “cranberry stomp.” Other events to look out for include blacksmith and barrel-making demonstrations.
Where: Fort Langley Community Hall, 9167 Glover Road
When: October 8, 2022
Sources: To Do Canada, Turkey Trot Run, Fort Langley Cranberry Festival