With winter holding Canada in its clutches well into April, this year’s 420 celebration on April 20 may be the first time people get outside in something other than bulky jackets. Whether you want to celebrate the tantalizingly close prospect of marijuana legalization in Canada, or you just want to go outside and enjoy some of the first mild days of the year, you’ll find there’s a ton to do all over the country to celebrate the cannabis holiday 420.
420 Events in Ontario
March on Parliament, Ottawa
Every year, medicinal and recreational users alike have banded together in the nation’s capital to let the government know how they feel about cannabis. Since this is the last march on Parliament under a strictly prohibitionist set of laws, expect it to be equal parts celebration and activism. While legalization is—and should be—wildly celebrated, there are still plenty of gripes cannabis activists have with the legislation around marijuana legalization.
420 Toronto at City Hall
There are a lot of smaller events happening in Toronto on 420, but at the epicentre of it all will be the gathering at Nathan Phillips Square, right outside of City Hall. Local marijuana activists and business owners will give talks on their work, and some top-level Canadian talent will be on hand to perform for the crowd. Plus, this event starts early in the day, so you’ll still have time to check out awesome things happening in the city for 420, like elevated comedy at a vapor lounge.
Timmins’ First 420 Celebration
Northern Ontario often gets ignored. It’s huge and sparsely populated, but there’s still a lot of love for cannabis north of Toronto. Partially because of the looming cannabis legalization, this year the first 420 celebration is coming to Timmins. The event will be held at the Mattagami River boat launch, so there’ll be a healthy dose of natural beauty to take in, too.
Where to Celebrate 420 in Quebec
420 at Mount Royal Park, Montreal
Like Toronto and Ottawa, Montreal has its own annual 420 celebration. Held at the historic and massive Mount Royal Park, every year a crowd of thousands of cannabis enthusiasts gather—and this last 420 celebration before cannabis legalization is going to be a big one. The festivities usually centre around the monument to George Cartier. But if the smoke is too thick there, there’s still space to just enjoy the park, good company and some cannabis.
420 Events in Alberta
420 Edmonton at the Alberta Legislative Assembly
Edmonton may not be as immersed in cannabis culture the same way Vancouver, Montreal or Toronto are, but Albertans consume cannabis like the rest of the country. Organized by Alberta’s own “Dr. Reefer,” the 420 celebration in front of the Assembly should be a good time with music and laughs.
420 Arts and Music Festival, Calgary
If you need more proof that Albertans like cannabis just as much as their Eastern and Western cousins, in Calgary the 420 celebration is three days long. During the 420 Arts and Music Festival, there will be informational Q&As from cannabis advocacy groups and live music from bands like Dopethrone and Sasquatch. Plus, a bunch of folks from central Canada’s cannabis community will share their art and cannabis products. Three-day passes for the festival are on sale for $69.
How to Celebrate 420 in British Columbia
420 at Sunset Beach, Vancouver
British Columbia is the heart and soul of the Canadian cannabis industry. For the past 15 years, this celebration on Sunset Beach has snowballed, and organizers expect 2018 will be the biggest celebration yet. With a giant main stage and some of the best vendors in the world, this 420 celebration is one of the best in the country.
420 Rally in Downtown Victoria
Right in the heart of the Garden City, cannabis enthusiasts will gather by City Hall, in part protest and part party. Many of British Columbia's most prominent cannabis activists and professionals will probably head to the mainland for 420 Vancouver, but Victoria’s 420 celebration is a quieter, more dignified affair. The gathering officially starts at 3:30 p.m., and is over at 5:30 p.m., so just enough time to medicate, meet some new friends and walk around one of Canada’s prettiest cities.
From sea to shining sea, Canadians love cannabis. On this 420, get out and celebrate marijuana legalization with others in the community. Most medium-size cities across Canada have a small gathering, so even if you can’t make it out to one of these, there’s a good chance you don’t need spend 420 alone.
Photo credit: Vaska037