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Red Hot Canada Day

 Red Hot Canada Day

All photos by Andre Gagne

“Is the filling in this supposed to be bubbling?” I ask, noticing some steam wafting out from my Tim Horton’s Canada Day donut.

“No,” sighed the staff, fanning herself. “It’s just melting in her with the rest of us.”

Ohhhh it was sizzlin’! You ever wonder what it’d be like living in a pizza oven located somewhere in the middle of the Gobi Desert? Canada Day 2018 festivities reached a record breaking humidex of 47 C. The down side? That’s a lotta’ heat. The up side? It caused lower than usual turnout for the Parliament Hill noonday show that featured The Arkells, Iskwe and Lights as well as a rousing tribute to Canadian women.

“Today is a day for all people in Canada. It is our day. And as Canadians, we know how to deal with weather, especially on Canada Day. Thank you so much for braving the heat and joining us at Canada’s biggest party,” said Heritage Minister Melanie Joly in a speech that highlighted the diversity of the country.

Governor General Julie Payette urged Canucks from coast to coast to “go out there and meet your neighbours, have fun, and wear your maple leaf with pride!”

Off the Hill, O-town looked, well, kinda’ dead. It was like what Canada Day might be like celebrated in a post-apocalyptic world only with less zombies unless you counted those walking around in a heat daze. Then it’d be with more zombies. The streets outside may have been empty, but you just needed to peek into anyplace that had air conditioning to see that Canadian patriotism wasn’t absent at all…it was just looking to chill out!

The National Arts Centre provided a perfect escape hub with crafts, activities and music all day and the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival was just a jump away from an inside City Hall cool down. The final day of the fest had free entertainment including an evening performance by Ottawa’s Souljazz Orchestra.

Others took to swimming pools and misted up patios to beat the heat with some bevies. For some places, though, it was all just too much. A cooling system failure at the Mint saw the cancelation of the day’s events. Water was the fuel of choice with a good Samaritan leaving a quickly emptied cooler of cold aqua out on Laurier. Shade was also a, pun intended, hot commodity and vendors on the street made a killing selling those Canadian flag umbrella hats.

“I’ve never been this hot,” a stranger wearing one such hat said to me.

I nodded, glanced at the sun, and offered “Wanna’ go find a pool full of popsicles?”

Seemed like a pretty good place as any to wait for the fireworks on this scorcher.

Before his camera melted, photographer Andre Gagne managed to snag these shots before fleeing for the sanctuary of his air-con and ice cream.

Happy Red Hot Canada Day, all!

Comments (2)

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Herry July 04, 2018 9:07 am

Parliament hill as usual, garbage, garbage, garbage...

Herry July 03, 2018 8:25 am

No entertainment, just the usual crappy, pathetic frog infestation. Haven't been there in almost forty years. It's getting worse every year !