Sunday 3 July 2011

Canada comes to Trafalgar Square

On Friday this week, these were the unusual scenes in Trafalgar Square ...

... as patriotic Canadians poured into London along with thousands of curious locals and tourists, to celebrate Canada Day.

For the past six years this event has been staged here, outside Canada House, and last year drew 50 000 people, making it the biggest celebration of the day outside of Canada. This year it coincided with a royal visit to Canada by Wills and Kate (for some alternative views see here and here). 

The Mounties were there of course, in their snappy red uniforms, smiling politely for endless photographs with people wanting to be seen with them for posterity ...

There were as many creative ways as you could think of to show that you loved Canada.

Street hockey matches were being played on  a makeshift pitch ...

... while way up on his plinth Nelson haughtily turned his back on all this colonial nonsense ...

'Traditional' Canadian food was available to those who queued - Tim Hortons' coffee and doughnuts, bison burgers or sticky buffalo wings? The bloke in the hat seemed a bit dazed and confused by the options ...

and the traditional English ice-cream van was evidently a less popular choice ...

Familiar scenes around the square ... the fountains (above) in front of George IV on his horse, and below the dome of the National Gallery, spire of St Martin in the Fields, and embassies - Canada House (bottom left) and South Africa House (bottom right) ...

On a huge stage, a Saskatchewan dancer, member of the Great Plains Dance Company, twirled like a colourful whirling dervish to an insistent beat ...

This couple looked fully in the spirit of things ...

... but not everyone was there in supporting roles. A few principled young women from PETA were making their own colourful stand against Canada's tolerance of seal-clubbing.

It may have been London, but this was unmistakably a Canadian affair 


  1. What a wonderful celebration of human spirit and community!
    Such joyful images you captured.

    One of my daughters is born on Canada Day, which makes it a special day in our family.

  2. Obviously a glorious celebration! I love the image of the 'Canada's club scene - girls'!

    Best wishes for the week and greetings,

  3. I've met up with lots of Canadians visiting New York during the past week, and always wished them a Happy Canada Day.

    These views of Trafalgar Sq show such a fun celebration. Love all those maple leaves, and smiles on the celebrators.

    Thank you again for letting me see these up to date photos of a city I so love.


  4. Looks like you captured the essence of the Canadian celebration. I like the colour pics of the dancer from Saskatchewan.

    Think I would have opted for a 'Picadilly Whip'.

  5. Loving that las pic! :)

  6. WOW!
    50,000 people!!!
    So many loyal Canadians in the UK!?
    Who knew? An amazing show of patritism
    The PETA girls - what a shot!
    People really march and demo in the UK.
    I wish we has some of that here in the US...
    Everyone's too %#@! plugged in to get out and show up IMHO
    Love yr pics!


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