May 23, 2011

Happiest Victoria Day wishes, my fellow Canadians!

Day 143 of Vintage 365


The history of today's celebration dates back to the time of Queen Victoria of England, whose name lends itself to this May holiday, however for most Canadians Victoria Day is less about the monarchs of Britain and more about kicking off the immensely long awaited beginning of summer.

Now, granted we're still about a month away from technically hitting summer (on the calendar at least), but in many places across the country, the weather has finally perked up to the point where barbequing, picnicking, boating, strolling on the beach, and oodles of other delightful outdoor activities are enjoyably doable once more.

Canada has a relatively low number of national holidays (let alone ones that take place in the warmer months), so as the May long weekend draws near, it's not uncommon to find a general spirit of happiness has washed over canucks in every corner of the country. Usually spring is in full swing, the risk of snow is just about gone (does it ever really leave for us here though? Winking smile ), and folks have slipped back into their warm weather threads.

Traditionally this wonderful long weekend, which - with a little luck - will be a splendidly toasty one - is a favourite amongst those who love to camp and can get the time away from work to spend two or three days under the stars, a tent as their roof, s'mores as diner, and plenty of merriment on the bill for the whole trip.


{Whether you like to bring everything and the kitchen sink on your Victoria Day outdoor adventures - like this charming 1950s family - or prefer to simply slip down to the lake with a single picnic basket in hand, few things compare to finally being able to spend time under the Canadian sun again! Vintage photo via Captain Geoffrey Spaulding on Flickr.}

For some, Victoria Day might be the first time of the year they've fired up the grill, ready to fill their backyard (if not the whole street) with the intoxicatingly delicious scent of food cooking over a flame in the great outdoors.

Others still may head off to their cabins/cottages (particularly here in Ontario, where there's a large number of cottage owners), take a quick road trip, visit a favourite national park, catch up on DIY projects around the house, throw a block party, or simply kick back in their favourite lawn chair (or hammock) and savour the simple joy of having three marvelous days off from the grind of work.

The mister and I fall into the later group this year (much as I wish I could have been out camping, it just wasn't in the cards), and we're spending this weekend embracing the immensely welcome warmth of late May, a cool drink in our hands, the kitty napping angelically in the vibrant morning light, and a selection of our favourite Canadian songs (vintage, retro and present) wafting around the room as we celebrate the unofficial start of summer 2011.

Whatever you've got on your itinerary for today, I wish you an utterly fantastic Victoria Day (or simply a marvelous Monday, if you're not in Canada) filled with equal measures of relaxing tranquility and sunshine covered excitement!


  1. Happy Victoria Day to you! I hope your Ontario weather is warmer than mine here in Nova Scotia. The temperature dropped perilously close to zero yesterday afternoon! :/

  2. Have an afternoon picnic planned with some friends in the park. Were planning on congregating around the statue of Victoria in front of my university's music building but figured that would perhaps be a less than perfect picnic spot.
    Enjoy your Victoria Day! I intend to.

  3. Happy Victoria Day, my fellow Canadian!