Canada Day 2022: What Businesses Need to Know
Thousands of visitors will be coming to Bronte on July 1 – both to celebrate the holiday during the day and to watch the evening fireworks. This is the only official Canada Day celebration in Oakville.
WHAT’S NEW? WHAT’S THE SAME?
Evening Event Only
Since 2019, Canada Day in Bronte has been fully organized by the Town of Oakville. It is an evening only event. For many years, a full-day celebration was organized by the Bronte BIA. Due to cost and liability issues, the BIA is no longer an organizer. However, it supports the Town’s event, in particular, through business liaison, promotion and advocating safety and access issues on behalf of our members.
There is a pay-one-way shuttle service from the Bronte GO station starting at 5:30pm. No need to book seats, just park your car and ride. Buses will depart the station every 10 minutes until 9:30pm. The service is $4 per person cash (exact change). Presto cards are also accepted at the applicable rate. Everyone under the age of 12 rides for FREE.
Shuttle service leaving the park for Bronte GO Station after the fireworks is FREE for all riders. All shuttles are accessible, wheelchair and stroller-friendly. The last shuttle to Bronte GO Station will leave the park at 11pm.
On-site Bike Corral
In addition to two 12-spot bike corrals on Bronte Rd. near Marine Dr. for bike storage, there’s an additional corral within the event grounds in Bronte Heritage Waterfront Park. Bring a lock. Organizers accept no liability for bike security.
There really is NO parking in Bronte for visitors during the evening event. Private lots are for customers only and vehicles will be restricted from accessing the lots and/or towed at the owners’ expense. The shuttle bus from Bronte GO is the best option for coming to watch fireworks.
Businesses Open for Stat Holiday
As a designated tourist area, Bronte businesses can open on a statutory holiday. This isn’t true for other districts. To create a vibrant and interesting district visitors will want to return to, retailers and restaurants are strongly encouraged to be open. (See below for details)
Events are Marketing vs Sales Opportunities
While some retailers may see some customers during the day on July 1 (see below for details), evening visitors are coming to see the fireworks vs shop. So, if these visitors aren’t your target market, Canada Day is still an excellent chance to promote your business – there will be thousands of ‘eyeballs’ in the district looking at your business. Take full advantage!
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN?
- From Thursday, June 30 – Monday, July 4 the Town of Oakville will be setting up for the event in Bronte Heritage Waterfront Park. This may limit some pedestrian or seating access.
- Before 5pm on Canada Day, there will be no organized events or street closures scheduled. Regular traffic access and parking restrictions are in effect. Watch for signage. Access to all streets, sidewalks, private parking lots (for customers only) and municipal parking lots are open. All businesses can operate as usual with some exceptions (you’ll be notified directly by the Town).
- From 1-5pm the Bronte Legion is hosting (once again!) it’s traditional Canada Day celebrations on its property. Family fun includes games, BBQ, music, birthday cake and more. The Bronte BIA is a proud sponsor.
- All special event road closures will take effect at 5pm on Friday, July 1. The closures will accommodate a shuttle bus route dropping off visitors. Streets will be closed to regular traffic except for limited local residential access (proof of residence is required). Access for emergency vehicles will be maintained at all times. The ability to leave the closure area cautiously will be available but not to enter the premises. Read the full list of road closures here.
- Starting at 5:30pm, a shuttle bus will run every 10 minutes from the parking lot of the Bronte GO Station bringing visitors into the district. The shuttle runs south on Bronte Rd., east on Marine Dr., north on Jones St. (drop off beside the Bronte Legion), west on Lakeshore Rd. W., then north on Bronte Rd. This is the best way for visitors to attend the event.
- Family friendly activities will run in the Park in the beginning at 6pm, including kids programming, music and food trucks. There will be a bike corral onsite and lots of porta potties.
- At 10pm the fireworks run for about 20 minutes.
- Starting at 10:25pm, the shuttle buses will line up along Marine Dr. and Jones St. to load visitors out of the district. No other vehicles will be able to leave at this time. Vehicle movement in the closed area is for shuttles only until 11pm.
- Early July 2, once all shuttles have left the district and event structures removed etc., remaining road restrictions will be removed.
WHO’S COMING WHEN?
It’s a guess as to how busy it will be on Canada Day, but Bronte is a designated tourism destination, so it’s likely there’ll be hundreds of visitors during the day coming to Bronte to wander, sit on a patio, have a family picnic or to shop at retail businesses that are open. It’s suggested that visitors that come during the day are not the same as those coming for fireworks.
Thousands of fireworks enthusiasts will begin coming to Bronte in the late afternoon and early evening to secure a spot on the park grass to watch the 10pm fireworks show. These visitors aren’t likely to shop or use a personal service, but will want to eat and drink. Restaurants and cafes are encouraged to be open late.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
The more lively, interesting and exciting Bronte is on Canada Day, the more likely visitors will come back another day to shop and eat. This is a unique marketing opportunity for your business. Decide how you can participate.
Clean and update your store windows and incorporate some red and white or other celebratory colours, keep the lights on, put a sign up with your regular store hours and social channels, post a fun note inviting visitors back.
Welcome customers for holiday hours such as 12pm-5pm or 12pm-8pm, put some product outside, have a Canada Day sale or offer one-day-only unique items, prop your doors open, use your social channels to promote.
Go all in and welcome customers all day and into the evening, hire extra staff, decorate your store, have a plan to manage line-ups, ensure you’ve got lots of product on hand and take full advantage of all the eyeballs on your business. It’s suggested that 8pm or 9pm for a retailer might be a good closing time, but be flexible. Any visitors coming later are just coming for fireworks.
- Decide now how your business will participate. Ensure all deliveries are made in advance, hire staff and update your Google listings with specific store hours.
- If your business will be open, let the BIA know by Friday, June 10. We’re looking to provide T-shirts or balloons recognizing active retailers and we’ll promote your store. Email: email@example.com
- About 2 weeks before the event, start using your social channels to let your existing customers know how you’ll be celebrating.