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Niagara Falls in Winter

Canada’s best New Year’s Eve party spots

Niagara Falls in Winter

Niagara Falls hosts the largest New Year’s Eve celebration in Canada. Headline artists will visit the popular tourist town to help the nation ring in 2015. (Julia Pelish/Vacay.ca)

Story by Sandra Williams-Herve
Vacay.ca Writer

Locking down a great place to celebrate New Year’s Eve is important for many Canadian travellers. For some people a new year’s celebration will consist of bright lights, a big city, overflowing cocktails and an all-night party.

For others, a date with a flat-screen TV and a pair of comfy slippers will more than suffice. Whether you plan on celebrating indoors or outdoors, there is no shortage of events to consider. What constitutes a great party? That’s entirely subjective, of course. However, Vacay.ca has put together a shortlist of where to go — whether you’re a singleton, coupled up or just part of one big happy family. No matter who you are these ideas will make sure you have fun.

Niagara Falls, Ontario

As one of the Seven Wonders of Canada, a New Year’s Eve celebration in Niagara Falls is tough to beat. If you’re ready for your close up, celebrate 2015 at Canada’s largest free New Year’s Eve extravaganza. An estimated 40,000 people are expected to attend this televised event (Global TV, 10 pm ET). Impressive fireworks, tasty nom-noms and musical acts like Keith Urban, Nick Jonas and Lights will tantalize your senses.

Toronto, Ontario

If all you want for New Year’s Eve is a nice dinner and an early night, you can accomplish this in Canada’s largest city. With its growing number of top-notch restaurants, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to dining options.

Consider the neighbourhood of St. Lawrence Market and ring in the New Year with sabor España at Barsa Taberna. Raise a glass while eating your way through chef Michael G. Smith’s exclusive blind tasting.

If you’re up for it make a reservation for a special 10-course tapas menu for two and a glass of Cava. The first seating will run from 5-8 pm, and the second from 8:30 pm-2 am. Feel like having a night cap? Swing by Greektown for a warm cocktail or two at The Forth on Danforth Avenue.

Quebec City, Quebec

Some folks might say that Toronto is the epicentre of New Year’s Eve parties. Maybe those folks haven’t ventured to the capital of the La Belle Province. According to Boy George, house music is coming back to North America, and Quebec City‘s party that sees 25,000 people dancing in the snow is responsible for that sound explosion. Between 11 pm and 1 am, Grande Allée will be party central.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Travelling to the east coast? If so you’ll be lucky to experience the Atlantic region’s largest New Year’s Eve gathering at Halifax’s Grand Parade. The plan includes a free, family event with high-energy Maritime entertainers. Plus there will be a ginourmous — yes, ginormous — fireworks show. The festivities take place outside Halifax City Hall (1841 Argyle Street). Click here for more details.

Prince Edward Island

Another fine spot for New Year’s celebrations on the east coast is Charlottetown.

If you’re in the area, head down to Great George Street and Richmond Street to check out the ice sculptures created by members of the Canadian Ice Sculpting team, sip some apple cider, take an old-fashioned wagon ride and be entertained by world-class busker performances.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Yes, baby, it’s cold outside in this town. But that doesn’t mean you can’t heat things up with a little bit of fun and excitement. Head to Scotiabank Family New Year’s at The ForksTake part in skating, snowboarding and tobogganing as you dance 2014 away with  DJs Co-op and Hunnicutt.

Regina, Saskatchewan

Regina wants to help you celebrate Noon Year’s Eve. If you’re up for the change of plan, join the Saskatchewan Science Centre for what they call “The best New Year’s party around.” It’s the perfect way to spend the day with the kids and countdown the new year. Expect to see some stage shows and to have the rare opportunity to stargaze in the middle of the day. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 306-791-7900 or email bookings@sasksciencecentre.com. The event runs from 10 am to 3 pm on December 31.

Edmonton, Alberta

Want to keep it casual? Join like-minded revellers on the New Year’s Eve Extravaganza club crawl. The good times include a party bus, four club stops and VIP access. The cost is about $25 per ticket. Let’s be honest, this event appeals to students but all are welcome.

If you’re in Edmonton and would like to do something more family-oriented go to Sir Winston Churchill Square for a free, non-alcoholic event with indoor kids’ crafts, face painting and live music, followed by outdoor skating, music, food concessions and hay rides.

Calgary, Alberta

New Year’s Eve has gone to the animals. Seriously. The popular event at the Calgary Zoo includes fireworks, cultural entertainment and an awesome countdown.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Style-conscious party-goers will want to roar in 2015  at the Harbour Event Centre’s Great Gatsby-themed party. The place will be kitted with 1920s-style flappers and guys in zoot suits, live musicians, swing dancers and aerial acrobats.

Sandra Williams-Hervé is a writer, actress, and producer who divides her time between Toronto, Canada and Paris, France. She was bitten by the wanderlust bug early in life and has visited just about every continent. After growing up in Ontario, she hopes to visit all of Canada’s diverse provinces.

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