Victoria Day 2010

Victoria Day 2010

VICTORIA DAY 2010 | What's Open and What's Closed
Today marks the 191st anniversary of Queen Victoria's birth, the monarch who ruled the British Empire for 63 years. Why exactly we celebrate the birthday of the first Empress of India every year is unclear, but the first long weekend since Easter usually marks the unofficial beginning of summer, and this year the forecast is definitely cooperating. The day is a statutory holiday, which means most stores, including the LCBO and Beer Store, will be closed. The Eaton Centre will be on its Sunday hours (10 am - 6 pm), as will Square One (11 am - 6 pm), while Sherway Gardens will be closed. Some stores in the Yonge and Dundas area will also be open. The TTC will be operating on its Sunday schedule, which means the last trains leave terminal stations at 1:31 am. Most grocery stores, including No Frills and Loblaws, will be shut. Major attractions like the Toronto Zoo, Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario Place and Canada's Wonderland are open. If you want to take full advantage of the great weather, ferry service to Centre Island is also on its regular schedule.

VICTORIA DAY | City Celebrations
Those of us who had the foresight to hit up the LCBO before it closed yesterday already have our Victoria Day celebrations planned out, but if you're looking for a more authentic way to celebrate the day than drinking your face off in the nearest park, several of the city's historic sites are offering special programs today. Historic Fort York, which was built 30 years before Victoria's birth and opened as a museum on Victoria Day 1934, has a special holiday program for children and families to mark the occasion. In the West End, you can stop by Montgomery's Inn for a spot of tea and some sponge cake served by volunteers in period piece costumes. The folks at Gibson House are so excited they've got their knickers in a twist and are serving up sweet treats, Victorian toys and hands-on activities in their Discovery Gallery.

VICTORIA DAY | Fireworks in Toronto
Parks and backyards will be exploding all night with impromptu displays, but the officially sanctioned fireworks show tonight will be at Ashbridges Bay in the East End at 9:30 pm. With warm weather and clear skies in the forecast, conditions should be perfect.

CONTEST | First Annual Queen Victoria Look-A-Like Competition
We mostly think of Queen Victoria as a matronly old woman, but in her younger days she was considered quite a "hotty" as the Victorians would say. So perhaps being named the winner of the Queen Victoria Look-A-Like Competition isn't quite the dubious honour it might first appear to be. The Fairmont Royal York Hotel is hosting the competition, which will award the prize to the wannabe queen who not only most resembles Ole Vicky but who demonstrates appropriate poise, skill, and knowledge. The winner gets a night in the Prime Minister's Suite, breakfast in bed, an Elizabeth May spa treatment, dinner for two at EPIC, and a bottle of Victoria Gin (rumour has it the real Queen Victoria drank a bottle a day). Hosted by The Food Network's Surreal Gourmet Bob Blumer and Miss Conception.
Fairmont Royal York Hotel, 100 Front Street West, Free with registration, 12 pm - 4 pm

Looking for more ideas of what to do today? Check out our events section.

Have an event you'd like to plug? Submit your own listing to the blogTO calendar, contact us directly, or use our handy Facebook app.

For Toronto movie showtimes, view our Movie Listings section.

Photo: "Light it up for Victoria" by Big Daddy Hame, member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.


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