How Belleville Celebrated Dominion Day – July 1, 1867

How Belleville Celebrated Dominion Day- July 1, 1867

Written by Emma Craig, Public Engagement Assistant

Photograph, Belleville street decorated for Dominion Day parade on June 1st, 1867This year, we look back on 150 years as a country! There are plenty of celebrations happening all around Canada, but how did people in Belleville celebrate when the announcement was first made? The answer is: very proudly!

Before the initial day, Mayor Henry Corby announced that July 1st would be a “day of rejoicing” for the union of the new country. Celebrations started very early on July 1st, the cannon on Court House Hill was fired at 12am to announce the start of the day. At 9am, the Moira Company Band began to play at the Court House steps also in celebration. At 10am, volunteers assembled at the Pinnacle Street Armoury before marching to the Court House. A rifle salute was fired, followed by “God Save the Queen” and cheers from the crowd.

The procession of volunteers continued down Front Street to Bleecker and Fowler Groves along the Bay shore. A lunch was served down there and, in the afternoon, citizens flocked to the water to participate in games. The games included three-legged races, high leap, sack racing and boat races and prizes were given out.


We hope that the celebrations this year will be just as grand as 150 years ago! Help Belleville celebrate this Canada Day at West Zwick’s Park. Look out for the Glanmore tent where you can learn more about Belleville’s 200 years of history!