The May 24th long weekend (otherwise known as Victoria Day, the May long weekend, or May 2-4) is a longstanding celebration of Queen Victoria's birthday. Today, Canada is not the colony it once was and May 2-4 has as much to do with friends and a case of beer as it does the Queen. For Canadians not from Quebec, it's a lesser known fact that the Quebecois celebrate National Patriots' Day on the 24th - a day to honour the rebellion early-Canadians fought against the British. Whatever your reason to celebrate, the May 2-4 long weekend has become the unofficial start of summer. Across the country, Canadians look forward to it as the mark of spring's end, and are always on the lookout for ways to make the most of it. The team at Bentall Kennedy Residential Services has 5 entertaining ways for you to celebrate the long weekend this May.


Hit the Beach


Beaches are found all across Canada. From the surfing coasts of Nova Scotia and BC, to the lakesides of central and western Canada, there's nothing quite like time at the beach to ring in the summer season. While there's no guarantee temperatures will be above the teens, Canadians embrace the start of summer boldly. In Ontario, Sandbanks provincial park and Sauble Beach are two stellar places to celebrate the May 2-4 weekend.


Lake Lounging


Canada's lakes are cherished, not to mention home to two of our National animal icons - the beaver and goose. While coastal Canadians might disagree, Canada's lakes offer landlocked provinces an oasis in the heat of summer. Whether you enjoy windsurfing, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, or just straight up no nonsense camp chair sitting, there are many memorable ways to make use of Canada's lakes. From Muskoka to St. Zotique in Montreal, Lake Chestermere outside Calgary, and Vancouver's Rice Lake, there's no shortage of lakes to visit on the long weekend!


Camp Calm


It's Canada's 150th Birthday this year and Parks Canada is offering a free Discovery Pass providing free access to all of the country's National Parks for the entirety of 2017. There's no better - or cheaper - way to ring in the summer than with a camping trip to take advantage of our nation's diverse landscape. With 39 National parks spread across our 10 provinces and 3 territories, there are some great options for your outdoor May 24 celebration.


City Chic


A city staycation for May 2-4 has a ton of indoor and outdoor options. From fireworks to festivals, if it's city bustle you want, it's city bustle you'll get on the May 2-4 long weekend. In addition to most cities' usual offerings of music, art, and food, many cities put on May 2-4 parades -- the most renowned of which is the Queen's namesake city of Victoria, British Columbia. Victoria Day weekend is also often the marker for bars and restaurants to open their patios for the season so be sure to snag a table with a view.


Backyard Bliss


Last on the list, but by no means least, is the unsung hero of May 2-4 weekends: staying home. It's not flashy, but it's easy, affordable and fun. Fire up the barbecue, pick up some beer or a refreshing cocktail, invite a few friends and put out a folding chair or two -- your home can easily transform into the place to be. Best of all, staying home or heading over to a friend's will keep you far away from May 2-4's notorious weekend traffic. Avoid the horns, lines and detours altogether and celebrate summer at home. Check out more ideas here.


The Bentall Kennedy Residential Services blog team hopes these tips for a fun and affordable May 2-4 weekend help you ring in summer in style.  For more information about Bentall Kennedy properties in your city, please visit our website.