OTTAWA — Jessica Mellor was doing her best Friday to catch her son, Lincoln, running — as toddlers often do — towards a security gate around the main Canada Day stage on Parliament Hill.
It was a tranquil moment as the family braced for the hoopla of Saturday, when half a million people are expected to gather in the shadow of the Centre Block to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary — an unprecedented crowd, with logistical planning and security to match.
"We’ve been meaning to come up for Canada Day our whole lives, basically, and never really got around to it," said Lincoln’s father, Kyle, whose son is named for Lincoln Alexander, Canada’s first black member of Parliament and former Ontario lieutenant-governor. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, left, participate in a rehearsal for Canada Day celebrations on stage on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, June 30, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, left, participate in a rehearsal for Canada Day celebrations on stage on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, June 30, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang) "This year, 150, it’s a bit of a pilgrimage to come up and just pay homage to everything that the nation has done for us."
Officials have been working for months to prepare for this weekend’s events, which the government has billed as the largest in the nation’s history, between the hundreds of thousands who are expected to be in downtown Ottawa to the countless others massing in more than 2,000 communities across the country.
On Friday, workers were putting the finishing touches on the towering main stage, where last-minute rehearsals were underway. Temporary fencing, barricades and bollards created security bottlenecks where visitors normally enjoy unfettered access to the grounds. Much of […]
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