• The prime minister, Justin Trudeau, leads festivities in Ottawa with guests including Prince Charles and members of U2



Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau , has kicked off celebrations to mark the country’s 150th birthday amid heavy security as many citizens braved incessant rain and long delays to reach the main site in the nation’s capital.
About 500,000 people were expected to be in Ottawa for the long-anticipated Canada Day festivities, which features a large outdoor celebration in front of the national parliament, complete with acrobats, fireworks and musicians, including Bono and other members of Irish rock band U2.
Trudeau, accompanied by Prince Charles , shook hands with some of the thousands of revellers who converged in Ottawa for the festivities.
“Canada is a country made strong not in spite of our differences but because of them,” Trudeau told the gathering. “We don’t aspire to be a melting pot. Indeed, we know true strength and resilience flows through Canadian diversity.”
woman with her dog, dressed in a patriotic outfit during the East York Toronto Canada Day parade.
Some cities are celebrating in more unusual ways. Toronto, Canada’s largest city, will have a giant rubber duck floating in its harbour, while Calgary will have a “living flag” composed of people wearing red and white. The yellow duck, which cost C$200,000 (£118,400) including the rent, according to the Globe and Mail, drew criticism from some who described it as a waste of taxpayers’ money.
Security has been heightened in the days before the celebration and party-goers must contend with road closures and concrete barriers across entrances to Parliament Hill, in downtown Ottawa.
Heavy downpours prompted firefighters to pump water off the grounds on Parliament Hill and the fire service urged citizens to follow safety instructions.
National and local police were also out in force, with security top of the agenda for many Canadians after fatal attacks in London, Paris and Germany.

Saturday marks the 150th anniversary of the day Canada officially became a country. Britain had ruled it before 1867.
Pierre Anctil, a history professor at the University of Ottawa, said: “Canada 150 years ago was a project, it was an idea to bring together four colonies with very different historical backgrounds. We should celebrate but we should not be complacent. It’s not a finished project,” he added.

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