Canada 150 parties will cost more than 50 years ago, but take up less of your income: report

The 3D Canada 150 sign for Canada day on the waterfront in Halifax, N.S. on Thursday, June 22, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lee Brown

With Canada’s 150th birthday approaching, Canucks are keeping a close eye on how celebrations will affect their wallets.

A poll from Ipsos Public Affairs shows that most Canadians feel $500 million is too much cash to throw down on special events and infrastructural investments that are coming with the country’s sesquicentennial.

At the same time, however, it will cost less for Canadians to host their own Canada 150 parties than it would have for the Great White North’s 100th birthday, said a report by TD economist Brian DePratto on Monday.

Coverage of Canada 150 on

Story continues below advertisement

Using prices advertised in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), DePratto estimated that Canada 150 parties will cost Canadians about $130 when hosting 10 people, including six adults and four children.

That cost includes purchases such as burgers, hot dogs, pop, beer, fruit and ice cream.

The same party would have cost approximately $15.50 in 1967, when Canada celebrated its 100th.

July 1, 1967 – Parliament Hill in Ottawa was packed as hundreds of coloured balloons were released after the Queen cut the 30-foot-high birthday cake. John McNeill/Globe and Mail via CP

But the cost is actually smaller when you look at income growth in the same time period.

In 1967, the cost of a party with the items mentioned above would have taken up 15 per cent of weekly earnings.

Today, the current estimated cost of a Canada 150 party would only take up about 14 per cent of one’s earnings.

Story continues below advertisement

“This speaks to another broad trend in the Canadian economy: incomes that have, broadly speaking and despite recessionary setbacks, seen gains that have outstripped inflation,” DePratto wrote.

READ MORE: Canada 150: Could you pass the Canadian citizenship test?

Canada 150 parties will also bring together Canadians whose tastes have changed dramatically in the past five decades.

Canadians still eat more beef than any other fresh meat, but its average consumption has dropped from 66 kilograms per year in 1967 to 50 kilograms last year.

“That said, our population has nearly doubled over this time, so in aggregate beef consumption has climbed significantly,” DePratto wrote.

Drinking habits

Canadians’ drinking habits have changed, too.

They spent $22 billion on alcohol last year, and 40 per cent of it was for beer.

Molson Canadian beer cases are seen in Kingston, Ont. Lars Hagberg / The Canadian Press

Brewskis have lost some ground to wine, however; in 2004, for every dollar spent on booze, 50 cents went to beer.

Story continues below advertisement

But beer has lost some of its popularity; Canadians are now spending more cash on wine.

“The shift to wine is likely a reflection of a Canadian population that is both wealthier and older, both trends associated with shifting consumption patterns,” DePratto said.

This chart shows Canadians’ per capita alcohol consumption in litres compared to other countries.
This chart shows Canadians’ per capita alcohol consumption in litres compared to other countries. TD Economics

And while beer-drinking characters such as Bob and Doug McKenzie have helped to create a Canadian stereotype, OECD data shows that Canucks are drinking less than people from many other countries, says OECD data tracking per capita alcohol consumption in litres.

Belgium is number one in a chart that DePratto included in his report; Canada is 11th.

Sponsored content