Canada 1 July: Ottawa

Celebrating Canada Day in the Capital!

Happy Canada Day! Today marks the 150th anniversary since confederation, making it the largest and most exciting July 1st that Ottawa has ever seen! Rain flooded the streets on and off throughout the day but that did not stop the locals and the hundreds of thousands of tourists from coming out and celebrating!

Spirits were high as we made our way through the crowded streets to share the Peace Torch with Canadians and invite them to reflect on what peace means to them. In 2018 the Peace Run team will carry the torch 16,000 kilometers around North America running through Canada, The United States and Mexico.

People of all ages and backgrounds held the torch and made their own special wish or prayer for peace. We let them know that the Peace Run team will be carrying their wishes as they run through the country with the torch next year.

People were especially energetic and happy today!

A peaceful family!

This year we are also celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, founded by Sri Chinmoy in 1987.

As the torch was passed, we encouraged people to share a few words about peace. We were moved by how thoughtful and heartfelt everyone's messages were.

Many expressed gratitude for the diversity, beauty and harmony that Canada already has.

This little boy meditated on the torch for quite a while before giving it back.

These close friends held the torch together, one of them said "I hope that the peace that's in our hearts as Canadians will flow through the world".

A lot of Canadians shared a hope for reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

Many of the messages were short, simply "may there be peace on earth!"

Our new friend from Acapulco, Mexico shared her sincere longing for peace in her home country.

Our last stop of the day was the Ottawa City Hall where we visited the Ottawa 2017 flame and the "Canada: Sri Chinmoy Peace Nation" plaque in front of the fountain.

"Canada, world-peace-dreamers’ Utopia,
Oneness-life, fulness-heart-ambrosia.
My gratitude-heart-shrine to you I give;
In your compassion-ocean-eyes I live."

-Sri Chinmoy