There’s nothing like a day at the races. I mean, we are always keeping up with the “rat race,” but there’s something special about dressing up and routing for our favourite underdog at the racetrack. If dressing to the nines, with fascinator and tails as you drink champagne and munch on hors d’oeuvres sounds like the perfect day out for you, than look no further than the annual Queen’s Plate in Ontario Canada.

Race Day Hats!
Race Day Hats!
Waiting to Race
Waiting to Race

A Little Bit of History

  • The first Queen’s Plate event was royally blessed on June 27, 1860
  • In 1859 it was requested for Queen Victoria to grant a Plate for the racing event
  • Queen Victoria consented and also offered an annual prize valued at “Fifty Guineas.”
  • The guineas were stopped once George III began his reign
  • King Charles II changed the prize to silver plates with the size determining the value of the competition
  • Racers today receive a 1-foot high gold cup as a reward for winning the race as opposed to an actual plate.
  • The Queen attended and watched the 100th Queen’s Plate event in 1959
prepping to race
prepping to race

Royal Appearances

When attending this year’s event, don’t expect the royal treatment in the form of an official visit. However, the British royals have frequently attended the race throughout the years. The last visit by Queen Elizabeth II & the Duke of Edinburgh was the Queen’s Plate event in 2010. Since then the Lieutenant Governor General has attended on their behalf.

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth II

What to Expect At the 2017 Canada 150 Event

This is truly a special event worth all the bells and whistles. This year not only will you get the esteemed pleasure of attending such a prestigious event, but it also includes special Canada 150 bonus treats.


Date of Event: July 2, 2017 (158th annual event!)

Post time: 12 noon

Official Queen’s Plate Post time: 5:38 pm

The Purse: $1 million

Winner’s Prize: $600,000

The Hats & Horseshoes Party

This is a very special event not to miss! Choose your favourite summer dress, a matching fascinator and head with your honey to the party of the year.

Never bet on a horse before? No problem! There are betting pros waiting to help you at the H&H party! Plus, your first bet is complimentary!

The event starts at 11 am with fashion contests for fantastic prizes, access to the concert opens, great viewing of the Queen’s Plate Post time, and the post-race concert! This year, are you sitting down? The musical guests are the Goo Goo Dolls!

Walk the red carpet in your favourite racing duds! Tag yourself on Facebook using hashtag #qp17. You never know, you just may catch the judge’s eye for the fashion show and win a $1000 Vaughan Mills Gift Card!

Try the Blue Diamon Cocktail – the Exclusive libation of the Queen’s Plate and enjoy many a treat at the various food trucks on site!

Give all the featured lawn games a try! There will be opportunities to try out Bocce, Croquet, ring toss, and Giant Chess to name a few. Be sure to bring an extra set of shoes as these ¬†may be a challenge in those racing stilettos ūüėČ

Sporting Racing Duds!
Sporting Racing Duds!

Access to the Hats & Horseshoe Party is FREE with your Queen’s Plate Ticket. You can’t do better than that!

Dining Options

No party would be complete without a little sweet indulgence!

There are several dining options to choose from at various prices. Everything from indoor tables, to patios, and standing sections. If you are really looking into a day out to the nines, you can get a delightful table for 6 in the Favourites section for $1422! Do check it out soon as many of the dining packages are 90% or completely sold out.


A Racing Toast at the Post!
A Racing Toast at the Post!

Other Highlights!

  • Enter for a chance to win your very own Canadian Flag and T-shirt!
  • Live DJ music for an evening of dancing
  • Family fun including stilt walkers and face painting
  • An onsite caricature artist
  • Special¬†perks for American Express cardholders including an exclusive lounge for the first day of the races
  • $1 from each ticket is being donated to ReThink Breast Cancer!
  • Check out the Experiential Area to get your shoes polished, shop exclusive Links London jewellery and accessories, collect Dove freebies, and learn more about the future of horse racing!
  • Grab some exclusive Goo Goo Doll collectibles in the Artist Merchandise tent!
  • WIFI will be available at the event, and don’t forget to download the exclusive Queen’s Plate App for a free bet!


So don’t miss this incredible event that has been entertaining horse racing revelers for centuries! Be a part of the oldest thoroughbred racing event in North America and dawn that fascinator while enjoying a swig of your Blue Diamond.

Tickets are still on sale for as little as $30 bucks and are selling fast; especially now that Our Lady Peace, an iconic Canadian band has announced a live Canada Day performance in honour of the 150th milestone.

So quit “horsing around” and head to the track….

Your Guide to the 158th Annual Queen's Plate in Toronto
Your Guide to the 158th Annual Queen’s Plate in Toronto


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