Here's the link where you can find some of the activities scheduled on canada day.
June 30th is Saturday; July 1st is Sunday.
Normally, it takes 4 hours to travel one way between Vancouver and Victoria. There is a 90 minute ferry ride (from the Tsawwassen terminal, about 45 minutes south of Vancouver, to Swartz Bay, about 30 minutes north of Victoria). On the "July 1st weekend", the ferries will be packed and reservations necessary to avoid hours of waiting in line.
All this is by way of suggesting that you confine your consideration to Vancouver. It seems that you only have the day after landing at YVR before you head on your road trip. It's not really enough time on that particular weekend to enjoy a trip to Victoria.
+1 for staying in Vancouver.
It's interesting that the link in post #1 is completely anonymous. No ownership, address or phone number. Not sure who I'd be "contacting" if I filled out the webform.
The information about Canada Day for this year is not up yet, but here is some information from last year. Last year the fireworks were staged on a barge in Burrard Inlet. Canada Place and other locations along the waterfront downtown will have a good view of them. There are other celebrations just outside Vancouver: Steveston with its Salmon Festival for example, or Surrey. Here's some info from last year.
I see one June 2011 date which will give you an idea of when to check back for this year's info.
On #1: www.canada-day.ca is indeed a weird site, and I wouldn't rely on its info. The Ottawa page says 2012 but refers to the Queen's visit, which was in 2010. (I checked and the domain is privately registered -- no ownership/contact info available -- through Go Daddy Canada. Their claim to be "the official website for Canada Day" is pretty dubious, but otherwise the site seems more naive than malicious.)Edited: 10 March 2012, 20:08
Around Canada Place there are usually a host of activities going on. One time there were ethnic dancers in one of the rooms at the pavilion, free coffee from a makeshift Starbucks stand outside the pavilion and some other little freebie snacks.
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