Canada Day was an especially significant occasion for a group of 30 people who took the oath of citizenship at Queen's Park on Friday.

The group, who had come to Canada from 27 different countries, became official Canadian citizens in a ceremony held on the lawn of Ontario's legislature.

"There are more opportunities in Canada than there is anywhere else in the world," said Douglas Garcia, who moved from Nicaragua to Canada in 1988 and became a citizen on Friday. "I am pretty excited to be a Canadian."

The ceremony was presided over by Eric Hoskins, Ontario's minister of citizenship and immigration, Joe Oliver, the federal minister of natural resources, and Citizenship Judge Raminder Gill.

"We are gathered here to welcome you as new members of the Canadian family," Oliver told the crowd.

The ceremony was one of scores held across the country marking the occasion of Canada's 144th birthday.

More than 750 immigrants secured their official citizenship on Friday, each of them having a different past and a shared future.

"All the sacrifices and struggle to come here; I am so very happy and proud to be Canadian citizen," said Medelina Reyes, who was born in the Philippines.

Dorit Palvanov, from Israel, added: "It is a beautiful country. We are so very fortunate to live in freedom like we have here."

Royals witness citizenship ceremony

Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cornwall, presided over a Canada Day citizenship ceremony in Gatineau, Que., Friday morning.

The royal couple took to the stage at the Canadian Museum of Civilization alongside Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Gov. Gen David Johnston shortly after 10:30 a.m. on Friday.

More than 20 new Canadians were sworn in at the ceremony, including candidates from Belarus, China, India and Madagascar.

With a report from CTV Toronto's Naomi Parness