Back then I was a kid of 6 years of age, living in England. I suspect it was less momentous an event in England than it was in America, where Americans were preparing their own space program back then, though I could be wrong. I wasn't old enough in 1961 to truly appreciate what Gagarin's feat meant, but in later years, I wished that I lived in a country where I could aspire to be an astronaut. Of course, two years later, I wished that I could travel with The Doctor in his TARDIS (as in Doctor Who), but that's another matter. It was later in my life that I realised and fully appreciated what Gagarin did, but by then, of course, the Americans had gone into space too, so it seemed to diminish Gagarin's feat in my eyes (incorrectly, I might add).
I don't know whether something's going on in Ottawa (or other parts of Canada) to honour the occasion, as it's being honoured elsewhere across the face of the Earth at Yuri's Night parties, but I really hope a Canadian celebration of this is going on somewhere. But I do hope that something's happening to honour the occasion somewhere in this city, as it is elsewhere across the planet via the Yuri's Night parties.
So here's to Yuri Gagarin and his historic space flight! And here's to another fifty years of human spaceflight...and perhaps to other planets in our solar system. :)