|Public holidays in Canada|
|Type||National, provincial, federal|
|Observances||NATIONWIDE (in bold) and FEDERAL (in italics):|
Public holidays in Canada, known as statutory holidays, stat holidays, or simply stats, consist of a variety of cultural, nationalistic, and religious holidays that are legislated in Canada at the federal or provincial and territorial levels. While many of these holidays are honoured and acknowledged nationwide, provincial and territorial legislation varies in regard to which are officially recognized.
There are five nationwide statutory holidays, and six additional holidays for federal employees. Each of the 13 provinces and territories observes a number of holidays in addition to the nationwide days, but each varies in regard to which are legislated as either statutory, optional, or not at all. Currently, the provinces of Alberta and Prince Edward Island have the most legislated holidays in comparison to other provinces and territories, with 12 days off.
Many public and private employers, as well as school systems, provide additional days off around the end of December, often including at least a full or half-day on December 24 (Christmas Eve) or December 31 (New Year's Eve), or in some cases the entire week between Christmas and New Year. While not officially legislated in any capacity, internationally notable cultural holidays such as Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, Mother's Day, and Father's Day are traditionally observed by Canadians as part of Canadian culture.
A statutory holiday (also known as "stats" or "general" or "public" holiday) in Canada is legislated either through the federal, or a provincial or territorial government. Most workers, public and private, are entitled to take the day off with regular pay. However, some employers may require employees to work on such a holiday, but the employee must either receive a day off in lieu of the holiday or must be paid at a premium rate – usually 1½ (known as "time and a half") or twice (known as "double time") the regular pay for their time worked that day, in addition to the holiday pay (except for high technology workers in British Columbia). In most provinces, when a statutory holiday falls on a normal day off (generally a weekend), the following work day is considered a statutory holiday. Statistics Canada shows an average of 11 paid statutory holidays per year in regard to all firms and corporations operating within the province.
|Date||English name||French Name||Remarks|
|January 1||New Year's Day||Jour de l'An||Celebrates the first day of every year in the Gregorian calendar.|
|Variable date between March 20 and April 23||Good Friday||Vendredi saint||Commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus, on the Friday before Easter.
In Quebec, non-federally regulated employers must give either Good Friday or Easter Monday as a statutory holiday, though some give both days.
|July 1||Canada Day||Fête du Canada||Celebrates Canada's 1867 Confederation and establishment of dominion status.|
|First Monday in September||Labour Day||Fête du travail||Celebrates economic and social achievements of workers.|
|December 25||Christmas Day||Noël||Celebrates the nativity of Jesus.|
In addition to the nationwide holidays listed above, the following holidays are mandated by federal legislation for federally regulated employees. All banks and post offices commemorate these holidays, and they are statutory in some provinces and territories.
|Date||English Name||French Name||Remarks|
|In lieu of Good Friday (Stat Holiday), Monday after Easter Day||Easter Monday||Lundi de Pâques||Variable date between March 23 and April 26. Celebrates the resurrection of Jesus.
Not a statutory holiday in any province or territory; however, in Quebec employers must give either Good Friday or Easter Monday as a statutory holiday, though most give both days.
Banks remain open (legally they cannot close for more than three consecutive days except in emergencies), but employees often receive a "floating" paid day off to be taken on or near the holiday.
This is not one of the nine "General Holidays" as defined by the Canada Labour Code – Part III. As such, there is no legal requirement for private sector employers in federally regulated industries to provide Easter Monday as a paid holiday to employees. However, many federal government offices will be closed on this day.
|Monday before May 25||Victoria Day||officially la Fête de Victoria (more commonly called la Fête de la Reine) or Journée nationale des Patriotes||Celebrates the birthday of the reigning Canadian monarch; however, the date does not change with the change of monarch, being instead fixed on the birthday of Queen Victoria, the sovereign at the time of Canadian Confederation and establishment of dominion status in 1867. Some French-Canadians celebrate instead Adam Dollard des Ormeaux a French-Canadian hero from the New France times on this day; officially National Patriots' Day in Quebec.
Statutory holiday in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec (coincides with National Patriots' Day), Saskatchewan, and Yukon. A holiday in New Brunswick under the Days of Rest Act.
|First Monday in August||August Civic Holiday||Premier lundi d'août||Statutory holiday in British Columbia (British Columbia Day), New Brunswick (New Brunswick Day), Northwest Territories (Civic Holiday), Nunavut (Civic Holiday), and Saskatchewan (Saskatchewan Day).
Civic holiday (may be a paid vacation day depending on employer) in Alberta (Heritage Day), Manitoba (Terry Fox Day), Ontario (Colonel By Day + John Galt Day + Simcoe Day + others), Nova Scotia (Natal Day), Prince Edward Island (Federal Civic Holiday).
|Second Monday in October||Thanksgiving||Action de grâce||A day to give thanks for the things one has at the close of the harvest season.
Statutory holiday in most jurisdictions of Canada: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon.
|November 11||Remembrance Day||Jour du Souvenir||Commemorates Canada's war dead. Anniversary of the armistice ending World War I in 1918.
Statutory holiday in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and Yukon.
In Manitoba, an "Official day of Observance", not a statutory holiday.
In Ontario and Nova Scotia, not a statutory holiday in that employers have the option of giving Remembrance Day or an alternate day off. In Nova Scotia Remembrance Day is covered specifically by the Remembrance Day Act which prohibits employers from allowing employees to work and prohibits employees from working with exceptions for required services.
Not a statutory holiday in Quebec.
|December 26||Boxing Day||Lendemain de Noël||A holiday with mixed and uncertain origins and definitions.
Provincially, a statutory holiday in Ontario. A holiday in New Brunswick under the Days of Rest Act.
Many employers across the country observe Boxing Day as a paid day off.
|Date||English Name||French Name||Remarks|
|Third Monday in February||
||Statutory holiday under various names in Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
British Columbia previously celebrated Family Day on the second Monday in February between 2013 and 2018. However, British Columbia celebrates Family Day on the third Monday in February from 2019 onward.
New Brunswick will observe Family Day on the third Monday in February, starting in 2018.
Not observed elsewhere.
|One full week during the month of March (timing varies)||
||Week-long closure of public schools across all provinces and territories. Often used as an opportunity for families with schoolchildren to go on vacation.
Although March break usually never coincides with the Easter weekend, Prince Edward Island schools are considering merging it with the Easter holiday as of 2018.
Provinces and territories generally adopt the same holidays as the federal government with some variations:
|Date||English Name||French Name||AB||BC||MB||NB||NL||NT||NS||NU||ON||PE||QC||SK||YT|
|January 1||New Year's Day||Jour de l'An||National|
|Third Monday in February||Louis Riel Day||Journée Louis Riel||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Third Monday in February||Islander Day||Fête des Insulaires||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Third Monday in February||Family Day||Fête de la famille||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Third Monday in February||Heritage Day||Fête du Patrimoine||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|March 17||Saint Patrick's Day||Jour de la Saint-Patrick||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Friday before Easter Day||Good Friday||Vendredi saint||National|
|Monday after Easter Day||Easter Monday||Lundi de Pâques||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|April 23||Saint George's Day||Jour de St. George||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Monday before May 25||National Patriots' Day||Journée nationale des patriotes||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Monday before May 25||Victoria Day||Fête de la Reine||—||—|
|June 21||National Aboriginal Day||Journée nationale des Autochthones||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|June 24||Discovery Day / National Holiday||Journée découverte / Fête nationale du Québec / Saint-Jean-Baptiste||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|July 1||Canada Day||Fête du Canada||National|
|July 12||Orangemen's Day||Fête des orangistes||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|First Monday in August||Civic Holiday||Premier lundi d'août||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|First Monday in August||Heritage Day||Fête du patrimoine||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|First Monday in August||New Brunswick Day||Jour de Nouveau Brunswick||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|First Monday in August||Natal Day||Jour de la Fondation||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Third Friday in August||Gold Cup Parade Day||Défilé de la Coupe d'or||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Third Monday in August||Discovery Day||Jour de la Découverte||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|First Monday in September||Labour Day||Fête du travail||National|
|Second Monday in October||Thanksgiving||Action de grâce||—||—||—||—|
|November 11||Armistice Day||Jour de l'Armistice||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|November 11||Remembrance Day||Jour du Souvenir||—||—||—||—|
|December 25||Christmas Day||Noël||National|
|December 26||Boxing Day||Lendemain de Noël||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
These have not been observed as statutory holidays since 1992. They are, however, observed by the provincial government. Unlike most other provinces, there is no province-wide holiday on the first Monday in August. It may be seen as redundant due to the Royal St. John's Regatta, which is observed as a civic holiday in St. John's on the first Wednesday in August (or, in case of poor weather, the next suitable day thereafter). Harbour Grace and Labrador City have a similar holiday for their regatta in late July. All other municipalities are entitled to designate one day a year as a civic holiday, however many do not take advantage of this.
Some municipalities also have local statutory holidays. For instance, the morning of the Stampede Parade is often given as a half-day holiday in the city of Calgary. In Ontario, the August Civic Holiday is not defined provincially, but by each municipality.
In Canada, there are two definitions of the term "civic holiday":
By law, a civic holiday is defined as any holiday which is legally recognized and for which employers are obliged to offer holiday pay.
In parts of Canada, the term "Civic Holiday" is a generic name referring to the annual holiday on the first Monday of August. However, this definition is far from uniform nationwide as Quebec, Newfoundland, and Yukon do not recognize it at all (in the Yukon the civic holiday is celebrated instead on the third Monday of August as Discovery Day). Five other provinces (Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island) do not oblige employers to offer holiday pay on this day, thus not making it a civic holiday in the legal sense. No universal name is recognized for this holiday – the official name varies between the provinces and even between municipalities within Ontario. In Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories it is a statutory holiday.
The Civic Holiday is meant to replace a city's birthday aka Natal Day. Instead of each city and town having a separate birthday celebration and day off, the August Civic Holiday is observed. For example, the Halifax Regional Municipality is made up of former cities Halifax and Dartmouth and the town of Bedford. Each of these places used to hold civic birthday celebrations on different days. Many people lived in one jurisdiction but worked in another. This would be very confusing as to which day a person would be excused from work.
This holiday is commonly referred to as "August Long Weekend" but this is not a government term.
The other leading candidate for a new holiday is a weekend in February to celebrate the anniversary of the Canadian flag, or more likely a general "Heritage Day". February 15 is already designated as Flag Day, but this is simply a day of commemoration, not a statutory holiday.
In the province of Nova Scotia, which has relatively few days off, a bill has been introduced for a new holiday for the third Monday in February, to start in 2015.
In 2001, members of the 14th Legislative Assembly passed the National Aboriginal Day Act making the Northwest Territories the first jurisdiction in Canada to recognize this day as a formal statutory holiday.
For federally regulated workers, if a holiday occurs on a day that is normally not worked, then "...another day off with pay will be provided".
When New Year's Day, Canada Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day or Boxing Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday which a federally regulated worker would not normally work, they are entitled to a holiday with pay on the working day immediately before or after the holiday. If one of the other holidays falls on a weekend, then the employer must add a holiday with pay to their employees’ annual vacation or give them a paid day off at another mutually convenient time.