Statutory Holidays in Canada
Holidays in Canada exist on the federal level - see list of Canadian national holidays - and there are additional holidays for each province and territory.
Are you confused yet? Got an idea or a holiday story? Post it on the Canadian holiday forum.
We add a new holiday calendar for each year for national and provincial holidays - even provide printer friendly versions for some of the calendars. The annual update is generally in August or September.
Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Father's Day and Halloween are not official holidays but are celebrated nationwide, however, no paid vacation is given for these days. Visit our Canadian holiday forum to read and post messages related to Canadian statutory holidays.
Statutory holidays are New Year's Day, Good Friday (Easter), Canada Day, Labour Day and Christmas Day - these days are celebrated nationwide and are paid days off for employees. Federally regulated employees also get Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Thanksgiving and Boxing Day off and it is common practice, however not required, for non-federal employees to get these holidays off as well.
There is also a proposed statutory holiday to remember residential schools.
On unofficial holidays - especially on Boxing Day and Remembrance day - most businesses are closed with the exception of select retail stores.
You can find more resources and information about statutory holidays on the resources page.
Read about the new proposed holiday: National Truth and Reconciliation Day.
The chart below displays a list of national and provincial stat holidays observed in Canada.
|New Year's Day||January 1||Nationwide|
|Islander Day||Third Monday in February||PE|
|Family Day||Third Monday in February||BC, AB, SK, ON, NB|
|Heritage Day||Third Monday in February||NS|
|Louis Riel Day||Third Monday in February||MB|
|St. Patrick's Day||March 17||NL|
|Good Friday||Friday before Easter Sunday||Nationwide except QC|
|Easter Monday||Monday after Easter Sunday||QC|
|St. George's Day||April 23||NL|
National Patriotes Day in QC
|Monday preceding May 25th||Nationwide except NB, NS, PE, NL|
|National Aboriginal Day||June 21||NT|
St. Jean Baptiste Day
|Discovery Day||June 24||NL|
Memorial Day in NFL
|Nunavut Day||July 9||NT|
|Civic Holiday||First Monday in August||AB, BC, SK, ON, NB, NU|
|Labour Day||First Monday of September||Nationwide|
|Thanksgiving||Second Monday in October||Nationwide except NB, NS, PE, NL|
|Remembrance Day||November 11||Nationwide except ON, QC, NS, NL|
|Christmas Day||December 25||Nationwide|
|Boxing Day||December 26||ON|
What is a Canadian Statutory Holiday?
A national statutory holiday in Canada is basically a "paid-day-off". When you create your employment contract you should always include that full salary is to be paid on these days to avoid future disputes.
There are several holidays every year at the national level - these holidays are observed everywhere in Canada. In addition to these days there are other stat holidays and civic holidays on the provincial and territorial and municipal levels.
Stat Holiday Long Weekends
Every statutory holiday has some must-do activities. On New Year's Day you should either be on a cruise ship drinking champagne or have a snowball fight and party with your friends while on Canada Day its customary to rent a cottage if you don't have your own and travel "up north" for the long weekend.
Since we have plenty of snow in the winter many Canadians visit ski or snowboarding resorts on the Family Day long weekend — the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfasts are hard to resist;)
Victoria Day marks the unofficial start of the summer and that's when people usually pull out the barbie from the garage and keep it on the deck until Labour Day, which is the unofficial end of the summer. Many travel agencies and parks have special family weekend getaway packages for the long weekends for those who prefer to spend the days hiking, camping, birdwatching, canoeing, etc. What do you do during the holidays? Share your story with others at the stat holiday forum.
Thanksgiving, of course is turkey season, which we, the editors, don't like or understand. Why are millions of animals killed every year on the day we give thanks to what we have and bless the fall harvest? Please consider saving a turkey next year. You can buy a few beers instead.
The majority of people travel during their time off from work. Popular travel destinations for Canadians include Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica and select European countries like France and Italy - it all depends of the season. During the winter people fly south to spend some time in hotels and beaches in Florida, Hawaii or Costa Rica for example, indeed a great alternative to snow shoveling.
In the summer there are countless travel deals to Italy, Spain, the UK, Japan and other not-so-warm countries and because of the relatively strong Canadian dollar it doesn't cost too much to rent a car and stay at nice hotels abroad.