Canada's Statutory Holidays 

While there are a number of holidays in Canada, it's important to note that several of these holidays are informal, celebratory occasions.  Listed below are "Statutory Holidays", which are the days governments (federal, provincial or territorial) deem businesses must make certain allowances, varying by jurisdiction and/or occasion.  This may mean all stores must close, or simply that employees must be paid a premium to work on these statutory holidays. 

For the most part, on these holidays, offices, government services and banks will be closed.  Some services, of course, never close, including airports, major border crossings, railway and bus stations and some gas stations.  The closing of stores can vary from one province to another, and even within a city.  However, most major stores will be closed or have limited hours on the holidays outlined below, and, on the major holidays (e.g. Christmas, New Year's Day, Easter), expect an even greater number of closings. However, in Alberta many stores will be open on statutory holidays, from at least 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Prince Edward Island was the last province to consider Sundays to be a holiday, meaning most stores (including large grocery stores) were only open six days per week. However, PEI's Sunday shopping restrictions were removed completely in late 2010. In general, if you need to go shopping on a Sunday or holiday in Canada for anything beyond groceries, your best bet is to head for a major mall or a store belonging to a major chain (e.g. Canadian Tire, London Drugs).

For holidays that fall on a Saturday or Sunday, the next business day(s) is usually observed as the holiday for offices, government services and banks. 

Statutory Holidays in 2014 and 2015

Date Celebrated

Canadian Holiday

in 2014

in 2015     

Jurisdiction

January 1 

New Year's Day

Jan 1 

Jan 1

National 

January 2

Jan 2

Jan 2

Jan 2

Quebec only

3rd Monday in February

 

(name varies)e.g. Family Day, Louis Riel Day, Islander Day

Feb 17

Feb 16

Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island

 

4th Monday in February

Heritage Day

Feb 22

Feb 23

Yukon Territory only 

two days before Easter Sunday

Good Friday

Apr 18

Apr 3

National 

1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after spring equinox

Easter Sunday

Apr 20

Apr 5

Quebec, Newfoundland & Labrador

day after Easter Sunday

Easter Monday

Apr 21

Apr 6

Quebec only - Quebec employers may choose to close on Easter Monday instead of on Good Friday

Monday nearest April 24

St George's Day

Apr 21

Apr 27

Newfoundland & Labrador only 

Monday before May 25

Victoria Day

May 19

May18

National 

June 21

National Aboriginal Day

Jun 21

Jun 21

Northwest Territories only

June 24

Fête nationale (St Jean Baptiste)

Jun 24

Jun 24

Quebec only

 

 

 

 

 

July 1

Canada Day

Jul 1 

Jul 1

National 

2nd Monday in July

Nunavut Day

Jul 8

Jul 13

Nunavut only 

1st Monday in August

Civic Holiday

Aug 4

Aug 3

Ontario, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut only

 

New Brunswick Day

Aug 4

Aug 3

New Brunswick only

 

Saskatchewan Day

Aug 4

Aug 3

Saskatchewan only 

 

Heritage Day

Aug 5

Aug 3

Alberta only

 

British Columbia Day

Aug 4

Aug 3

BC only 

3rd Monday in August

Discovery Day

Aug 18

Aug 17

Yukon only

 

 

 

 

 

1st Monday in September

 Labour Day

Sep 1

Sep 7

National 

2nd Monday in October

Thanksgiving Day

Oct 13

Oct 12

National

November 11 

Remembrance Day

Nov 11

Nov 11

National, except Ontario and Quebec

December 24

Christmas Eve

Dec 24

Dec 24

Nova Scotia - afternoon only

December 25

Christmas Day

Dec 25

Dec 25 

National

December 26

Boxing Day

Dec 26

Dec 26

BC, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, and Newfoundland only

 

Informal Holidays

Many days are not statutory holidays, but are still marked with festivities or even time off granted by employers beyond what is required by provincial legislation. Since they can affect your visit in various ways, they are listed below:

Valentine's Day: Feb. 14. A celebration of romantic relationships.The second busiest day of the year for Canadian dine-in restaurants. The busiest day of the year for florists and chocolate shops. 

St. Patrick's Day: Mar. 17. Celebration of Irish heritage. Some Newfoundland businesses and government offices may close for St. Patrick's Day or the closest Monday.

April Fool's Day: Apr. 1. A day for tricks and practical jokes. In some areas, according to local tradition, jokes are supposed to end at noon.

St. George's Day: Apr. 23. Celebration of British heritage. Some Newfoundland businesses and government offices may close for St. George's Day or the closest Monday.

Mother's Day: Second Sunday in May. A day to honour mothers and grandmothers. The busiest day of the year for Canadian dine-in restaurants.

Father's Day: Third Sunday in June. A day to honour fathers and grandfathers.

Discovery Day: Newfoundland only. June 24. Some Newfoundland businesses and government offices may close for Discovery Day or the closest Monday.

Jour Déménagement (Moving Day): Quebec only. 1 July. For historic reasons, most leases in Quebec expire on July 1, so traffic in Montreal and Quebec City can become quite busy with the large numbers of people moving house on this day.

Stampede Parade Day: Calgary, Alberta only. First Friday in July after July 1 (Canada Day). Most office-based businesses give their employees the morning of the Calgary Stampede parade off with pay, so that they can take their families to the Stampede parade. A large part of downtown is blocked off for the parade route.

Orangemen's Day: Newfoundland only. July 12. Some Newfoundland businesses and government offices may close for Orangemen's Day or the closest Monday.

Natal Day / August Civic Holiday: Nova Scotia only. First Monday in August. Some local businesses and government offices may close. 

Regatta Day: St. John's, Newfoundland only. First Wednesday in August. Most businesses and government offices will close for Regatta Day.

Halloween: Oct. 31. A day for celebrating the spooky and scary, and dressing up in a wide variety of costumes. After dark, children go from house to house dressed in costume, begging for candy treats, so be very careful when driving in suburban areas after nightfall.

Christmas Eve: Dec. 24. Expect most retailers and other businesses to close early, usually around noon for offices and 4 p.m. for stores.

Boxing Day: Dec. 26.  In Alberta many shoppers rise early to line up for Boxing Day sales.  Except for the retail industry, which works on Boxing Day, nearly all other businesses are closed.  It is not a statutory holiday in Alberta, but granting workers a paid holiday on this date is a widespread custom.