Public Holidays in Canada

Canada is the second-largest country in the world after Russia and it is the largest country in North America. Canada is officially bilingual, English and French are the official languages in Canada. Even though it’s the second-largest country, Canada ranks only 39th on the list of the world population.

The Canadian confederation consists of 13 Provinces and 3 Territories, The major difference between a Canadian province and a territory is that provinces receive their power and authority from the Constitution Act of1867. The territorial governments’ powers are delegated to them by the Parliament of Canada.

Every Province or Territory of Canada has its own provincial holiday(s), check the provincial holiday list for more details. Although not official holidays, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Hallowe’en are traditionally celebrated by Canadians. The observance of individuals’ religious holidays is widely accepted as well. For example, some school children and employees take days off for Jewish holidays, Muslim holidays, or Eastern Orthodox observances according to the Julian calendar.

Below is the list of  Public Holidays in Canada otherwise known as Statutory Holidays in Canada;

 Observance   Holiday Remarks
January 1 New Year’s Day Statutory. Celebrate the first day of every year in the Gregorian calendar.
Friday before Easter Sunday Good Friday Statutory, except in Quebec where Easter Monday is a statutory holiday.
Monday on or before May 24 Victoria Day Statutory, except in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.
July 1 Canada Day Statutory. Commemoration of Canada’s 1867 Confederation.
First Monday in September Labour Day Statutory holiday in all Provinces
September 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Statutory, The government of Canada passed legislation in 2021 to make September 30 a federal statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, ensuring that the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools are never forgotten.
Second Monday in October Thanksgiving Day Statutory, except in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.
November 11 Remembrance Day Statutory holiday everywhere except Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, and Labrador. Commemoration of Canada’s war heroes.
December 25 Christmas Day Statutory,  Celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ; traditionally on 25 December.
December 26 Boxing Day Statutory in Ontario and federal jurisdictions. The day when shops sell off excess Christmas inventory.

Statutory Holidays in Canada

A statutory holiday (also known as “general” or “public” holiday) in Canada is legislated either through the federal, provincial, or territorial governments. Most workers, public or private, are entitled to take the day off with regular pay. However, for businesses that are normally open employers may require employees to work on such a holiday, but in this case, must be paid at a premium rate — usually 1½ (known as “time and a half”) or 2 times (known as “double time”) the regular pay. In most provinces, when a statutory holiday falls on a normal day off (generally a weekend), the following workday is considered a statutory holiday.

Federal Holidays

The nine statutory holidays listed above are mandated by federal legislation for federally regulated employees, as is Easter Monday. All banks apply these holidays to their schedule.

Provincial and territorial Holidays

Provinces and territories generally adopt the same holidays as the federal government with some variations:

Many employers give their employees days off that may not be statutory holidays in the particular province, particularly Boxing Day. Similarly, many federally regulated employees have negotiated additional holidays, which are common in the provinces such that many also take Easter Monday and the first Monday in August.

City holidays

Some cities also have statutory holidays that are celebrated only within the city limits. For instance, the morning of the Stampede Parade is a legal half-day holiday in the city of Calgary.