Canada Day in Canada in 2024

  How long until Canada Day?
Canada Day
  Dates of Canada Day in Canada
2025 Canada Tue, Jul 1 Statutory Holiday
2024 Canada Mon, Jul 1 Statutory Holiday
2023 Jul 1, Jul 3
Newfoundland and LabradorMon, Jul 3Regional Holiday (in lieu)
Prince Edward IslandMon, Jul 3Regional Holiday (in lieu)
YukonMon, Jul 3Regional Holiday (in lieu)
CanadaSat, Jul 1Statutory Holiday
2022 Canada Fri, Jul 1 Statutory Holiday
2021 Canada Thu, Jul 1 Statutory Holiday

Celebrates of the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North America provinces in a federation under the name of Canada

When is Canada Day?

The National Day of Canada is observed as a statutory holiday on July 1st.

If July 1st falls on a Sunday, the holiday is legally observed on July 2nd. See the table below for more details on what happens if it falls on a Saturday.

History of Canada Day

On June 20th 1868, a proclamation signed by the Governor General, Lord Monck, called upon all Her Majesty's loving subjects throughout Canada to join in the celebration of the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North America provinces in a federation under the name of Canada on July 1st 1867, with the passing of the North American Act of 1867. 

This was a true milestone in Canada's history - this act resulted in the Federal Dominion of Canada with the joining of Canadian colonies (Ontario and Quebec) with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

The enactment of the act was celebrated with the ringing of the bells at the Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto.

And “bonfires, fireworks and illuminations, excursions, military displays and musical and other entertainments.”

The July 1st holiday was established by statute in 1879, under the name Dominion Day.

There is little or no record of any organised ceremonies after this first anniversary, except for the naming of new buildings on the 50th and 60th anniversaries. It actually was not until 1917 that larger scale and more extravagant celebrations commenced. 

In 1946, Philéas Côté, introduced a private member’s bill in the House of Commons to rename Dominion Day as Canada Day. The Senate returned the bill with the recommendation to rename it as The National Holiday of Canada. As a result, bill was not passed.

Since 1958, the government has arranged for an annual observance of Canada's national day with the Secretary of State of Canada in charge of the coordination. The format provided for a Trooping the Colours ceremony on the lawn of Parliament Hill in the afternoon, a sunset ceremony in the evening followed by a mass band concert and fireworks display. The format changed in 1968 with the addition of multicultural and professional concerts.

In 1980, a new formula was developed whereby the federal government sponsored the development of local celebrations all across Canada.

"Seed money" was distributed to promote popular and amateur activities organized by volunteer groups in hundreds of local communities. The same approach was also followed for the 1981 celebrations with the addition of fireworks displays in 15 major cities across the nation.

On October 27th 1982, July 1st which was known as "Dominion Day" became "Canada Day", after a private member’s bill was passed two years after its first reading.

Since 1985, Committees have been established in each province and territory to plan, organize and coordinate the Canada Day celebrations locally. Grants are provided by the Department to those committees.

Source: Canadian Heritage

How is Canada Celebrated?

Despite its low-key start, Canada Day has turned into a true independence party with fireworks, parades, picnics, and barbecues. Canada Day is many things to many people, including a great excuse to declare one's love for all things beer. You are also likely to hear the national anthem, O Canada, being sung during the day by many people, irregardless of their levels of musical ability.. That said, if you happen to be in the providence of Quebec on Canada Day, you may not hear much singing due to the number of moving trucks driving around. Quebec has a long-standing tradition of mandating the end of rental leases on July 1st.

What happens if Canada Day falls on a weekend?

As is often the case with many statutory holidays in Canada, how a holiday is observed can differ between provinces and territories. The table below shows how Canada Day is treated regionally when July 1st falls on a weekend, with the text taken from the regional government websites.

Province/Territory Comments
Alberta July 1st, except when it falls on a Sunday, then it is July 2nd
British Columbia If July 1st falls on Sunday, Monday July 2nd replaces July 1st as the statutory holiday.
Manitoba No set rule
New Brunswick No set rule
Newfoundland and Labrador Known as Memorial Day and observed on the following Monday if July 1st falls on a weekend.
Nova Scotia No set rule

When a public holiday falls on a day that is not ordinarily a working day for an employee, or during the employee's vacation, the employee is entitled to either:

  • a substitute holiday off with public holiday pay;
  • public holiday pay for the public holiday, if the employee agrees to this in writing (in this case, the employee will not be given a substitute day off).
Prince Edward Island If a holiday falls on a scheduled day off (Saturday or Sunday), your holiday is moved to the following workday.
Quebec July 1st. If this date falls on a Sunday: July 2nd
Saskatchewan Observed on the following Monday
Northwest Territories No set rule
Nunavut No set rule
Yukon The first working day immediately following the general holiday becomes the general holiday for that employee.

Did you know?

Three facts about Canada Day

Canada's only desert in British Columbia is only 15 miles long and is the only desert in the world with a long boardwalk for visitors to walk on.

The U.S. / Canada Border is the longest international border in the world. Officially known as the International Boundary, it is 8891 km/5,525 miles long, including the border between Canada and Alaska. It is the world's longest unprotected border.

There are more doughnut shops per capita in Canada than anywhere else in the world and Canadians eat more doughnuts per person than any other country.

More facts about Canada Day

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