Canada public holidays (bank holidays) in 2018 and 2019

The calendar of public holidays and work free days in Canada is fairly complicated.

The world’s largest country by area, Canada is divided in 13 provinces and territories, all of which have autonomy to establish holidays of the religious, historic or cultural origins.

Canada Day
Canada Day celebrations attract crowds.

Common for the entire country are only 5 public holidays. The Canadians themselves refer to them as ‘stats’, from ‘statutory holiday’.

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See below the list of Canada public holidays in 2018 and 2019 common for the whole country (stats), as well as local holidays in some of the provinces/territories.

2018

Holiday (English and French name)

2019

1 January (Monday)

New Year’s Day/Jour de l’An

1 January (Tuesday)

30 March (Friday)

Good Friday/Vendredi saint

19 April (Friday)

1 July (Sunday)

Canada Day/Fête du Canada

1 July (Monday)

3 September (Monday)

Labour Day/Fête du travail

2 September (Monday)

25 December (Tuesday)

Christmas Day/Noël

25 December (Wednesday)

In the majority of the Canadian provinces, when a public holiday (statutory holiday) falls on a weekend day, it is celebrated on the closest workday, usually Monday.

The employees may be required to work on a statutory holiday, receiving however an additional free day or being paid at premium rate (1.5 to 2 times the regular rate).

Holiday for federal employees in Canada
Apart from the statutory holidays mentioned in the table above, federal employees in Canada are entitled to the following work-free days:

2018

Holiday (English and French name)

2019

2 April (Monday)

Easter Monday/Luni de Pâques

22 April (Monday)

21 May (Monday)

Victoria Day/Fête de Victoria lub Fête de la Reine

20 May (Monday)

6 August (Monday)

August Civic Holiday/Premier lundi d’aoȗt

5 August (Monday)

8 October (Monday)

Thanksgiving/Action de grâce

14 October (Monday)

11 November (Sunday)

Remembrance Day/Jour de Souvenir

11 November (Monday)

26 December (Wednesday)

Boxing Day/Lendemain de Noël

26 December (Thursday)

Victoria Day
Despite the fact that Canada severed the ties to Great Britain in 1867, becoming an independent country, according to the constitution, the British monarch remains Canada’s Head of State. The country pays tribute to monarchy on Victoria Day, established in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday. Queen Victoria reigned until 1837.

Victoria Day in Canada is marked by joyful celebrations. Since this holiday falls on the Monday before 24th of May (the exact birthday of Queen Victoria), the long weekend , with usually pleasant weather is often spent outdoor. Those who didn’t travel out of town, gather at open air parties, parades and dances. The day culminates in firework displays.

Victoria Day firework display
Fireworks over Niagara Falls on Victoria Day.

Remembrance Day Canada – 11 of November
Observed in the Commonwealth of Nations on 11 of November, the Remembrance Day honours the lives of the soldiers lost in the line of duty. The celebrations are held on the anniversary of the armistice signed by Germany and the Entente which officially ended World War I.

The Remembrance Day is a work-free day for federal employees in the majority of the Canadian provinces, with the exception of Quebec and Manitoba.

Family Day and March Break / Spring Break – another chance for a long weekend in Canada
Held on the third Monday of February, the Family Day is a work-free day in many provinces of Canada, including Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, New Scotland, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. In British Columbia the Family Day is observed on the second Monday of February.

March break – a 5 day long interruption in school activities in March allows for a much longer holiday than just a prolonged weekend. The dates for the March school break are flexible.

Canada – provincial holidays
Apart from the statutory holidays common to the entire country, the Canadian provinces and territories celebrate may add other dates to their calendars of work-free days.

Ontario – public holidays 
The most populous of Canadian provinces celebrates the following:

  • New Year
  • Good Friday
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Christmas

as well as:

  • Family Day
  • Victoria Day

Optional holidays in Ontario are:

  • August Civic Holiday
  • Remembrance Day

Quebec work free days
The largest, in terms of area, province of Canada observes:

  • New Year
  • Good Friday
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Christmas

as well as:

  • National Patriots’ Day (Journée nationale des patriotes) – which coincides with Victoria Day
  • National Holiday (Fête nationale du Québec) – on 24 of June
  • Thanksgiving (Action de grâce)

British Columbia holidays
In the westernmost province of Canada the work free days are:

  • New Year
  • Good Friday
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Christmas

as well as:

  • Family Day (on the second Monday of February)
  • Victoria Day
  • British Columbia Day – first Monday of August
  • Thanksgiving – second Monday of October
  • Remembrance Day

Canada public holidays (bank holidays) in 2018 and 2019
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