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Civic Holiday

(Canada)


The Canadian equivalent of Labor Day in the U.S., Canada Civic Holiday is usually observed on the first Monday of August.

Civic Holiday in Canada is not a statutory holiday, and provinces and local communities have the option of observing it on a different date, or not at all.

The official name of the holiday varies between the provinces and even between municipalities

The first Monday of August is also observed as New Brunswick Day, BC Day, Saskatchewan Day, Heritage Day (Alberta), and Natal Day (Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island).


Alternative Designations

Although most municipalities in Ontario observe the first Monday in August the day as the “August Civic Holiday, ” a number of minicipalities have chosen to honour a significant local person or organization.

The holiday is observed in Toronto as “Simcoe Day” but only 16% of the population is aware of that, according to surveys.


John Graves Simcoe,1752-1806
John Graves Simcoe,1752-1806


Toronto City Council officially dubbed the civic holiday “Simcoe Day” in 1968 in honor of Major-General John Graves Simcoe, who was appointed the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada in 1791. He convened the first Legislative Assembly and established York (now Toronto) as the capital of the province. One of his crowning achievements was to begin the phasing out of slavery in Upper Canada, which officially ended in 1810 – 23 years before it was abolished in the British Empire and 55 years before the Emancipation Proclamation in the United States.




Canada Pride T-Shirt
Canada Pride T-Shirt



Burlington celebrates the holiday as "Joseph Brant Day" after a Mohawk Chief who became known for his treaty negotiations and loyalty to the British.

Oshawa recognizes the holiday as "McLaughlin Day" in honour of the late Colonel R.S. McLaughlin, who brought General Motors to Oshawa. 

The City of Ottawa proclaimed the Civic Holiday as "Colonel By Day" after
British Lieutenant-Colonel and military engineer John By, whose most noteworthy achievement was the building of the Rideau Canal. Bytown (now Ottawa) was named after him.

Sarnia City observes the holiday as "Alexander Mackenzie Day" in honor of Canada's second Prime Minister.

Cobourg observes the holiday as "James Cockburn Day."
James Cockburn was a father of Confederation and represented the riding of Northumberland West in the Legislative Assembly of Canada, 1861-67.





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