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Labour Day In Canada!

Labour Day in the United States is an annual holiday, to celebrate the achievements of workers. Labour Day has its origins in the Labour Union movement, specifically the eight hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for workers, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest. For most countries, Labour Day is synonymous with, or linked with International Workers Day. 

When do we celebrate?

Labour Day has been celebrated in Canada on the first Monday in September since the 1880s. 

What Do People Do?

Traditionally, Labour Day was an occasion to campaign for and celebrate workers' rights during parades and picnics organized by trade unions. These still play a role in Labour Day for some Canadian, but many people see the first Monday in September as an opportunity to take a late summer trip, perhaps to their country cottage, or enjoy the company of family or friends at picnics fairs, festivals and fireworks displays. For teenagers and other students, the Labour Day weekend is the last chance to celebrate with a party or to go on a trip before schools re-opens for the new academic year.

Canadian football fans may spend a late proportion of the weekend watching the Labour Day Classes matches live or on television. The Labour Day Classes consists of three games between high ranking teams in the Canadian Football League. One match is played on the Sunday before Labour Day and two on Labour Day.

Public Life

Post offices, many businesses, and many organizations are closed on Labour Day in Canada. Schools and other education establishments are closed, as Labour Day falls at the end of the summer holiday period. Many public transport services run to reduce or "Sunday" service, although others may not run at all.


The origins of Labour Day can be traced back to April 15, 1872, when the Toronto Trades Assembly organized Canada's first significant demonstration for worker's rights. The aim of the demonstration was to release the 24 leaders of the Toronto Typographical Union who were demonstration was to release the 24 leaders of the Toronto Typographical Union who are imprisoned was to release the 24 leaders of the Toronto Typographical Union who were imprisoned for striking to campaign for a nine- hours working day. At this time, trade unions were still illegal and striking was seen as a criminal conspiracy to disrupt trade. In spite of this, the Toronto Trade Assembly was already a significant organization and encouraged workers to form trade unions, mediated in disputes between employers and employees and singled the mistreatment of workers.

Labour Day and Covid-19 in 2020

The outbreak of the Coronavirus is having a terrible impact on events, businesses and attractions in the Lower Mainland (and people in general around the world). Most major festivals and events in Vancouver this summer have been cancelled, and this includes ones taking place on the September Long Weekend! Some events are still taking place on the September Long Weekend in 2020, but some have also been cancelled and others moved completely online. As you'll see below, events that are still scheduled to take place this year are Playland and the Chilliwack Sunflower Festival.

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