why do we celebrate labour day in Canada

This is why we celebrate Labour Day in Canada

Why do we celebrate Labour Day in Canada? While an extra day off of work is always something to celebrate, it might be nice to know exactly what you're getting the day off for. 

Labour Day falls on the first Monday of September and has been a statutory holiday in Canada since 1894, originating from workers' rallies, parades, speeches, picnics and competitions.

All of this was to promote working-class solidarity during a time of industrialization. 

Although the holiday is typically used for spending some quality time at the cottage these days, it was normally saved for festivities in connection to labour movements. 

It all started in September of 1882, following a labour convention in New York. The American Federation of Labour and the Knights of Labour began promoting workers' movements and celebrations, as did the Canadian branches of these organizations. 

As these grew, more than 50 labour organizations in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Manitoba and B.C. came together in 1894 in hopes of convincing members of parliament to make the day a legal holiday.

In May of 1894, the Canadian House of Commons passed the holiday law and in July of that same year, it received royal assent. 

While the spread of COVID-19 might make it bit more difficult to celebrate Labour Day 2020, it's the perfect opportunity to kick back with a cold drink, spend some time outside and most importantly, not work. 

Lead photo by


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in News

A fisherman in Canada keeps catching some of the strangest fish ever

Masks Over Hugs group crashes anti-mask protest in Canada

100 students in Edmonton self-isolating after being exposed to COVID-19 at high school

B.C. shuts down nightclubs and moves up last call for bars

Halifax man shares video of anti-Black racist encounter

The COVID-19 curve is no longer flattening in Canada

Here's what you need to know about the Hugs Over Masks groups in Canada

Numerous schools across Canada are already reporting COVID-19 cases