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Labour Day in Canada

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


Sandra P.    9/7/2020


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