Civic Holiday

For the generic term, see Civic holiday.
Civic Holiday
Observed by Canada
Date First Monday in August
2015 date August 3  (2015-08-03)
2016 date August 1  (2016-08-01)
2017 date August 7  (2017-08-07)
2018 date August 6  (2018-08-06)
Frequency annual

Civic Holiday is the most widely used name for a public holiday celebrated in most of Canada on the first Monday in August,[1] though it is only officially known by that term by the governments of Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Prince Edward Island. The Civic holiday is recognized as a statutory holiday in those three provinces and territories.

The holiday is known by a variety of names in other provinces and municipalities, including British Columbia Day in British Columbia, New Brunswick Day in New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan Day in Saskatchewan. The holiday is celebrated as Natal Day in Nova Scotia[2] and Terry Fox Day in Manitoba.[3] The day is not a statutory holiday in Nova Scotia and Manitoba.


In 1974 the Government of Alberta, acting through Minister of Culture Dr. Horst A. Schmid, declared the first Monday in August an annual holiday to recognize and celebrate the varied cultural heritage of Albertans, known as Heritage Day.[4] This gave rise in 1976 to the Edmonton Heritage Festival, a three-day celebration of food, dance, and handicrafts of cultures from around the world. Heritage Day has been an "optional" civic holiday, having been downgraded from a statutory holiday following the introduction of Family Day in 1990.

British Columbia

In 1974, the Legislature of British Columbia introduced legislation nominated by Surrey MLA Ernie Hall to establish the holiday. It was the last province to establish an August Monday holiday.[5]


The holiday was renamed Simcoe Day in Toronto effective 1969 in honour of the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada and the promulgator of the Act Against Slavery,[6][7][8] but a motion at the Ontario Municipal Association to extend the name change across Ontario failed.[8][9] According to a 2005 proclamation this name continues to apply in the present amalgamated city of Toronto.[10] Civic Holiday is now known by one of a number of local appellations such as:

When not given a local name, it is often referred to as 'Civic Holiday'.[11] Although a work holiday is given to employees of the federal and many municipal governments,[1] the Government of Ontario has not defined this day as a statutory holiday and it is not mentioned in either Ontario's Employment Standards Act or Retail Business Holidays Act.[12][13] Schools are generally already closed, regardless of the holiday's status, because of summer vacation. The Caribbean Cultural Festival, formerly known as Caribana, is held this holiday weekend in Toronto, coinciding with Emancipation Day.

Quebec, Newfoundland & Labrador, Yukon

The first Monday in August is not generally observed as a holiday in Quebec, parts of Newfoundland and Labrador, or Yukon, but replacement summer holidays may be observed as follows:

See also


  1. 1 2 "Holidays in the provinces and territories". Canadian Heritage. 21 April 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
  2. "Natal Day in Canada".
  3. "August holiday to be named Terry Fox Day, Manitoba premier says". Global News. July 2014.
  4. "Heritage Festival Edmonton – The Festival History". Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  5. Hoekstra, Matthew (29 July 2016). "B.C. Day is more than just a day off". Peace Arch News.
  6. "Civic Holiday to be Renamed Simcoe Day". Toronto Daily Star. 12 December 1968. p. 1.
  7. Bruce West (4 August 1969). "Simcoe's Day". Globe and Mail. p. 17.
  8. 1 2 "A holiday with history". Archived from the original on 10 April 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  9. "Municipal Group Won't Condemn Regional Rule". Toronto Daily Star. 19 December 1968. p. 11.
  10. "Proclamation: Simcoe Day". Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  11. "What's open/closed on holiday Monday". Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  12. "Employment Standards Act, 2000". Province of Ontario. 2000. Retrieved 4 August 2008.
  13. "Retail Business Holidays Act". Province of Ontario. 1990. Retrieved 4 August 2008.
  14. Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (3 November 2014). "Public Advisory: 2015 Shop Closing Holidays". Retrieved 5 August 2015.
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