Labour Day in Toronto: The Complete Guide

Labour Day Parade, Toronto, Canada

Skeezix1000/CAW Media/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Like many countries around the world, Canada takes a day to celebrate the efforts and achievements of its workers. Known as Labour Day in Canada, the holiday is Labor Day in the U.S. and is held on the same date, which is the first Monday of September. 

Labour Day in Canada is similar to International Workers Day, which is held on May 1st in most countries, and is in fact called May Day in certain ones like Greece

Most businesses and services in Toronto are closed on Labour Day Monday. The exceptions are tourist areas, such as Queen's Quay, Yorkville, and downtown Yonge Street, including the Eaton Centre.

For most Toronto attractions, it's business as usual, such as Canada's Wonderland, the CN Tower, Ripley's Aquarium, the and the Royal Ontario Museum. The Art Gallery of Ontario does shut down on Labour Day.

Closed on Labour Day Monday

  • LCBO wine and beer stores
  • most malls, chain stores, supermarkets
  • government offices, banks, libraries and post offices
  • TTC and GO trains run on holiday schedule.

Open on Labour Day Monday

  • Merchants in designated tourist areas: Queen's Quay, Yorkville, downtown Yonge Street, including the Eaton Centre
  • Some retail chains will open a limited number of stores. Shoppers Drug Mart, for example, 
  • Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Pacific Mall in Markham, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • The "Ex" (Canadian National Exhibition) has its final day on Labour Day and is opens its carnival rides, games, food pavilion, shows and more to the general public.

Events on Labour Day Monday

  • Labour Day is always the final day of the CNE. Later in the day is a great time to go as the crowds have diminished.
  • The Canadian International Air Show takes place on the Labour Day weekend. The show is best viewed at the southwest waterfront grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). Entrance to the CNE gets you admission to the air show.
  • Hispanic Fiesta at Mel Lastman Square is a celebration of Spanish and Latin-American arts, food, music and entertainment that is free of charge for all. 
  • Labour Day Parade begins at Queen St. and University Ave. at 9:30 a.m. and proceeds along Queen to Dufferin St., then south to the Dufferin Gate at the CNE about an hour and a half later.