When Does the Time Change?

Learn about when the time changes in Toronto in spring and fall

The sun setting behind the City of Toronto, Ontario as seen from Algonquin Island - one of the Toronto Islands
Ron Erwin / Getty Images

Question: When Does the Time Change?

Twice a year in most of the country, we either move the clocks forward by one hour or back by one hour, meaning we either lose - or gain - an hour of sleep in both the spring and the fall. Not everyone loves the practice, but it has to happen regardless. In 2007, Ontario aligned clocks with the U.S. by extending daylight saving time by three weeks. Before 2007 Ontarians adjusted clocks in April and October, but that's not the case anymore. 

So when, exactly, should you be prepared to adjust your clocks? The answer is below.


Time Change in the Spring

Whether you already feel sleep-deprived or not, early spring means losing an hour of precious shut-eye to daylight savings time. On the second Sunday in March daylight saving time begins and the clocks "spring forward" one hour. This happens at 2 a.m., so you should change your clocks by moving the time one hour ahead before going to bed on Saturday evening for any devices that don't update the time automatically. Below are the next several dates for moving the clocks in the spring.

  • Sunday March 8, 2020
  • Sunday March 14, 2021
  • Sunday March 14, 2022
  • Sunday March 12, 2023

Time Change in the Fall

When it comes to time change in the fall, although moving the clocks back means it will be darker outside when you get up, the upside is that you will gain an hour of sleep, something most people can appreciate. An hour might not seem like a lot, but it can feel pretty good if you've been lacking in the sleep department. On the first Sunday in November daylight saving time ends and the clocks "fall back" one hour. This happens at 2 a.m., so you should turn your clocks back one hour before you go to bed on Saturday evening. Below are the next several fates for moving the clocks back in the fall.

  • Sunday November 3, 2019
  • Sunday November 1, 2020
  • Sunday November 7, 2021
  • Sunday November 6, 2022
  • Sunday November 5, 2023

Some Things to Remember About the Time Change

In addition to changing your main source of telling the time, here are a few other things to check and adjust when it comes to daylight savings time in the spring and fall so you don't end up looking at the wrong time and missing an appointment or being late for work or other commitments.

  • Alarm clocks
  • Wall clocks
  • Watches
  • Desk clocks
  • Kitchen appliances (microwave, coffeemaker, etc)
  • TV

It's also a good idea to double-check that your computer, laptop and cellphone have adjusted themselves so you don't mistakenly miss an appointment or wake up late or early for school or work.

Some people find it tough to adjust when the time changes (even an hour can make a difference), so here are some tips for making the transition a little bit easier:

  • One week before the clocks move forward, start going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night.
  • When the clocks move back, do the same but in reverse - start going to bed 15 minutes later each night.
  • In general, avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed as they can hinder your ability to fall or stay asleep.
  • Take some time to relax and wind down before getting into bed. Try a hot bath, reading a book (rather than looking at your phone), or listening to relaxing music.

Updated by Jessica Padykula

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