Victoria Day is a statutory holiday observed in many provinces across Canada every year on the Monday before May 25th. "Stat" holidays in Canada are holidays for the general population mandated by either the federal or provincial governments as a day off work with pay.
Victoria Day is called National Patriots' Day in Quebec to honor the 1837 rebellion against the British colonial government.
It is not an official holiday in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, or Prince Edward Island, and employees are not entitled to time off with pay.
Victoria Day celebrates Queen Victoria's birthday (May 24th). Today, the holiday honors not only Queen Victoria's birthday but also the birthday of the current reigning monarch. Canada is still a member of the Commonwealth of Nations of which the Queen is head.
The May Long Weekend
Victoria Day is always on a Monday; thus the holiday is part of a long weekend, which is commonly referred to as the Victoria Day Weekend, the May Long Weekend, the May Long, or the May Two-Four (a case of beer contains 24 bottles or cans of beer and in some parts of Canada it is called a "two-four"). The weekend is also called the May 24th weekend, although it does not necessarily fall on May 24th.
The Victoria Day Weekend always falls on the weekend before Memorial Day in the United States.
The Victoria Day Weekend is the first popular weekend for spring/summer travel. Lots of people open up their cottages, plant gardens, or just get away. Expect crowds at resorts and hotels and busy highways. Fireworks displays are common, especially on Monday night.
Banks, schools, many stores, and restaurants are closed on the Monday. Call ahead to find out about other attractions and tourist spots, many of which remain open, especially in bigger cities. Public transportation will run on a holiday schedule.