Canada Day: Businesses That Are Open and Closed

Canadian flag fluttering in the wind on Canada Day, Granville Island, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Stuart Dee/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Every year Canada Day falls on July 1 and commemorates the union of the three separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single entity within the British Empire called Canada in 1867. Canada Day is now a statutory holiday when federally regulated employees are entitled to the day off with pay, meaning several Canadian businesses are closed on this day.

As far as closures go, the best advice is to call ahead to confirm holiday hours, which vary from city to city and province to province, but some closures are definite—you can be sure that federal government offices, schools, libraries, and banks will be closed, and public transit runs on a reduced schedule.

Visiting on Canada Day

Visitors to Canada may not be overly affected by the holiday as far as closures go. Tourist attractions, for the most part, remain open as do big malls. However, the province of Quebec—though it technically observes Canada Day—does not celebrate it in the same way as the rest of the country. July 1st in Quebec is more commonly known as Moving Day as it is the day that rental leases commonly end.

This year, Canada Day falls on a Wednesday, July 1, 2020.

Businesses That Are Closed

As with most statutory holidays in Canada, government officials are given a paid day's vacation on Canada Day, meaning that all government offices and most government services are closed for July 1—or the Monday after the holiday if it falls on a weekend.

Libraries, banks, and government offices are all closed on Canada Day, and there is no garbage pickup or mail delivery for residences in the country. In addition, many private sectors corporations will be closed in observance of this national holiday.

Liquor and beer stores, some grocery stores and malls, and a few tourist attractions will also be closed on Canada Day or offer reduced hours. These, however, are not guaranteed to be open or closed so make sure to phone ahead to check their holiday hours.

Businesses That Are Open

Since Canada Day is such a day of celebration across the country, many local businesses, tourist attractions, and public transit systems in major cities will remain in operation on both the holiday itself and on Monday following it.

Major tourist destinations like the CN Tower, the Vancouver Aquarium, and national museums like the Royal Ontario Museum will remain open, though sometimes with reduced hours. This also applies to businesses and restaurants in designated tourist areas, but it's best to call these establishments before venturing out to make sure they're open.

Most convenience stores and gas stations will remain open, as will some major grocery stores and shopping malls. Movie theaters, public squares, and several art galleries and special exhibits will also open their doors on Canada Day if they're not regularly open on Mondays.

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