Labour Day, honouring organized labour, is a legal holiday observed throughout Canada on the first Monday in September. The contribution of organized labour to Canadian society has been recognized since 1872, when parades and rallies were held in Ottawa and Toronto. The earliest American labour parades were not held until 1882 and in Europe Labour Day has been celebrated since 1889 on May 1, thereby merging traditional May Day festivities with labour celebrations. This spring date was briefly observed in Canada, but the North American need for a long weekend at the end of summer was recognized by Parliament in 1894.
Labour Day Parade
Fort William, 1903 (courtesy Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society).
JOHN ROBERT COLOMBO
Links to Other Sites
The Labour/Le Travail website offers bilingual abstracts of articles concerning labour issues in Canada. Also links to many websites about labour issues. From the Canadian Committee on Labour History.