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  • Writer's pictureThe Jennifer Jones Team

Why Do We Observe Labour Day?

Labour Day, the first Monday in September, has been a statutory holiday in Canada since the late 1800's. It originated with the first workers rallies of the Victorian era, to try and ensure better working conditions and hours for labourers. The first Labour Day in Toronto was on April 14th, 1872 when 10,000 workers went on strike and marched through the city streets. After that, Labour Day was was typically observed with labourers participating in games, competitions, picnics and parades to promote working class solidarity, celebrating workers and the labour union movement.

Over time, less and less people participated in these rallies and these days many Canadians typically spend the day enjoying leisure time spent with friends and family, with maybe a little "labour" in the yard!

Labour Day parade in Belleville, ON, 1913. (Image: William James Topley/Library and Archives Canada/PA-010532).

Written by: Tanya Chisling (

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