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Learning About Labour Day: What Does it Mean?

September 2, 2015
iStock_000011593417_ExtraSmall Nora Ursulescu

Labour Day: for many, this means a day off at the end of summer. For others, it’s the last hoorah before heading back to class. In all cases, it’s a chance to enjoy what’s left of the warm weather, to have fun watching fireworks, and maybe make a quick trip to the cottage.

Beyond an opportunity for leisure however, Labour Day has a more important meaning. It marks the labour union movement as well as progressions that have been made, and can be traced back to 1872. On March 25th of that year, workers in the Toronto printing industry went on strike to protest unfair conditions. Quickly, their movement gained support as a parade of 10, 000 marched to Queen’s Park on April 14 and soon, caught the attention of the nation’s Prime Minister –John A. Macdonald. The action ultimately moved Macdonald to decriminalize unions under the Trade Unions Act, and by 1894, Labour Day became a national holiday.

This is a statutory holiday, during which most major retailers, banks, and government offices are closed. It is celebrated every year in both Canada and the United States, and falls  on the first Monday of September.

Though most places will be closed this Labour Day, there are still several activities to enjoy before the start of the fall season. In Toronto, The EX will be open all weekend long —click here to read more about it and what you can expect at this year’s fair.

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