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Canada is a country that doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it deserves. As a South African expat living and working in Canada, you are probably discovering all the things that make the country so unique and sought after. In general, Canada has a peaceful reputation. It is openly considered one of the best countries in the world to study (along with the UK) and said to provide its citizens with the best quality of life. Being an expat, you are probably also quite impressed with the country-wide multiculturalism policy that is in place in Canada. As a newbie, you are probably keen to explore your new surroundings and the statutory holidays in Canada provide the perfect opportunity for that.

Statutory holidays in Canada

By now you may have heard that locals call holidays that are not their annual leave holidays; “statutory holidays”. These holidays are on a national and provincial level (meaning that only certain provinces recognize them) and are as follows:

National holidays in Canada

  • New Year’s Day – January 1
  • Good Friday – April 10
  • Easter Monday – April 13
  • Victoria Day – Monday prior to May 25
  • Canada Day – July 1
  • National Aboriginal Day – June 21
  • Labour Day – First Monday in September
  • Thanksgiving – Second Monday in October
  • Christmas Day – December 25
  • Boxing Day – December 26

Provincial holidays in Canada

  • Family Day (Alberto, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan – Third Monday in February
  • St Patricks Day – Monday closest to March 17
  • St George’s Day – Monday closest to April 23
  • National Day – Monday closest to June 24
  • Orangemen’s Day (Newfoundland) – Monday closest to July 12
  • Civic Holiday – First Monday in August
  • Discovery Day – Third Monday in August

If you have kids in School in Canada, you can expect the summer holidays to begin in late June. It’s a fairly long break – you will only be thinking about school lunches and drop-off runs in September again. Kids in university are on holiday from May to mid-September.

What to do on the Canada public holidays 2020

Some of Canada’s public holidays are merely observed with businesses, banks, and schools being closed for the day, whereas others are filled with activities to commemorate the event or special memory. If you are looking to get involved in local activities and festivities, you could plan your activities around the following days.

  • Victoria Day: This holiday is observed towards the end of May and has been ever since 1845. It is to commemorate the Queen Victoria’s birthday. It also doubles as a celebration of the start of the summer months. If you want to get a feel for a sense of community in Canada, attend one of the night time Victoria Day celebrations that are typically held in communities. People gather, hold fireworks displays, and generally just spend a bit of time together. This might be the perfect way to meet new people in your area.
  • National Aboriginal Day: This day is celebrated on the 21st of June and has been ever since 1996. The day is set to show appreciation for the Aboriginal people’s contribution to Canada and helping to make the country great. The festivities are held at the beginning of the summer solstice and local communities always set up activities and events to commemorate the day. Set time aside to attend the festivities, which include traditional dancing, drumming, singing, canoe races, art, crafts, storytelling and much more.
  • Canada Day: On the 1st of July each year, there are parades, concerts, fireworks, and street barbecues all in celebration of Canada Day. People are celebrating the day that Canada was created. This day has been celebrated since 1869, which is 2 years after Canada was created. If you want to get a feel of the country’s sense of community and get to know people in your area, try to attend one of these community celebrations.

Places to go and things to see on public holidays in Canada

If you don’t feel like attending local festivals and celebrations, you could make a list of must-see places in the country to visit. With each holiday, start checking places off your list. Canada is a great country to explore and your time won’t be wasted. It’s a country in stark contrast to South Africa in terms of scenery, fauna, flora, and of course historical monuments, which will provide for an interesting time.

Below are a few of Canada’s top places to go and sights to see. Perhaps plan your public holidays around these.

  • Visit the mountains and glacial lakes of Banff National Park of Canada.
  • Enjoy a meal in the revolving restaurant at the CN Tower.
  • Canoe on the Moraine Lake.
  • Stroll through the famous Butchart Botanical Gardens.
  • Explore glaciers and meet wildlife in the Jasper National Park of Canada.
  • Enjoy the view from the treetops on the Capilano Suspension Bridge.
  • Admire the Takakkaw Falls at the Yoho National Park of Canada.
  • Enjoy a bit of family outdoor recreation at Lake Louise.
  • Taste local beers at Granville Island.
  • Enjoy the mystical views and Spirit Island at Maligne Lake.
  • Do a bit of hiking in the Algonquin Provincial Park.
  • Enjoy a family snow skiing day at the Whistler Blackcomb.
  • Stroll the quaint streets and enjoy a meal in Old Quebec town.
  • Pay a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum.
  • Do a bit of cave exploring at Journey Behind the Falls.
  • Enjoy a canal ride on the Rideau Canal.
  • Spend some time on the beach in the Toronto Islands area.
  • Take the kids to Clifton Hill which is jam-packed with kid-friendly activities.

As you can see, there is no shortage of things to do and places to see in Canada. If you are finding your feet and settling in, get to know the country a little more intimately by visiting each of these places.

Go explore while we take care of the red tape

Moving to a new country can seem like an insurmountable challenge. You have to move your belongings, find work, settle in and still find the time to explore and make new friends. And then there’s the time-consuming confusion of tax and financial emigration to think about.

FinGlobal: Financial Emigration Specialists

At FinGlobal, we encourage you to go exploring while we take care of all the red tape surrounding your financial emigration and tax emigration to Canada. We will ensure that the processes are handled in such a way that you get the most out. With 10 years of experience behind us, we can make your expat financial worries seem like a holiday. We offer premier financial and emigration advice and guidance to SA expats the world over.

With the help of dedicated FinGlobal consultants, your expat financial needs will be met effectively and affordably. For assistance with your tax and financial emigration, get in touch with us today. You can give us a call or send us an email and one of our consultants will assist you further.