Daylight saving time in Canada
Daylight saving time (DST) is now observed in all Canadian provinces, with the exception of most of Saskatchewan, which observes Central Standard Time year-round even though it is in the Mountain Zone, effectively putting it on DST year round. Under the Canadian Constitution, laws related to timekeeping are a purely provincial matter.
In regions where daylight-saving time is used, it commences on the second Sunday of March, and standard time restarts on the first Sunday in November.
Five Canadian cities, by local ordinance, used Daylight Saving Time before 1918: Brandon, Manitoba and Winnipeg, Manitoba (already in 1916) as well as Halifax, Nova Scotia, Hamilton, Ontario, and Montreal, Quebec. St. John's, Newfoundland (now Newfoundland and Labrador), which did not become part of Canada until 1949, also used DST before 1918.
In practice, since the late 1960s DST across Canada has been closely or completely synchronized with its observance in the United States to promote consistent economic and social interaction. When the United States extended DST in 1987 to the first Sunday in April, all DST-observing Canadian provinces followed suit to mimic the change.
The latest United States change (Energy Policy Act of 2005), adding parts of March and November starting in 2007, was adopted by the various provinces and territories on the following dates:
- Ontario, Manitoba - October 20, 2005
- Quebec - December 5, 2005
- Prince Edward Island - December 6, 2005
- New Brunswick - December 23, 2005
- Alberta - February 2, 2006
- Northwest Territories - March 4, 2006
- British Columbia - March 31, 2006
- Nova Scotia - April 25, 2006
- Yukon - July 14, 2006
- Newfoundland and Labrador - November 20, 2006, but officially announced on January 18, 2007
- Nunavut - February 19, 2007
- Saskatchewan - no official action taken, as most of the province does not change their clocks back in winter, but the small parts that have historically observed 'DST' near Alberta and Manitoba are presumed to be authorized to have the start and end dates the same as Alberta and Manitoba.
By province or territory
Part of the Peace River Regional District of BC (including the communities of Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Hudson's Hope, Fort St. John, Taylor and Tumbler Ridge) is on Mountain Time and does not observe DST. This means that the region's clocks are the same as those in Calgary and Edmonton in the winter, they are the same as those in Vancouver in the summer. The residents of Fort Nelson have voted to also stay on year-round MST since 2015.
The East Kootenay region of south-eastern BC (including the communities of Cranbrook, Fernie, Golden and Invermere) is on Mountain Time and observes DST. This means that the region is always on the same time as Calgary; much of the region gets television by way of rebroadcasters of Calgary stations. One exception in this region is Creston, which observes MST year round. Clocks in Creston match those in Calgary in the winter, and Vancouver in the summer.
While the rest of Nunavut observes DST, Southampton Island including Coral Harbour remain on Eastern Standard Time throughout the year. The Kitikmeot Region including Cambridge Bay observes DST but is on Mountain Time.
Most of Ontario uses DST. Pickle Lake and New Osnaburgh, two communities located within the Central Time Zone in Northwestern Ontario, observe Eastern Standard Time all year long. Atikokan, located in the Central time zone, is on Eastern Standard Time and does not observe DST.
Most of Quebec observes DST. However, the eastern reaches of Quebec's North Shore, east of 63° west longitude, are in the Atlantic Time Zone, but do not observe DST (see exception, below). The effect is that in summer their clocks match those of the rest of the province, while in November, their clocks are rejoined by their Atlantic Standard Time neighbours. Although places east of 63° west are officially on Atlantic Time, local custom is to use Eastern Time as far east as the Natashquan River. Those communities observe DST, including all of Anticosti Island, which is bisected by the 63rd meridian.
Although the entire province is geographically within the MST (UTC-7) zone, the province is officially part of the Central time zone (UTC-6). As a result, while most of Saskatchewan does not change clocks spring and fall, it technically observes DST year round. This means that clocks in most of the province match clocks in Winnipeg during the winter and Calgary and Edmonton during the summer. This time zone designation was implemented in 1966, when the Saskatchewan Time Act was passed in order to standardize time province-wide.
The charter of the city of Lloydminster, which is bisected by the Saskatchewan–Alberta boundary, gives it a special exemption. Lloydminster and the immediately surrounding region in Saskatchewan observe Mountain Time year-round, with officially sanctioned seasonal daylight saving time (which in the summer, puts it in sync with the rest of Saskatchewan). This is to keep clocks on the Saskatchewan side in sync with those on the Alberta side; Alberta mandates the use of daylight saving time province-wide. Along the Manitoba border, the small, remote Saskatchewan towns of Denare Beach and Creighton unofficially observe Central Daylight Time during the summer, thereby keeping the same time as larger neighbouring Manitoba communities.
- National Research Council http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/services/time/time_zones.html
- Doris Chase Doane, Time Changes in Canada and Mexico, 2nd edition, Professional Astrologers, Inc., 1972 - 1975, p. 9, 23
- Nunavut News/North "Nunavut to follow new seasonal time standard" (unofficial, cached version)
- Reaburn, Adam (February 21, 2015). "Fort Nelson to change time one last time this March". Energeticcity.ca. Fort St. John. Retrieved September 25, 2015.