Time in Canada
Canada is divided into six time zones, based on proposals by Scottish Canadian railway engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, who pioneered the use of the 24-hour clock, the world's time zone system, and a standard prime meridian. Most of Canada operates on standard time from the first Sunday in November to the second Sunday in March and daylight saving time the rest of the year.
The National Research Council (NRC) maintains Canada's official time through the use of atomic clocks. The NRC makes time servers available for direct synchronization with computers. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has aired a daily time signal, the National Research Council Time Signal, since November 5, 1939.
The Government of Canada recommends use of the 24-hour clock (e.g. 04:06), which is widely used in contexts such as transportation schedules, parking meters, and data transmission. Speakers of Canadian French have fully adopted this system, but many users of Canadian English use the 12-hour clock in everyday speech (e.g. 4:06 a.m.), even when reading from a 24-hour display, similar to the use of the 24-hour clock in the United Kingdom.
Pacific Time Zone
- Pacific Standard Time PST UTC−08:00 and Pacific Daylight Time PDT UTC−07:00
Mountain Time Zone
- Mountain Standard Time MST UTC−07:00 year-round
- Mountain Standard Time MST UTC−07:00 and Mountain Daylight Time MDT UTC−06:00
- British Columbia, southeastern
- Columbia-Shuswap Regional District east of the Selkirk Mountains
- Regional District of East Kootenay
- Regional District of Central Kootenay east of the Kootenay River and some parts east of Kootenay Lake that are south of and including Riondel (but not Creston, which is MST year round, and Kootenay Bay-Crawford Bay area, which is Pacific Dailylight Time)
- Northwest Territories, except for Tungsten (see above), two fishing lodges in the southeast and a mine site in the southwest[note 2]
- Nunavut ( )
- Saskatchewan ( )
- Lloydminster and surrounding area (the municipal government chose to unify the entire city with Alberta's time zone)
Central Time Zone
- Central Standard Time CST UTC−06:00 and Central Daylight Time CDT UTC−05:00
- Creighton (unofficial)
- Ontario, northwestern
- Central Standard Time CST UTC−06:00 year-round (no DST)
- Saskatchewan (most of the province) (see Lloydminster, and Creighton, above)
Eastern Time Zone
- Eastern Standard Time EST UTC−05:00 and Eastern Daylight Time EDT UTC−04:00
- east of 85° West, and
- all communities in the Qikiqtaaluk Region except Resolute
- Quebec (most of province)
- Eastern Standard Time EST UTC−05:00 year-round (no DST)
Atlantic Time Zone
- Atlantic Standard Time AST UTC−04:00 year-round (no DST)
- Atlantic Standard Time AST UTC−04:00 and Atlantic Daylight Time ADT UTC−03:00
Newfoundland Time Zone
- Newfoundland Standard Time NST UTC−03:30 and Newfoundland Daylight Time NDT UTC−02:30
- Labrador (southeastern)
Former time zones
- The Yukon Time Zone (UTC−09:00) covered Yukon until 1975. In 1983, the zone (then covering only a small portion of Alaska) was restructured to cover most of Alaska and renamed the Alaska Time Zone.
- In 1988, Newfoundland used "double daylight saving time" from April 3 until October 30, meaning that the time was set ahead by 2 hours. All of Newfoundland and southern Labrador, which uses UTC−03:30 as its standard time zone, used UTC−01:30. This only happened in 1988 and the province now only adjusts its time by one hour for daylight saving time.
Daylight saving time
Four Canadian cities, by local ordinance, used Daylight Saving Time in 1916. Brandon, Manitoba on April 17 became the first place in the world to use it. It was followed by Winnipeg on April 23, Halifax on April 30, and Hamilton, Ontario on June 4.
Daylight saving time is currently observed in all ten provinces and three territories but with several exceptions in several provinces and Nunavut, including most of Saskatchewan, which despite geographically being in the Mountain Time Zone observes year-round CST. Under the Constitution of Canada, laws related to timekeeping are a purely provincial matter. 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.
In 2019, the legislature of British Columbia began the process of eliminating the practice of observing daylight saving time in the province. On October 31, 2019, the government introduced Bill 40 in the legislature, which would define "Pacific Time" as "7 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)". In a press release, the provincial government stated an intention to maintain alignment of clock time with Washington, Oregon, California, and Yukon. The move follows a consultation earlier in 2019, in which the province received over 223,000 responses, 93% of which said they would prefer year-round DST as compared to the status quo of changing the clocks twice a year. The premier of British Columbia discussed the issue with Yukon premier Sandy Silver, who said in October that he needs more consultation with Yukon stakeholders, and with Alberta and Alaska.
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 almost all of the province does not change their clocks to summer time (they remain on CST all year round). However, the few places in the province that do observe daylight saving (Lloydminster and the surrounding area, which straddles the Alberta border and observes Alberta's Mountain Time and Creighton, which observes daylight saving on an unofficial basis due to its proximity to the border with Manitoba) follow the aforementioned March–November schedule just like the rest of the country.
IANA time zone database
|c.c.*||coordinates*||TZ*||comments*||UTC offset||UTC offset DST||Notes|
|CA||+4734-05243||America/St_Johns||Newfoundland Time, including SE Labrador||−03:30||−02:30|
|CA||+4439-06336||America/Halifax||Atlantic Time - Nova Scotia (most places), PEI||−04:00||−03:00|
|CA||+4612-05957||America/Glace_Bay||Atlantic Time - Nova Scotia - places that did not observe DST 1966-1971||−04:00||−03:00|
|CA||+4606-06447||America/Moncton||Atlantic Time - New Brunswick||−04:00||−03:00|
|CA||+5320-06025||America/Goose_Bay||Atlantic Time - Labrador - most locations||−04:00||−03:00|
|CA||+5125-05707||America/Blanc-Sablon||Atlantic Standard Time - Quebec - Lower North Shore||−04:00||−04:00|
|CA||+4531-07334||America/Montreal||Eastern Time - Quebec - most locations||−05:00||−04:00|
|CA||+4339-07923||America/Toronto||Eastern Time - Ontario & Quebec - most locations||−05:00||−04:00|
|CA||+4901-08816||America/Nipigon||Eastern Time - Ontario & Quebec - places that did not observe DST 1967-1973||−05:00||−04:00|
|CA||+4823-08915||America/Thunder_Bay||Eastern Time - Thunder Bay, Ontario||−05:00||−04:00|
|CA||+6344-06828||America/Iqaluit||Eastern Time - east Nunavut - most locations||−05:00||−04:00|
|CA||+6608-06544||America/Pangnirtung||Eastern Time - Pangnirtung, Nunavut||−05:00||−04:00|
|CA||+744144-0944945||America/Resolute||Central Time - Resolute, Nunavut||−06:00||−05:00|
|CA||+484531-0913718||America/Atikokan||Eastern Standard Time - Atikokan, Ontario and Southampton I, Nunavut||−05:00||−05:00|
|CA||+624900-0920459||America/Rankin_Inlet||Central Time - central Nunavut||−06:00||−05:00|
|CA||+4953-09709||America/Winnipeg||Central Time - Manitoba & west Ontario||−06:00||−05:00|
|CA||+4843-09434||America/Rainy_River||Central Time - Rainy River & Fort Frances, Ontario||−06:00||−05:00|
|CA||+5024-10439||America/Regina||Central Standard Time - Saskatchewan - most locations||−06:00||−06:00|
|CA||+5017-10750||America/Swift_Current||Central Standard Time - Saskatchewan - midwest||−06:00||−06:00|
|CA||+5333-11328||America/Edmonton||Mountain Time - Alberta, east British Columbia & west Saskatchewan||−07:00||−06:00|
|CA||+690650-1050310||America/Cambridge_Bay||Mountain Time - west Nunavut||−07:00||−06:00|
|CA||+6227-11421||America/Yellowknife||Mountain Time - central Northwest Territories||−07:00||−06:00|
|CA||+682059-1334300||America/Inuvik||Mountain Time - west Northwest Territories||−07:00||−06:00|
|CA||+4906-11631||America/Creston||Mountain Standard Time - Creston, British Columbia||−07:00||−07:00|
|CA||+5946-12014||America/Dawson_Creek||Mountain Standard Time - Dawson Creek & Fort Saint John, British Columbia||−07:00||−07:00|
|CA||+4916-12307||America/Vancouver||Pacific Time - west British Columbia||−08:00||−07:00|
|CA||+6043-13503||America/Whitehorse||Pacific Time - south Yukon||−08:00||−07:00|
|CA||+6404-13925||America/Dawson||Pacific Time - north Yukon||−08:00||−07:00|
- Lists of time zones
- Newfoundland's Daylight Saving Act of 1917
- 1972 British Columbia time plebiscite
- Effects of time zones on North American broadcasting
- National Research Council Time Signal
- Date and time notation in Canada
- A small section at La Biche River Airport in the southeast corner is shown as being on Mountain Standard Time.
- Prairie Creek Airport, operated by Canadian Zinc, located in the southwest NT is shown as observing PST/PDT. North of Sixty Fishing Camps (Obre Lake/North of Sixty Airport) and Kasba Lake Lodge (Kasba Lake Airport) are shown as operating on CST/CDT
- Creet, Mario (1990). "Sandford Fleming and Universal Time". Scientia Canadensis: Canadian Journal of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine. 14 (1–2): 66–89. doi:10.7202/800302ar.
- Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 15 August 2019 to 0901Z 10 October 2019.
- "NRC time services". National Research Council. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
- Bartlett, Geoff (5 November 2014). "'The beginning of the long dash' indicates 75 years of official time on CBC". CBC News. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
- Collishaw, Barbara (2002). "FAQs on Writing the Time of Day". Terminology Update. 35 (3): 11.
- New Time Zone in Fort Nelson, timeanddate.com, September 21, 2015.
- Legal time in Québec Archived 2011-12-11 at the Wayback Machine, Ministry of Justice of Quebec, April 20, 2015.
- Doris Chase Doane, Time Changes in Canada and Mexico, 2nd edition, 1972
- "Bill 40 – 2019: Interpretation Amendment Act, 2019". Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. 2019. Retrieved 2019-11-03.
- "Interpretation amendment act sets stage for year-round daylight time" (PDF) (Press release). British Columbia Office of the Premier / Ministry of Attorney General. 2019-10-31. Retrieved 2019-11-03.
- Cheryl Chan (2019-09-11). "B.C. survey shows overwhelming support for permanent Daylight Saving Time". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2019-11-03.
- "Daylight Saving Time Public Consultation: Final Report" (PDF). 2019. Retrieved 2019-11-03.
- "B.C.'s daylight saving survey gets more public engagement than marijuana regulation". CBC News. 2019-07-05. Retrieved 2019-11-03.
- Gabrielle Plonka (2019-10-01). "B.C. premier meets with Silver, grand chief". Whitehorse Daily Star. Retrieved 2019-11-03.
- Time Act
- Province Introduces Legislation that Would Extend Daylight Saving Time in Manitoba (The Official Time Amendment Act,The Official Time Act)
- Bill n°2 : Legal Time Act
- An Act to Amend the Time Uniformity Act
- Changes to daylight saving time in New Brunswick in 2007 (05/12/23)
- Alberta sees the light with a timely announcement
- Daylight Saving Time Regulations Archived 2014-04-19 at the Wayback Machine
- New Daylight Saving Time Takes Effect in 2007
- Nova Scotia to Change Daylight Saving Time
- Yukon To Adopt Extended Daylight Saving Time Starting March 2007 Archived 2013-10-09 at the Wayback Machine
- An Act Respecting Standard Time and Daylight Time in the Province
- Nunavut News/North "Nunavut to follow new seasonal time standard"