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3 Things Non-Canadians Don't Know About Canada Day


Canada Day is July 1st. Are you celebrating? If you’re living in Canada or a Canadian, chances are the answer is an enthusiastic yes! For those who aren’t familiar with this Canadian holiday, here are three facts to introduce you to the celebrations.

  1. Canada Day, originally known as Dominion Day, celebrates the British North America Act which united the British provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia with Quebec and Ontario on July 1, 1867. The uniting of the federation was somewhat influenced by the American Civil War. There was a concern by some in Canada that a weak federation could make Canada vulnerable to the Americans. They also saw the cause of the Civil War due to a weak American federal government.[1]


  1. It’s celebrated a lot like the American 4th of July but it’s not an “Independence Day.” It’s easy to assume that Canada Day is the Canadian equivalent of the United States' Independence Day but it's celebrated for a totally different reason. July the 4th has to do with the United States’ independence from Britain but Canada still had a strong connection to Britain after 1867. In fact, it wasn’t until 1982 that the Canada Act transferred power to the Canadian Parliament.[2] If you’re in Canada, you can expect fireworks, parades, BBQ’s and other celebrations on Canada Day that are reminiscent of the 4th of July celebrations.


  1. It’s not the only Canadian holiday on July 1st. Yes, Canada has two holidays on July 1st. The other uniquely Canadian day, is Quebec’s Moving Day. Canada Day celebrations in Quebec may not be as exuberant because of Moving Day which is the  traditional day that people move.  According to the Montreal Gazette newspaper, 80% of  residential leases end on June 30th and 100,000 Montreal residents are expected to move either on July 1st or around that time.[3] This practice stems from colonial times and the concerns that tenant farmers not face eviction during winter months. To avoid moving in the cold weather, leases ended on May 1st. The day was later changed to July 1st.

Happy Canada Day! It's a great time to also do some genealogy and if you are ready to learn more about your Canadian ancestors, Legacy has  webinars that can explain everything about your Canadian roots. 


[1] “Why Canada Day is not the same as Canadian Independence Day,” Time (https://time.com/4828595/canada-day-150-years/: accessed 17 June 2019).

[2] Ibid

[3] “Watch: Why is July 1 Moving Day in Quebec?” Montreal Gazette (https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/watch-why-is-july-1-moving-day-in-quebec: accessed 17 June 2019).


Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, instructor, and researcher. She blogs at Gena's Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera. You can find her presentations on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website.


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Great post. I’m Canadian but I didn’t know about the Quebec’s moving day. Very interesting!

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