Victoria Day and Long May Weekend mark the unofficial start of summer across Canada. The date varies each year, falling on the last Monday in May on or before May 24. For 2019, the date is May 21. Victoria Day is observed in all provinces except Quebec. It is a national statutory holiday outside of New Brunswick, Newfoundland/Labrador, and Nova Scotia. There is always some question as to what is open and closed. Are stores open? Are restaurants open? Are the malls open?
Laws regarding permitted hours of operation on Victoria Day vary by province and sometimes by individual cities within a province. Here is a general guide:
In Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon, retailers are generally OPEN on Victoria Day.
In Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland/Labrador, and Ontario, retailers are generally CLOSED on Victoria Day. The city of Winnipeg is an exception: most stores are allowed to open between 9:00AM and 6:00PM. There are other local exceptions.
These rules apply to all the large chain stores: Atlantic Superstore, Best Buy, Cabela’s, Canadian Tire, Costco, Dominion, Home Depot, HomeSense, Hudson’s Bay, Kent, Loblaws, Longo’s, Lowe’s, Metro, Real Canadian Superstore, RONA, Safeway, Save-On-Foods, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sobeys, The Source, Staples, Walmart, etc. They also apply to most smaller retailers. Exceptions are made for designated tourist areas in Ontario and elsewhere. Restaurants, gas stations, and convenience stores selling essential items are generally OPEN on the May 21st holiday. Speaking of Ontario, both LCBO and The Beer Store are closed Victoria Day at all locations. Several Beer Stores will have extended holiday hours on Sunday, May 20.
All Canada Post offices will be closed. There will be no mail delivery on Victoria Day.
Confused? Call your favorite stores, malls, and restaurants to confirm Victoria Day hours of operation before heading out on May 21. Have a great Long Weekend, Canada!