In most provinces in Canada, Monday February 21st is Family Day. This regional statutory holiday is observed every year on the third Monday in February and it’s traditionally a day when families get together to spend some quality time with the people closest to them. So, with two-thirds of Canadians living in a province that observes a February statutory holiday, and having just celebrated V-Day, there’s a WHOLE LOT of love flying around this month!
Family Day is not, however, a national statutory holiday, and some provinces use their own names for the day, as they celebrate for different reasons. The third Monday of February is observed as "Family Day" in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia (BC), New Brunswick, Ontario, and Saskatchewan; as Louis Riel Day in Manitoba; as Nova Scotia Heritage Day in Nova Scotia; and as Islander Day in Prince Edward Island.
Family Day was first celebrated in Alberta, in 1990, making it the only province to have a statutory holiday in February until Saskatchewan began observing the day in 2007. The idea behind the holiday was to emphasize the importance of family values and to give people an extra day with which to do this. Interestingly, the date was chosen to coincide with Washington's Birthday, in order to avoid trade disruptions with the United States.
On October 12, 2007, the Ontario provincial government established Family Day on the third Monday in February, to be first observed on February 18th, 2008. Its creation raised Ontario's number of statutory holidays to nine per year.
So with the long weekend on the horizon, now is the time to start planning your Family Day activities. Whether you’re an outdoorsy type who’s happiest in their snowsuit or a homebody who’s tired of watching Netflix, embrace Family Day this year like a true Canadian! Here are some of our favourite ideas for spending the day with your nearest and dearest:
- Go tobogganing - propel yourself, or your kids, down a hill at full speed! Find locations in Toronto here
- Go skating - Toronto has over 50 skating rinks across the city
- Give Netflix a break and celebrate Black History Month with Kuumba, a free collection of dance, films, music and literary events showcasing and celebrating black artists and black culture. Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) is also on this month and they have dedicated workshops for kids too!
- Bring the maple syrup out and cook a Family Day pancake brunch together!
So that we can spend some quality time with our families, both the flower shop and the gift shop will be closed on Monday 21st February. But don’t worry, we will reopen at 9am on Tuesday 22nd February and you can always shop directly from our website in the meantime. We wish you all a very happy Family Day!