6. Canada’s Labour Day

Although it also occurs on the first Monday in September, Labour Day’s roots in Canada date back to 1872 in Toronto. That year, printers took to the streets to implement a legal 9-hour work day. However, the strikers were jailed because unions were illegal in Canada. As a result of the printers’ arrests, more than 10,000 protestors took to the streets of Toronto. Eventually, Prime Minister Sir John A. McDonald not only repealed the laws prohibiting union activity, but he also released the organizers from jail. In 1894, Prime Minister John Thompson signed an order officially adopting the date as Labour Day.

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