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Father's Day in Canada

Many Canadians observe Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June. It is a day for people to show their appreciation for fathers and father figures. Father figures may include stepfathers, fathers-in-law, guardians (eg. foster parents), and family friends.

Is Father's Day a Public Holiday?

Father's Day is not a public holiday. It falls on Sunday, June 16, 2019 and most businesses follow regular Sunday opening hours in Canada.

A father lovingly playing with his baby. Black and white image slightly sepia toned.

Father's Day in Canada is a day to remember fathers and father figures.

©iStockphoto.com/ veesvision

What Do People Do?

Many people in Canada celebrate Father’s Day in a variety of ways to express their love and gratitude to fathers or father figures. Father’s Day activities include (but are not limited to):

  • Participating in Father’s Day fun runs and other events in which the proceeds go towards charity or prostate cancer research.
  • Buying presents such as neckties and other items of clothing, chocolates, books or equipment for various types of hobbies.
  • Giving handmade or purchased cards.
  • Breakfasts, brunches, lunches, or dinners either at home or in restaurants.
  • Taking fathers or father figures out to the movies, the park, the zoo, or another place of interest.

Some people organize joint Father’s Day parties and activities with close friends and family. Those who live away from their fathers or father figures may make long-distance phone calls, send an email or online card, or arrange for gifts to be delivered on Father’s Day.  Some museums and other venues open to the general public may host special Father’s Day celebrations where fathers and father figures can enter free of charge.

Public Life

Father’s Day is not a federal public holiday in Canada. It falls on a Sunday, which is a day off for many workers so many offices and stores are closed. However, some shopping precincts and stores, as well as restaurants, cafes and entertainment venues, may be particularly busy on Father’s Day.

Background

There are some suggestions that the idea of Father's Day may originate in pagan sun worship. Some branches of paganism see the Sun as the father of the universe. The June solstice occurs around the same time of year as Father's Day so some people saw a link between the two.

The idea of a special day to honor fathers and celebrate fatherhood was introduced from the United States. A woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was inspired by the American Mother's Day celebrations and planned a day to honor fathers early in the 20th century. The first Father's Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington on June 19, 1910. Father’s Day has become increasingly popular throughout North America and other parts of the world over the years. Mother’s Day is also celebrated in Canada on an annual basis.

Symbols

Images of fathers or father figures, and the words “Happy Father’s Day” are often seen on marketing material, such as posters, postcards, and advertisements, to promote Father’s Day.

About Father's Day in other countries

Read more about Father's Day.

Father's Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010SunJun 20Father's DayObservance 
2011SunJun 19Father's DayObservance 
2012SunJun 17Father's DayObservance 
2013SunJun 16Father's DayObservance 
2014SunJun 15Father's DayObservance 
2015SunJun 21Father's DayObservance 
2016SunJun 19Father's DayObservance 
2017SunJun 18Father's DayObservance 
2018SunJun 17Father's DayObservance 
2019SunJun 16Father's DayObservance 
2020SunJun 21Father's DayObservance 

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