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Canada Follows US Daylight Saving Time

For most parts of Canada, daylight saving time begins at 2am on March 9, 2008, except Newfoundland and Labrador, where daylight saving time begins at one minute past midnight.

Canada Follows US Daylight Saving Time

Canada Follows US Daylight Saving Time

©iStockphoto.com/Philippe Widling

Prior to 2007, daylight saving time throughout most of Canada began on the first Sunday in April through to the last Sunday in October. Following the United States, Canada observed the new extended daylight saving dates from 2007 onwards – from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November. The main reasons for extending daylight saving time were to conserve energy and remain consistent with its economic and social ties to the United States.

Time zones and daylight saving time have usually been regulated by provincial and territorial governments, although exceptions may exist in some municipalities. Like the United States and many other countries, daylight saving time is a reminder for Canadians to change the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Time Zones

Canada uses six primary time zones. Time zones that observe daylight saving time will move their clocks forward from 2am to 3am at their local time, with exception to Newfoundland and Labrador where 12.01am will be forwarded to 1.01am.

Areas of Interest

According to Canada’s Institute for National Measurement Standards, the areas of Québec, east of 63° west longitude, do not change to daylight time and remain on Atlantic Standard Time all year round. The areas of Ontario, west of 90° west longitude, are in the Central time zone and change at 2am local time. However, a few communities in Ontario observe the Eastern Standard Time.

Most of Saskatchewan uses Central Standard Time all year round. Areas around Lloydminster are in the Mountain time zone and change at 2am local time, as in Alberta. Nunavut covers three time zones and all zones change at 2am local time except for Coral Harbour, which observes Eastern Standard Time. Southampton Island remains on Eastern Standard Time all year long. Dawson Creek in British Columbia observes Mountain Standard Time.


By remaining on Central Standard Time throughout the year, Saskatchewan is on one uniform time year round. It shares the time observed by Alberta during the summer (Mountain Daylight Time) and observes the same time zone as Manitoba (Central Standard Time) in the winter. As a result of Canada’s daylight saving change in 2007, Saskatchewan accommodated its schedules to the extended daylight saving period. The change results in Saskatchewan being on the same time as Alberta for an extra month and sharing the same time as Manitoba for one less month.

Daylight Saving History

Standard time in time zones was instituted in Canada and the United States by the railroads in 1883. After that, Canada was one of the first countries in northern America to initiate daylight saving time after the enactment of the Daylight Saving Act of 1917. Daylight saving time continued to be observed in parts of Canada, such as the Saskatchewan province, during the first and second World Wars as an emergency wartime measure to save electricity and fuel. Its use has continued after the wars, spreading across the summer months.

Canada’s daylight saving time has been closely synchronized daylight saving time in the United States since the late 1960s. The aim of daylight saving time was to promote consistent economic, business and social interaction between the two neighboring countries. When the United States extended its daylight saving time in 1987, Canada also went along with the change.

Many parts of the United States observed new daylight saving times in 2007 as a result of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and again, Canada followed suit. Daylight saving time in many parts of both countries begins on the second Sunday of March until the first Sunday in November. Previously, Canada observed daylight saving time from the first Sunday in April until the last Sunday in October.