Family Day is a relatively new and somewhat confusing Canadian holiday. For starters, Family Day is only observed in Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. In Prince Edward Island, Islander Day is celebrated instead. Across Manitoba, the 3rd Monday in February is Louis Riel Day. Nova Scotia Heritage Day is commemorated as well. For 2017, the date is Monday, February 20. Family Day is NOT a national statutory holiday. Because of this, all federal workers work on Family day including post office employees. Canada Post WILL collect and deliver mail on Family Day/Heritage Day/Islander Day/Louis Riel Day.
Are stores open? Are restaurants open? Are the malls open? Again, this is confusing since laws regarding Family Day/Heritage Day/Islander Day/Louis Riel Day vary by province and sometimes by individual cities within a province. Here is a general guide:
In Alberta, British Columbia, Labrador/Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Yukon, retailers are generally OPEN on Family Day.
In Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island, retailers are generally CLOSED on Family Day/Heritage Day/Islander Day/Louis Riel Day. The city of Winnipeg is an exception: most stores are allowed to open between 9:00AM and 6:00PM.
These rules apply to all the large chain stores: RONA, Canadian Tire, Sobeys, Loblaws, Atlantic Superstore, Real Canadian Superstore, Best Buy, The Source, HomeSense, Costco, Walmart, Staples, Kent, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Cabela’s, Safeway, Shoppers Drug Mart, Dominion, Longo’s, Hudson’s Bay, Save-On-Foods, Metro, etc. They also apply to most smaller retailers. However, 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 February 20th holiday.
Did I mention this is confusing? To be sure, call ahead and confirm Family Day/Nova Scotia Heritage Day/Islander Day/Louis Riel Day hours of operation for your stores, malls, and restaurants before heading out. Have a great winter holiday, Canada!