Today was Labour Day. In Canada it’s the last big day to barbeque before the kids go back to school. It’s a statutory holiday here where almost all stores, except for the essentials are closed – because it’s a holiday for labour of course.
Most people forget that Canada’s first Labour Day parade occurred on April 15 1872, when the Toronto Trades Assembly organized a protest for workers rights. 24 leaders of the Toronto Typographical Union had been imprisoned for striking to campaign for a 9 hour workday. My ancestors were from the printing trade in this time period, so I am curious as to their involvement in these events – I will likely never know. But each year I remember the purpose of Labour Day and this time period when striking and unions were illegal and considered criminal conspiracies in this country!
It’s interesting then that this holiday has turned in to a time for barbeques, back to school shopping, closing the vacation cottage, and other end of summer events. While most stores a closed for the day, (grocery, Walmart, malls, Home Depots, etc.) in Ontario I found open – a factory outlet mall, a beer store and a garden centre. Just the essentials.
Oh, and I know that I’m not supposed to wear white after Labour day, but I just found the white pants I bought in the spring – so that’s not a rule for me.
Happy Labour Day.