Time in Canada

Last updated
Time zones in Canada
Time zone
UTC-07:00 (year round)
UTC-06:00 (year round)
UTC-05:00 (year round)
UTC-04:00 (year round)
Newfoundland Canada time zone map - en.svg
Time zones in Canada
StandardDSTTime zone
UTC−08:00UTC−07:00 Pacific
UTC−07:00 (year round) Mountain
UTC−06:00 (year round) Central
UTC−05:00 (year round) Eastern
UTC−04:00 (year round) Atlantic
UTC−03:30UTC−02:30 Newfoundland

Canada is divided into six time zones. Most areas of the country's provinces and territories operate on standard time from the first Sunday in November to the second Sunday in March and daylight saving time the rest of the year. [1]


The divisions between time zones are based on proposals by Scottish Canadian railway engineer Sandford Fleming, who pioneered the use of the 24-hour clock, the world's time zone system, and a standard prime meridian. [2]

Official time

National Research Council laboratories in Ottawa In front of National Research Council Canada Laboratories.JPG
National Research Council laboratories in Ottawa

The National Research Council (NRC) maintains Canada's official time through the use of atomic clocks. [3] The official time is specified in legislation passed by the individual provinces. In Quebec it is based on coordinated universal time. [4] The other provinces use mean solar time. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] The NRC provides both coordinated universal time and mean solar time in its signals. [15] It makes time servers available for direct synchronization with computers. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation aired a daily time signal, the National Research Council Time Signal , beginning November 5, 1939. [16] The signal was discontinued on October 15, 2023. [17]

Time notation

Canadian National timetable from 1975 using the 24-hour clock Canadian National timetable 1975-04-27.jpg
Canadian National timetable from 1975 using the 24-hour clock

The Government of Canada recommends use of the 24-hour clock (e.g. 19:06), which is widely used in contexts such as transportation schedules, parking meters, and data transmission. [18] Speakers of Canadian French predominantly use this system, but most Canadian English speakers use the 12-hour clock in everyday speech (e.g. 7:06 p.m.), even when reading from a 24-hour display, similar to the use of the 24-hour clock in the United Kingdom.


Pacific Time Zone

Pacific Standard Time (PST) GMT−08:00 and Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) GMT−07:00:

Mountain Time Zone

Mountain Standard Time (MST) GMT−07:00 and Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) GMT−06:00:

Mountain Standard Time (MST) GMT−07:00 year-round:

Central Time Zone

Central Standard Time (CST) GMT−06:00 and Central Daylight Time CDT GMT−05:00:

Central Standard Time (CST) GMT−06:00 year-round:

Eastern Time Zone

Eastern Standard Time (EST) GMT−05:00 and Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) GMT−04:00:

Eastern Standard Time (EST) GMT−05:00 year-round:

Atlantic Time Zone

Atlantic Standard Time (AST) GMT−04:00 and Atlantic Daylight Time (ADT) GMT−03:00:

Atlantic Standard Time (AST) UTC−04:00 year-round:

Newfoundland Time Zone

Newfoundland Standard Time (NST) GMT−03:30 and Newfoundland Daylight Time (NDT) GMT−02:30:

Former time zones

Daylight saving time

Four Canadian cities, by local ordinance, observed daylight saving time in 1916. Brandon, Manitoba, adopted it on April 17. It was followed by Winnipeg on April 23, Halifax on April 30, and Hamilton, Ontario, on June 4. [23] Port Arthur, Ontario, was the first place in the world to introduce it, on July 1, 1908.

Daylight saving time is currently observed in nine of ten provinces and two of three territories, with exceptions in several provinces and Nunavut. Most of the province of Saskatchewan, despite geographically being in the Mountain Time Zone, observes year-round CST. In 2020, the territory of Yukon abandoned seasonal time change and moved to permanently observing MST year-round. [24] Under the Constitution of Canada, laws related to timekeeping are a purely provincial matter. In practice, since the late 1960s DST across Canada has been closely or completely synchronized with its observance in the United States to promote consistent economic and social interaction. When the United States extended DST in 1987 to the first Sunday in April, all DST-observing Canadian provinces followed suit to mimic the change.

In 2019, the legislature of British Columbia began the process of eliminating the practice of observing daylight saving time in the province. On October 31, 2019, the government introduced Bill 40 in the legislature, which would define "Pacific Time" as "7 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)". [25] In a press release, the provincial government stated an intention to maintain alignment of clock time with Washington, Oregon, California, and Yukon. [26] The move follows a consultation earlier in 2019, in which the province received over 223,000 responses, 93% of which said they would prefer year-round DST as compared to the status quo of changing the clocks twice a year. [27] [28] [29] The premier of British Columbia discussed the issue with Yukon premier Sandy Silver, who said in October that he needs more consultation with Yukon stakeholders, and with Alberta and Alaska. [30]

The latest United States change (Energy Policy Act of 2005) to daylight saving time, adding parts of March and November to when daylight saving time is observed, which began in 2007 was adopted by the various provinces and territories on the following dates:

IANA time zone database

Data for Canada from zone.tab of the IANA time zone database. Columns marked with * are the columns from zone.tab itself.

C.c.*Coordinates*TZ*Comments* UTC offset UTC offset DST NotesMap
CA +4734−05243America/St_JohnsNewfoundland, Labrador (SE) −03:30 −02:30 9610196 on OpenStreetMap
CA +4439−06336America/HalifaxAtlantic - NS (most areas), PE −04:00 −03:00 In addition to NS and PE, also includes two areas of Quebec: Magdalen Islands and Listuguj Miꞌgmaq First Nation [43] 10441414 on OpenStreetMap
CA +4612−05957America/Glace_BayAtlantic - NS (Cape Breton) −04:00 −03:00 Like America/Halifax, but did not adopt DST until 1972. Likely includes all of Cape Breton Island [44] 10438273 on OpenStreetMap
CA +4606−06447America/MonctonAtlantic - New Brunswick −04:00 −03:00 Like America/Halifax, except DST time change happened at 12:01 a.m. rather than 2:00 a.m. prior to 2007. 10432327 on OpenStreetMap
CA +5320−06025America/Goose_BayAtlantic - Labrador (most areas) −04:00 −03:00 Like America/Halifax, except DST time change happened at 12:01 a.m. rather than 2:00 a.m. from 1987–2011. (Also observed Newfoundland Time until 1966.) 2049110 on OpenStreetMap
CA +5125−05707America/Blanc-SablonAST - QC (Lower North Shore) −04:00 −04:00 Redirects to America/Puerto_Rico

East of 63rd meridian west [43]

15097517 on OpenStreetMap
CA America/Montreal −05:00 −04:00 Redirects to America/Toronto as of version 2015c
CA +4339−07923America/TorontoEastern - ON & QC (most areas) −05:00 −04:00 Legally includes all of Ontario east of 90th meridian west but in practice only applied to urban areas until 1974 6483867 on OpenStreetMap
CA America/Nipigon −05:00 −04:00 Redirects to America/Toronto as of version 2022f

Created for places using Eastern time that allegedly did not observe DST 1967–1973, but this was not well sourced.

6483867 on OpenStreetMap
CA America/Thunder_Bay −05:00 −04:00

Created because of a claim that Thunder Bay did not use DST in 1973.

CA +6344−06828America/IqaluitEastern - NU (most areas) −05:00 −04:00 6451459 on OpenStreetMap
CA America/Pangnirtung −05:00 −04:00 Redirects to America/Iqaluit

Places that switched from Atlantic Time to Eastern Time in 1995

CA +744144−0944945America/ResoluteCentral - NU (Resolute) −06:00 −05:00 Places in Central Time that skipped DST in 2007 6446190 on OpenStreetMap
CA +484531−0913718America/AtikokanEST - ON (Atikokan), NU (Coral H) −05:00 −05:00 Redirects to America/Panama

Legally Central Time but in practice observes EST year-round.

16602909 on OpenStreetMap
CA +624900−0920459America/Rankin_InletCentral - NU (central) −06:00 −05:00 6446189 on OpenStreetMap
CA +4953−09709America/WinnipegCentral - ON (west), Manitoba −06:00 −05:00 In practice includes Big Trout Lake and Denare Beach, though by law they should be in America/Toronto and America/Regina, respectively. 6442822 on OpenStreetMap
CA America/Rainy_River −06:00 −05:00 Redirects to America/Winnipeg as of version 2022f

Created for places using Central Time that allegedly did not observe DST 1967–1973.

CA +5024−10439America/ReginaCST - SK (most areas) −06:00 −06:00 6442821 on OpenStreetMap
CA +5017−10750America/Swift_CurrentCST - SK (midwest) −06:00 −06:00 Western Saskatchewan towns that observed Mountain Time until 1972. 10424167 on OpenStreetMap
CA +5333−11328America/EdmontonMountain - AB, BC(E), NT(E), SK(W) −07:00 −06:00 6442820 on OpenStreetMap
CA +690650−1050310America/Cambridge_BayMountain - NU (west) −07:00 −06:00 6446170 on OpenStreetMap
CA +6227−11421America/Yellowknife −07:00 −06:00 Redirects to America/Edmonton

East of 120th meridian west [45]

CA +682059−1334300America/InuvikMountain - NT (west) −07:00 −06:00 West of 120th meridian west [45] 10553994 on OpenStreetMap
CA +4906−11631America/CrestonMST - BC (Creston) −07:00 −07:00 Redirects to America/Phoenix

Places in Pacific Time that have not observed DST since the database cut-off date (1970)

6446092 on OpenStreetMap
CA +5546−12014America/Dawson_CreekMST - BC (Dawson Cr, Ft St John) −07:00 −07:00 Places in Mountain Time that stopped using DST in 1973 6483979 on OpenStreetMap
CA +5848−12242America/Fort_NelsonMST - BC (Ft Nelson) −07:00 −07:00 Places in Mountain Time that stopped using DST in 2015. 10424947 on OpenStreetMap
CA +4916−12307America/VancouverPacific - BC (most areas) −08:00 −07:00 6483981 on OpenStreetMap
CA +6043−13503America/WhitehorseMST - Yukon (east) −07:00 −07:00 East of 138th meridian west [46] 10465808 on OpenStreetMap
CA +6404−13925America/DawsonMST - Yukon (west) −07:00 −07:00 West of 138th meridian west [46] 10441037 on OpenStreetMap

See also


  1. Prairie Creek Airport, operated by Canadian Zinc, in southwest NWT, is shown as observing PST/PDT. North of Sixty Fishing Camps (Obre Lake/North of Sixty Airport) and Kasba Lake Lodge (Kasba Lake Airport) are shown as operating on CST/CDT. [1]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Time zone</span> Area that observes a uniform standard time

A time zone is an area which observes a uniform standard time for legal, commercial and social purposes. Time zones tend to follow the boundaries between countries and their subdivisions instead of strictly following longitude, because it is convenient for areas in frequent communication to keep the same time.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Central Time Zone</span> Time zone in North America

The North American Central Time Zone (CT) is a time zone in parts of Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central America, some Caribbean islands, and part of the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eastern Time Zone</span> North American time zone (UTC−5 and UTC−4)

The Eastern Time Zone (ET) is a time zone encompassing part or all of 23 states in the eastern part of the United States, parts of eastern Canada, and the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mountain Time Zone</span> Time zone of North America

The Mountain Time Zone of North America keeps time by subtracting seven hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) when standard time (UTC−07:00) is in effect, and by subtracting six hours during daylight saving time (UTC−06:00). The clock time in this zone is based on the mean solar time at the 105th meridian west of the Greenwich Observatory. In the United States, the exact specification for the location of time zones and the dividing lines between zones is set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations at 49 CFR 71.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pacific Time Zone</span> North American time zone

The Pacific Time Zone (PT) is a time zone encompassing parts of western Canada, the western United States, and western Mexico. Places in this zone observe standard time by subtracting eight hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC−08:00). During daylight saving time, a time offset of UTC−07:00 is used.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Time in the United States</span> U.S. time zones

In the United States, time is divided into nine standard time zones covering the states, territories and other US possessions, with most of the country observing daylight saving time (DST) for approximately the spring, summer, and fall months. The time zone boundaries and DST observance are regulated by the Department of Transportation, but no single map of those existed until the agency announced intentions to make one in September 2022. Official and highly precise timekeeping services (clocks) are provided by two federal agencies: the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) ; and the United States Naval Observatory (USNO). The clocks run by these services are kept synchronized with each other as well as with those of other international timekeeping organizations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Atlantic Time Zone</span> Time zone (UTC−04:00)

The Atlantic Time Zone is a geographical region that keeps standard time—called Atlantic Standard Time (AST)—by subtracting four hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), resulting in UTC−04:00. AST is observed in parts of North America and some Caribbean islands. During part of the year, some portions of the zone observe daylight saving time, referred to as Atlantic Daylight Time (ADT), by moving their clocks forward one hour to result in UTC−03:00. The clock time in this zone is based on the mean solar time of the 60th meridian west of the Greenwich Observatory.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Newfoundland Time Zone</span> Time zone in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

The Newfoundland Time Zone (NT) is a geographic region that keeps time by subtracting 3.5 hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) during standard time, resulting in UTC−03:30; or subtracting 2.5 hours during daylight saving time. The clock time in this zone is based on the mean solar time of the meridian 52 degrees and 30 arcminutes west of the Greenwich Observatory. It is observed solely in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Newfoundland Time Zone is the only active time zone with a half-hour offset from UTC in the Americas.

The orders, decorations, and medals of the Canadian provinces, in which each province of Canada has devised a system of orders and other awards to honour residents for actions or deeds that benefit their local community or province, are in turn subsumed within the Canadian honours system. Each province sets its own rules and criteria for eligibility and also for how each award is presented. Most of the awards allow for the recipients to wear their awards in public, and most grant the recipients the use of post-nominal letters after their names. Not all of the awards listed below are part of the Canadian honours system, thus some of them may not be worn or court mounted with awards that are part of the Canadian honours system.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">UTC−07:00</span> Identifier for a time offset from UTC of −7

UTC−07:00 is an identifier for a time offset from UTC of −07:00. In North America, it is observed in the Mountain Time Zone during standard time, and in the Pacific Time Zone during the other eight months. Some locations use it year-round.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Time in Australia</span> Time zones in Australia

Australia uses three main time zones: Australian Eastern Standard Time, Australian Central Standard Time and Australian Western Standard Time.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Time in Saskatchewan</span> Time in Saskatchewan

The Canadian province of Saskatchewan is geographically in the Mountain Time Zone (GMT−07:00). However, most of the province observes GMT−06:00 year-round. As a result, it is on daylight saving time (DST) year-round, as clocks are not turned back an hour in autumn when most jurisdictions return to standard time.

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The Standard Geographical Classification (SGC) is a system maintained by Statistics Canada for categorizing and enumerating the census geographic units of Canada. Each geographic area receives a unique numeric code ranging from one to seven digits, which extend telescopically to refer to increasingly small areas. This geocode is roughly analogous to the ONS coding system in use in the United Kingdom.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Time in Nunavut</span>

Nunavut is divided into three time zones: Eastern, Central and Mountain.

In Canada, daylight saving time (DST) is observed in nine of the country's ten provinces and two of its three territories—though with exceptions in parts of several provinces and Nunavut.

On October 18, 2021, a referendum was held in Alberta, Canada on two questions, whether equalization payments should be eliminated from the Constitution of Canada, and whether the province should observe daylight saving time year-round. The referendum was held as part of the 2021 Alberta municipal elections and the Senate nominee election.


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