Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Daylight Saving Time (DST) is coming this weekend.
With that said, you might want to snuggle into bed a little earlier than usual this week, because many Canadians will be losing an hour of sleep this Sunday, March 12th.
When the time shifts forward by one hour, beginning at 2 a.m., Daylight Saving Time (DST) will make mornings a little brighter and sunsets later.
For Vancouver Island residents, March 12th will mark the shortest day of the year, with just 23 hours in a day. For those having to get up early the next day unfortunately an hour of sleep will be lost.
In order to lighten the mood, here are 7 facts you likely didn’t know about Canada’s extra hour of daylight:
Saving – not Savings
While commonly called “Daylight Savings Time,” the correct spelling is daylight saving time as “saving” is used as a participle and not as a possessive.
Most of Saskatchewan will be sleeping in
While most BC communities use Daylight Saving, with a few that do not, Saskatchewan is the opposite.
The majority of the central province does not practice Daylight Saving, with only a few that do change their clocks. These rare communities include Lloydminster, Denare Beach, and Creighton.
Benjamin Franklin’s take
Benjamin Franklin was the first to suggest a change in sleep schedule in 1784 after visiting Paris. In a witty essay titled, “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light,” he
calculated, somewhat jokingly, that Paris could save $200 million in candles of today’s dollars if they adopted Daylight Saving Time.
Daylight Saving was once all year ’round during the Second World War, and Canada as well as the United States adopted this.
For all those night owls
Daylight Saving was chosen to start at 2 a.m. because it is when the fewest trains were running, and it prevents the date from switching to yesterday.
Additionally, 2 a.m. is before most shift workers leave for work, and it causes minimal disruption to bars, which close at 1:59 a.m.
Not all British Columbians participate
11 communities in BC prefer to keep things simple, and have opted out of the country’s Daylight Saving time change.
The communities, which can be found in eastern and south-eastern BC, never change their clocks, meaning they use Mountain Time (the same as Calgary and Edmonton) in the winter, and Victoria’s Pacific Standard Time in the summer.
The communities include Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Hudson’s Hope, Fort St. John, Taylor, Tumbler Ridge, Branbrook, Fernie, Sparwood, Golden, and Invermere.
Daylight Saving used to look a little different
From 1988 until 2006, for the parts of Canada that use DST, clocks followed the North American pattern of moving one hour forward on the first Sunday in April and one hour back on the last Sunday of October.
Since March 2007, the standard North American period for DST has been from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November.
BC looks to US neighbours for permanent ban
Nearing the four-year anniversary after the former premier, John Horgan proposed ending the practice of moving clocks ahead by an hour in the spring and back an hour in the fall, US Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has since reintroduced his Sunshine Protection Act (SPA).
This legislation would aim to end seasonal time changes, after a previous version passed the Senate in March 2022 but did not make it to the House floor.
As Canadians continue to watch how the SPA plays out in the US, Premier David Eby said on Wednesday, March 8th that the province looks forward to the day their government can commit to ending the seasonal time changes.
“There were business concerns about us being on a different time zone from our major trading partner to the south, which is our sole reason for pause here – to make sure we don’t have unintended economic impacts,” he added. “Otherwise, we’re very much looking forward to getting rid of Daylight Savings Time.”