Play it smart for Labour Day

Plan your driving around non-peak travel times to avoid traffic


Plan your driving around non-peak travel times to avoid traffic.

Despite the name, many Canadians don’t labor much on Labour Day. Rather, the federal holiday pays homage to working men and women, and has done so since 1894. Most people associate Labour Day with a chance to gather with family and friends for one last summer hurrah. This year Labour Day falls on Monday, the 5th of September and will mark the unofficial end to the summer season for Canadians in the 10 provinces and three territories, as well as their American neighbors to the south.

The last big travel weekend of the summer, Labour Day weekend witnesses many Canadians taking to the roads in search of their final adventure before school begins anew or business returns to normal hours after the relaxed summer season. Rural destinations typically notice a spike in tourism come Labour Day weekend. Savvy travelers know to plan ahead before embarking on a Labour Day weekend getaway.

A major weekend for tourism, Labour Day weekend finds hundreds of cars on the roadways, all heading to similar destinations.

Although many people like to get a jump-start on travel plans by leaving early, this practice has grown more commonplace, so leaving early no longer guarantees less traffic. One way to beat traffic is to do the majority of your driving in the evening. And because the scores of vacationers will be rushing back for work and school in time for Tuesday morning, you may want to consider leaving very early Labour Day morning or the night prior to beat the traffic home. Doing so means planning the majority of your festivities for the weekend instead of Labour Day itself.

Because Labour Day is a recognized holiday, bank and government offices will be closed. Some stores or restaurants may be working on holiday hours, as will public transportation. Knowing this in advance can help you plan accordingly. Despite Labour Day being a holiday in both Canada and the United States, border points between the countries will still be staffed. Therefore, if you’re traveling between the two countries, be sure to have all proper documentation with you and at the ready.

Some people prefer to avoid the travel rush and host a party at home. Because stores will fill up with shoppers nearer to the weekend, try to shop as early as possible in the week to cut down on shopping with the crowds. Many people host their own events, so if you’re planning on throwing a party or barbecue, alert guests well in advance.

Labour Day is also a holiday when people take to the water. Backyard pools become oases and traffic on lakes and waterways is bustling with boats and water sports equipment.

It is vital to brush up on water safety to avoid injury.

Make your Labour Day a safe one by pre-planning your trip or activity well in advance of this upcoming weekend.