This year I will be in Toronto during Thanksgiving. Will I notice at all when behaving as a tourist? Are tourist attractions closed, do shops close earlier or at different times. Is it better to avoid/visit certain places?

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    Just to clarify, are you speaking of Canadian Thanksgiving, which is the 2nd Monday in October, or Thanksgiving in the United States, which is the 4th Thursday in November? Commented Aug 10, 2014 at 18:44
  • @AffableGeek I am specifically referring to Canadian Thanksgiving.
    – Bernhard
    Commented Aug 10, 2014 at 19:04

1 Answer 1


Like American Thanksgiving, Canadian Thanksgiving is largely a family affair. You won't find outdoor celebrations, fireworks displays, or anything like that to the same extent that you would on July 1st or Victoria Day. However there can be major events coinciding with Thanksgiving. If you happen to be in Kitchener, Ontario, you can take part in the second biggest Oktoberfest celebration in the world (the biggest being Munich of course) with a parade, massive beer tents, barrel racing, and more schnitzel and sauerkraut than you know what to do with.

Canadian Thanksgiving is also somewhat tied to harvest celebrations, so you will find farming and pumpkin related events going on. Here's a list of possible activities if you happen to be in Toronto.

A lot of things will be closed on the Monday. Schools and anything government-related, supermarkets and most stores. Some restaurants close but some do not. Most tourist-related things are open, although bear in mind this is outside the tourist season for many parts of Canada. Here is a somewhat better list of what is open and closed.

TL;DR What's open? No government, few stores, some restaurants, most tourism. But check.

  • But as a tourist, I understand, I will probably be fine?
    – Bernhard
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 6:16
  • I find it humourous how many 'second biggest Oktoberfests' there are. Everyone acknowledges Muenchen as the largest, but I know at least three 'second biggest'...
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 15:13
  • @GCCampbell I find it humourous that the original Oktoberfest is in September :)
    – Bernhard
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 19:29
  • @CGCampbell Wikipedia backs us up, for what it's worth. Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 2:34
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    @Bernhard Stores that are open (in tourist areas like the Eaton Centre or Square One Mississauga) will likely have restricted hours on the Thanksgiving Monday (similar to Sunday hours). Regular hours at Square One are M-F 10 AM - 9 PM,Sat 9:30 AM - 9 PM, Sun 11 AM - 7 PM. Thanksgiving day it's 11AM - 6 PM. Restaurants won't be a problem. All liquor and beer stores will be closed all day, since they're all gov't in Ontario. Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 14:43

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