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A person unwrapping a gift on boxing day.

To most of us, Boxing Day in Canada is the holiday that comes right after Christmas. Many Canadians don’t know the history of the holiday or what its true purpose was. Today, it’s a shopping holiday where you can get great deals on everyday items. It was not always this way, however. Let’s explore the history of Boxing Day and what it has transformed into today.

When Is Boxing Day?

Boxing Day is an international holiday that many countries around the world celebrate. The holiday is celebrated on December 26, which is the day after Christmas Day. If the day falls on a weekend, the holiday shifts to the following Monday. 


Why Do We Celebrate Boxing Day In Canada?

Boxing Day originated as a day to give gifts to the poor. After giving each other gifts the day before, the wealthy would box up gifts and give them to the poor. Most people serving the upper class had to work on Christmas and did not get the day off. As a result, the following day would almost serve as their Christmas. Boxing Day also became a time for the wealthy to donate to the poor.


While the idea of boxing day has been around since the 1600s, its official origin was never confirmed. Most people believe that the day was officially established in Britain during the reign of Queen Victoria.

Today, many countries linked to Britain, such as some of the Commonwealth Countries, celebrate Boxing Day. Since Canada used to be a British colony, it too celebrates the holiday.

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Is Boxing Day In Canada A Statutory Holiday?

Boxing Day is a statutory holiday for all federally regulated employees. However, not all provinces made it a statutory holiday. The only province that observes Boxing Day in Canada as a statutory holiday is Ontario. This means that if you live outside Ontario and do not work in a federally regulated industry, Boxing Day will not be a statutory holiday for you. If you live in Ontario, however, it is a statutory holiday.

While Boxing Day was originally a day for giving gifts to the poor, it has undoubtedly transformed into a shopping holiday. In recent years, the term, “Boxing Week”, has started to become popular. This is because of the sales that take place during the week after Christmas. For some families, December 26th can also serve as a way to extend Christmas celebrations. As mentioned above, some Canadians have Boxing Day as a statutory holiday, so they can take the day off.

Boxing Day in Canada has become a great way to save on household items you are planning to buy. If you know you need a new TV, and Boxing Day is a month away, it is usually worth waiting. Boxing Day sales can save you hundreds of dollars if you plan and time your big purchases correctly. Things like electronics, furniture, clothes, and home renovation items usually face tremendous discounts during Boxing Week.


What Stores Offer Boxing Day Sales in Canada

From large corporations to local businesses, almost every store in Canada offers Boxing Day sales. In this section, we will look at some of the most common stores across Canada and what items you will find on discount.


Walmart is one of the biggest corporations in the world. It also offers some of the biggest discounts during Boxing Day in Canada. Most items sold by Walmart receive sales during Boxing Week, with the exception of food items. The items that receive the biggest sales are electronics, appliances, and furniture. You might also be able to find discounts on various other items such as toys and clothing.

Best Buy and Staples

Both Best Buy and Staples are some of the best brick-and-mortar stores to buy electronics. They are famous for holding massive sales during certain times of the year, including Boxing Day. Best Buy and Staples also have Back-to-School Sales and Black Friday sales so it is a good idea to be on the lookout for both.

Canadian Tire

Canadian Tire is another big retail store that offers great deals on Boxing Day. You will find a wide variety of items on sale if you do your research. Some common products that are usually on sale include small kitchen appliances, kitchenware, garden tools, and much more. To get a better idea of what items in Canadian Tire are on sale, click here.

These are just some examples of stores that offer Boxing Day deals. Almost all big retailers, and even some small businesses, extend the sale for a week. Make sure to be on the lookout for such sales if you are planning to make a big purchase in the near future. 

While the holiday began as a way to give gifts to the poor and allow people to enjoy a day off, it has taken on a completely different role today. Commonly referred to as a shopping holiday, Boxing Day in Canada has become a great way to save money. Today, the holiday mainly serves as a shopping holiday and an extra day to enjoy the Christmas holidays.