Canada is a big country, covering a total of 7 time zones. It is often asked “What Time is it in Canada“? In 1884, the world adopted Standard Time Zones, created by Canadian, Sir Sanford Fleming – The Father of Standard Time. Canada Time Zones were invented to help locomotives and ships run on time and not crash into each other on rail or at sea. They also help us sleep at night and play all day, instead of the reverse (unless, of course, you are a university student!). Canada is a linear country. Many of our provincial border are straight, or close to straight, lines. So why then do our time zones have such odd shapes? Why are some provinces split with small parts in different times zones? And what is with the half hour zone in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador when only Newfoundland has the odd part? Here is the time zone map of Canada:
Number of Canada Time Zones per Province:
Nunavut time zone – 3
British Columbia time zones – 2
Ontario time zones – 2
Quebec time zone – 2
Labrador part of Newfoundland and Labrador time zone – 2
Saskatchewan looks kind of civilized. But looks can be deceiving. Saskatchewan is mostly in the Central Time Zone, along with Manitoba and north western Ontario. However, Saskatchewan does not observe a time change (back or forward by one hour in the fall and spring) except in the city of Lloydminster which observes Daylight Saving Time but is also in the Mountain Time Zone.
Why is Newfoundland time a half hour different than one hour? The system of Standard Time employs 24 meridians; each are, theoretically. the centres of 24 Standard Time zones. Apparently, Newfoundland lies in the eastern half of its time zone.
Why then does not New Brunswick have a half hour zone also because, according to the map, it sits on the western side of the time zone? And why that little piece of Saskatchewan?