Ontario is the most fed up with daylight savings out of all provinces in Canada

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Published March 4, 2024 at 4:26 pm

daylight saving
Clocks fall back by an hour as Daylight Saving Time comes to an end at 2 a.m. on Sunday November, 7, 2021.

Daylight saving time (DST) isn’t particularly loved in Ontario and one company is even going so far as to shift its store hours to let employees get more sleep.

Today, Sleep Country Canada announced it was launching the ‘Hour Back pledge.’ This new initiative, done in conjunction with the Canadian Mental Health Association, is raising awareness of how vital sleep is for well-being.

The initiative comes at a good time in Ontario and Canada, as according to a recent survey, no one hates DST more than Ontarians. 

According to data collected on behalf of Sleep Country, one in two Canadians experience severe disruptions in their sleep schedule each year each time the clock moves an hour. The byproduct of this kind of interference can be more than just loss of sleep and can result in severe spikes in both stress and confusion — with 50 per cent of surveyed participants stating they need a week to fully adjust. 

When it concerns region-specific data from Ontario, it is indicated that 85 per cent of Ontarians feel more focused and stable with a night of uninterrupted sleep, with 35 per cent of individuals within the province wanting to fully eliminate DST wholesale as a result. 

The first step in the Hour Back pledge is that on March 11 (the first day all clocks go forward an hour) all Sleep Country Canada locations will be opening an hour later, to help employees adjust to their new schedule.

Additional incentives include a donation of $100,000 from Sleep Country to support the Canadian Mental Health Association. 

While many people grumble about adjusting, research shows that time changes are associated with health and safety challenges.

In 2018, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety said that car crashes increase by about 23 per cent the Monday following the time change. In 2022, Toronto police launched a DST safety campaign, saying that historically, there has been a 100 per cent increase in pedestrian related collisions occurring between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and a 400 per cent increase between 7:00 a.m and 8:00 a.m. in the months following the fall time change.

Researchers have also noted other health impacts.

A recent New England Journal of Medicine study showed that heart attack risk increases by 24 per cent on the Monday following the spring time change. According to the American Heart Association, changes to a person’s circadian rhythm could be to blame, but one expert who spoke to the organization said the risk mostly applies to people with risk factors such as heart disease or diabetes.

While currently unpopular with some residents, DST was originally implemented so people would have more daylight time in the evening during the spring and summer.

The call to cancel the tradition has grown louder, however. Back in 2020, the Ford government passed legislation that would end the bi-annual changing of the clock, making daylight saving time permanent in the province, but that has yet to happen.

Ontario was waiting for New York State and Quebec to pass similar legislation but New York has called for studies of the potential impact of making either daylight time or standard time permanent.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault said in the spring that he is open to daylight time permanent but it has yet to happen.

So for now, Ontario residents need to get ready for the time change in a few days.

– With files from Karen Longwell

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