Imagine a time and place where times were different from place to place. Is that weird or what? Yet, that is exactly the situation facing Sanford Fleming after he came to Canada from Scotland and began working for Canadian rail road companies as a surveyor and construction engineer. The railroads had made obsolete the old system where every major centre set its clocks according to local astronomical conditions. Fleming spoke out in favour of the adoption of a standard or “mean” spot on the globe to which clocks could be set, and hourly variations from that spot according to established time zones. ( See video)
Fleming was instrumental, according to The Canadian Encyclopedia, in putting together what was called an ” International Prime Meridian Conference” in Washington, D.C., in 1884. As a result of that conference the system of international standard time, which we still use today, was adopted. Fleming also designed the famous ” three penny beaver” — the first Canadian postage stamp — in 1851. Sir Sandford Fleming died in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on July 22nd, 1915. (see map) He was 88.
And, in case you were curious, Canada uses six primary time zones. From east to west they are Newfoundland Time Zone, Atlantic Time Zone, Eastern Time, Central Time Zone, Mountain Time Zone, and the Pacific Time Zone.
In most of Canada Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. local time on the second Sunday in March. On the first Sunday in November areas on Daylight Saving Time return to Standard Time at 2:00 a.m. During Daylight Saving Time turn your clocks ahead one hour.
In 2011 Newfoundland and Labrador proclaimed an amendment to the Standard Time Act which puts their observance of Daylight Saving Time in line with the rest of Canada effective November 6, 2011. Previously, Newfoundland and Labrador began and ended Daylight Saving Time one minute after midnight (12:01 a.m.) local time.
The names in each time zone change along with Daylight Saving Time. Eastern Standard Time (EST) becomes Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), and so forth. Some areas of Canada not using Daylight Saving Time include, Fort St. John, Charlie Lake, Taylor and Dawson Creek in British Columbia, Creston in the East Kootenays, and most of Saskatchewan (except Denare Beach and Creighton).
Previously, Canada had observed Daylight Saving Time from the first Sunday in April until the last Sunday in October. However, through legislation passed in 2006, Daylight Saving Time now begins three weeks earlier on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.