Parade was staged in support of the Toronto Typographical Union's strike
Labor Day has been celebrated in Canada on the first Monday in September since the 1880s. The origins of Labor Day in Canada can be traced back to December 1872 when a parade was staged in support of the Toronto Typographical Union's strike for a 58-hour work-week, almost a full decade before a similar event in New York City by the American Knights of Labor, a late 19th-century U.S. labor federation, launched the movement towards the American Labor Day holiday. The Toronto Trades Assembly (TTA) called its 27 unions to demonstrate in support of the Typographical Union who had been on strike since 25 March. George Brown, Canadian politician and editor of the Toronto Globe hit back at his striking employees, pressing police to charge the Typographical Union with "conspiracy." Although the laws criminalising union activity were outdated and had already been abolished in Great Britain, they were still on the books in Canada and police arrested 24 leaders of the Typographical Union. Labor leaders decided to call another similar demonstration on 3 September to protest the arrests. Seven unions marched in Ottawa, prompting a promise by Canadian Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald to repeal the "barbarous" anti-union laws. Parliament passed the Trade Union Act on 14 June the following year, and soon all unions were seeking a 54-hour work-week.