Skip to main content

Boreal Community Media

Video: Tired of changing your clocks? Blame Thunder Bay

Nov 07, 2021 07:09AM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here

Graphic: WDIO-TV

From WDIO-TV - November 6, 2021

The semi-annual ritual of changing clocks usually gets people grumbling about Daylight Saving Time. It turns out you might be able to blame Thunder Bay.

According to CBC Radio and Northern Ontario Travel magazine, Port Arthur and Fort William (which later merged to become Thunder Bay) are believed to have been the first cities in the world to adopt a form of daylight saving time in 1908.

That year, a local businessman named John Hewitson successfully petitioned the councils to move the clocks an hour ahead for the summer so that people would have more sunlight after work for recreation. At the time, Port Arthur and Fort William were in the Central time zone, but people liked the time change so much that they convinced the province to permanently move the cities into the Eastern time zone in 1910.

Fast forward to 2021 and the idea of changing clocks twice a year is not popular. In fact, Ontario now has a law on the books to end daylight saving time in the province, but it won't take effect unless neighboring New York and Quebec also end the practice.

Bills introduced in the Minnesota Legislature would end the time changes but keep the state on daylight saving time all year long, which means Minnesota would have a different time than all of its neighboring states in the winter.