By the Way, It's a Holiday

Victoria Day is celebrated as a Canadian holiday, and this year's observance is May 20.

MONTREAL – Now that AIHce 2013 is under way, we Americans who are here are discovering that today, May 20, is a Canadian national holiday. Who knew? This is Victoria Day, celebrating Queen Victoria’s birthday, which always falls on the Monday before Memorial Day in the United States.

Banks aren't open today, and federal and provincial government offices are closed, including immigration and unemployment centers. So if for some reason you landed at Montreal's main airport and did not have your passport in your possession, this could be a difficult day. Should you be admitted to this lovely country, you may be able to exchange U.S. dollars for Canadian dollars, though travel sites say U.S. currency is welcome here.

Many Montreal sites and stores are indeed open today, and the day should go swimmingly, as they used to say. The Montreal Gazette reported public markets are open and reported it's the busiest weekend of the year for flower sales, should you want to buy some blooms. Fireworks displays are common in many Canadian cities today.

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