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Spring break 2014: When it starts across the country

Students in Ontario and Nova Scotia start their first day of a week-long vacation on Monday — but spring break dates vary wildly across the country, and even between school districts.

Most elementary and secondary school students in Canada get either one or two weeks off some time in March or April. Post-secondary students are generally given one week off, often called reading week, some time early in the year.

Modern spring break started in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in the 1930s, with a New York swim coach who was looking for a warm place to keep his swimmers in shape over the winter. The concept took off in the 1960s with the release of the movie Where the Boys Are — about a group of college students from the U.S. Midwest letting loose in Fort Lauderdale — which was marketed using the phrase "spring break."

Spring break, or March break, is now one of the most popular travel times in Canada and the U.S.
According to the government of Canada, spring break is one of the busiest travel weeks of the year, “when border traffic volume increases and airports are jammed.”

Many Canadians also use the break to flee the bitter winter cold for warmer climates like Hawaii and Mexico, leaving resorts and hotels packed.

This year’s spring break dates are:

British Columbia: Varies by region. Vancouver takes off March 17 to 28, while students in Victoria are off March 10 to 21. Some districts only take one week off.
Alberta: Varies by region. Students in Calgary are off March 21 to April 4, while Edmonton students are off March 31 to April 4.
Saskatchewan: Varies by region. Saskatoon takes off April 6 to 10, while Regina takes off April 21 to 25.
Manitoba: March 31 to April 4.
Ontario: March 10 to 14.
Quebec: Varies by region. Students in Montreal were off March 3 to 7.
Newfoundland: April 18 to 25.
Prince Edward Island: March 17 to 21.
Nova Scotia: March 10 to 14.
New Brunswick: March 3 to 7.
Yukon: Varies by region. Students in Whitehorse are off March 17 to 28.
Northwest Territories: Varies by region. Students in Yellowknife are off March 17 to 28.
Nunavut: Varies by region. Students in Iqaluit don’t take spring break, but get one week off in February for teachers’ professional development.

CBC News

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