As the days in December slowly go by, we're heading into another season. The winter solstice in Canada brings with it the shortest day of the year and it'll be a long night for Canadians. Plus, it's the official start of the winter season even though it feels like it has already been around for months.

The winter solstice is on December 21, when Canada and the rest of the northern hemisphere will see the shortest day of the year, and also the longest night. 

Because of how Earth is positioned on a tilt instead of being upright, the northern and southern hemispheres get the most light from the sun at different times. So at the winter solstice, Canadians have a day that is less than 12 hours long. 

Depending on where you are in Canada, the day could be as short as four hours or as long as eight hours, but regardless of location, this will be the shortest day and longest night across the country.

In Vancouver, the sun sets at 4:16 p.m. and doesn't rise again until 8:05 a.m. the next morning. The first day of winter will only be about eight hours and 11 minutes long.

In Whitehorse, the shortest day and the longest night of the year are extreme. There are only five hours and 37 minutes of daytime on December 21. 

Some parts of northern Canada even go months without the sun in the winter. 

Out of all the major provincial cities, Calgary is the one with the shortest day and longest night. There is a day length of only about seven hours and 57 minutes before the sun sets on Saturday and rises at 8:37 a.m. the next morning.

In Yellowknife, there are only just under five hours of daylight on the winter solstice before the sun goes and almost 20 hours of darkness settles in.

Before the sun sets at 4:56 p.m. in Regina there are only about eight hours of daylight and then it's all about the longest night of the year.

In Winnipeg, the sun sets at 4:29 p.m. after eight hours and five minutes of daytime before there are about 16 hours of nighttime.

Toronto is the major provincial city with the longest daytime during the winter solstice at eight hours and 55 minutes. After the sun sets at 4:43 p.m. it won't rise again until 7:48 a.m. the next day.

With the sun setting at 4:13 p.m. in Montreal and staying down until 7:31 a.m., it'll be a long night. 

In Iqaluit, the sun sets at 1:42 p.m. on the winter solstice and there are almost 20 hours of darkness that night.

Even on the shortest day of the year in Fredericton, there's still a good amount of daytime with about eight hours and 38 minutes. However, the night will still be the longest.

The same goes for Halifax with just around 15 hours of night after eight hours and 48 minutes of daytime.

In Charlottetown, P.E.I, you can enjoy daylight for eight hours and 36 minutes, and in St. John's, Newfoundland, you get eight hours and 25 minutes before the longest night of the year.

But don't let this long night get you down.

After the winter solstice, the days start to get longer and the nights get shorter.

Happy solstice!


There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.


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