Spring ahead – Daylight Savings Time – set your clocks!

On March 10th Daylight Savings Time began at 3:00am in Canada. Over 100 years ago on July 1, 1908, the residents of Port Arthur, Ontario, today’s Thunder Bay, turned their clocks forward by 1 hour to start the world’s first DST period.

Spring ahead, Fall behind

In Canada we refer to it as Daylight Saving Time (DST); the British call it “British Summer Time” and “summertime” in other areas. It is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months so that evening daylight lasts longer while sacrificing normal sunrise times. Typically, regions that use daylight saving time adjust clocks forward one hour close to the start of spring and adjust them backward in the autumn to standard time. We have a little expression, “Spring ahead, Fall behind” to make it easy to remember what to do twice a year. In Canada, it is the second Sunday in March and the first Sunday in November.

Junghans Crispi time and strike wall clock
Junghans Crispi time and strike wall clock

There is a constant dispute about the benefits and drawbacks. Proponents say that it conserves energy and has a psychological benefit of extending the daylight hours. Opponents say that the energy arguments are inconclusive.

Regardless, people must remember to change their clocks. It is a time-consuming exercise, particularly for those owners of antique and vintage mechanical clocks that cannot be moved backward safely though obviously moving 1-hour forward is much simpler.

Arthur Pequegnat Moncton wall clock

But why go through this nonsense; let’s just get rid of DST! I advocate a move to “permanent daylight saving time” that is, staying on summer hours all year with no time shifts. My mechanical clocks will appreciate it and yours will too!

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