COVID is the Grinch who Stole Hallowe’en: Only Two in Ten Canadians Will Give Out Hallowe’en Candy This Year

Most Canadians say Birthday Celebrations and Holiday Gatherings will Look Different this Year

The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, October 29, 2020 – The Grinch who stole Christmas has manifested itself this year as the COVID Grinch, no longer just stealing presents under the Christmas tree, but Hallowe’en candy, birthday celebrations and holiday gatherings too.

According to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News, just 19% of Canadians say they’ll be giving out Hallowe’en candy this year. This proportion rises as high as three in ten in Atlantic Canada (30%), Alberta (28%) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (28%), but drops to 20% in British Columbia, 16% in Ontario and 13% in Quebec. Moreover, just 23% of parents will take or encourage their kids to go Trick or Treating for Hallowe’en.

In fact, when thinking about how they’ll be dealing with Hallowe’en this year, only 17% say they’ll be going ahead as usual, while 34% say they’ll reduce or modify what they do to account for social distancing. Fully one half (49%) of Canadians say they’re cancelling any Hallowe’en plans altogether.

Hallowe’en isn’t the only festive casualty of COVID-19 in Canada, as few Canadians are continuing or planning to celebrate birthdays or the holiday season as normal:

  • When it comes to family birthdays or other celebrations, just 16% say they’re going ahead as usual, while most (52%) will continue but in some modified way to account for social distancing. Three in ten (31%) Canadians are simply cancelling plans relating to this type of celebration entirely.
  • Regarding Christmas or holiday gatherings, once again only 17% of Canadians are going ahead as usual. Six in ten (57%) will reduce or modify what they do this holiday season to account for social distancing, while one quarter (26%) will cancel their holiday plans. More specifically, only one in three (33%) Canadians have plans to get together with family outside of their household for the holidays, led by those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (44%), Alberta (43%) and Atlantic Canada (41%). Those in Ontario (33%), British Columbia (32%), or Quebec (23%) are much less inclined to be getting together with family from outside their household over the holidays.

COVID-19 is also having an impact on other activities in 2020, holiday related or otherwise. For example, just 5% of Canadians say they’ll travel outside of their home province for the holidays, and only 3% will travel by airplane for any reason before the end of 2020. Only one in three (34%) Canadians anticipates going to a mall to holiday shop, suggesting that online shopping will prevail this holiday season.

Finally, fewer than one in ten (9%) Canadians say they’ll go to church, temple, mosque or other religious gathering place before the end of 2020.  

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 23-26, 2020, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Darrell Bricker

CEO, Ipsos Global Public Affairs

+1 416 324 2001

© 2020, Ipsos Limited Partnership

This polling release and the data contained in it are the sole and exclusive property of Ipsos. They are NOT designed to support any election outcome or prediction model and no license to use the polling release or the data is either granted or implied by their publication. Ipsos does not endorse, and has no responsibility for the accuracy of, the result of any predictive model that incorporates this polling data. Furthermore, any use of this information to produce polling aggregations or election models without Ipsos’ written permission will be considered a violation of our intellectual property, and Ipsos reserves the right to take appropriate legal action.

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The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker Global CEO, Public Affairs