Home / International Travel Insurance / Articles / Travel Tips / Best Time and Season to Visit Canada: Complete Guide
Team AckoFeb 24, 2023
Canada is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is a place where every season brings something beautiful, different, and new. During winter, the country gets colder and snow falls, covering the mountains and providing excellent conditions for skiing and other winter sports. With the arrival of spring, flowers bloom, while summer brings longer, warmer days. In autumn, the leaves turn amber, gold and fiery red as the air cools off. This is a great time to enjoy late nights by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa. If you need help deciding about best time to visit Canada, this article will help.
The best time to visit Canada would be later in the year between September and November. Having said that, visiting Canada can be a great experience any time of year, but certain months are better than others for different reasons.
From September to November, the weather is cooler and the fall foliage is beautiful. December to February bring cold temperatures due to winter, but you might even catch glimpses of snow-capped mountains in some parts of the country. Spring from March to May brings a pleasant surge of new life with blooming flowers and warmer temperatures. Summer months from June to August see hot days that make taking trips outdoors more enjoyable. Regardless of what kind of weather you prefer, there’s likely something suited for you in one part of Canada or another at almost any time of year.
Here’s a month-wise Canada tourism guide to help you pick the best month to travel.
Canada in January
January is an ideal time to ski in Canada. The resorts generally receive plenty of snow, making it possible to ski late into the night with floodlight skiing and warm huts available. Skiing conditions are usually optimal in January, with much of the terrain open and powder days common. Plus, for serious skiers looking for a deal, this is usually a great time to find bargains on ski packages. If cold weather and winter activities aren't your thing, then this may not be the best time to visit Canada. Lakes and rivers that have frozen over may be used for ice skating if that interests you, but otherwise this is not a period of the year geared toward warm weather activities.
Temperature range to expect: 1°C - 6°C
Events: Ice wine festivals
Canada in February
You may have already figured out that February is just as cold as January. Temperatures are extremely low (-5.6°C to 0.4°C in Toronto, for example), and there are often frigid winds, especially at night. Snowfall is common in February, with up to nine snowy days and 269.2mm accumulated in Toronto. However, Canadian winter is one of the greatest times to visit the country for snow-based activities.
Temperature range to expect: 2°C - 8°C
Events: Quebec City’s Winter Carnival
Canada in March
During March, Canadians eagerly await the onset of Daylight Savings Time and longer days, making it an ideal time for spring break trips and outdoor activities. This annual event offers unique opportunities to observe grey whales along the shore as they migrate to their feeding spots in summer. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of educational sessions and fun activities aimed at celebrating and preserving sea life. With its breathtaking views, abundant wildlife, and interesting attractions, the Pacific Rim Whale Festival is sure to be a memorable experience for all who attend.
Temperature range to expect: -7°C - 4°C
Events: Pacific Rim Whale Festival
Canada in April
April marks the beginning of the end of winter in Canada. While some regions (such as Whistler) are still chilly enough for winter activities like skiing and snowboarding, April is also the start of spring which usually features heavier rainfall. Cities like Toronto may experience three snowy days in April, with a total accumulation of 50 mm over the weekend. However, ski resorts like Banff National Park offer plenty of winter activities to enjoy despite the changing season.
Temperature range to expect: 3°C - 11°C
Events: Stratford Festival
Canada in May
Canada's springtime arrives in May, with warmer-than-average temperatures in many urban areas due to fewer snowstorms at this time of year. Although temperatures in Canadian cities are still mild compared to summer months, it's no longer dangerously cold early in the year making late spring a great time to visit Canada for outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting.
Temperature range to expect: 9°C - 16°C
Events: Canadian Tulip Festival, Manito Ahbee
Canada in June
Canada has officially entered summer as June begins. While the first half of the month in Toronto is characterised by mild spring temperatures and low humidity, the second half is characterised by higher temperatures and higher humidity levels. If you want to visit Canada in the springtime-like transition between the chilly winter and the scorching summer, June is the best month to go.
Temperature range to expect: 14°C - 22°C
Events: Alianait Arts Festival
Canada in July
With summer officially arriving in July, Canada is the perfect place to visit this season. Toronto averages temperatures of 25°C and over 15 hours of sunshine each day, making it an ideal destination for making the most of summer's long days and balmy evenings. Moreover, Toronto often has heat waves that can bring temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius. For those who enjoy the outdoors, Canada's national parks are great places to explore. Yoho and Banff are two of the more popular parks where you can take advantage of all that nature has to offer. Whether you're out for a walk in the woods or a picnic under the trees, Canada is sure to provide a memorable summer experience.
Temperature range to expect: 16°C - 25°C
Events: Canada Day, Winnipeg Fringe Festival
Canada in August
In August, Canada experiences its hottest temperatures and least amount of precipitation. This is the month when students get a break and head to Ontario's beaches, making it a lively and exciting time in Canada. If you're looking for a quieter experience, then waiting until September might be more suitable. As summer winds down, the weather starts to cool and the crowds tend to disperse. Regardless of which month you decide to visit, you can count on Canada having plenty of activities and attractions to explore.
Temperature range to expect: 17°C - 24°C
Events: Edmonton Fringe Festival
Canada in September
Beginning in September, Canadians should expect a little cooling trend. It's still summer during the first half of the month, but the weather is shifting into fall mode towards the end of the month. Although September is considerably chillier than the preceding months, the mercury still does not fall below freezing point in many regions. Temperatures in Jasper, Alberta, remain in the high teens throughout the day but drop into the single digits at night.
Temperature range to expect: 9°C - 20°C
Events: PEI Fall Flavours, Toronto International Film Festival
Canada in October
As the weather in Canada starts to warm up in July, now is a great time to visit! With average temperatures of 25°C and more than 15 hours of sunlight each day (in Toronto), you can enjoy all that summer has to offer. Some areas even experience heatwaves with temperatures reaching unseasonably high levels of 30 degrees Celsius or more. Visiting one of Canada's beautiful national parks, such as Yoho or Banff, is an excellent way to appreciate the outdoors during the summer. The long days and balmy evenings are perfect for soaking up nature's beauty and having fun outside. No matter where you go this summer, make sure you take some time to enjoy Canada's great outdoors!
Temperature range to expect: 8°C - 14°C
Events: Celtic Colours, Dark Sky Festival
Canada in November
November marks the start of the winter season in Canada, bringing with it dramatic weather changes. Eastern areas tend to remain relatively warm with temperatures near freezing, allowing fall colours to linger for a longer time. On the West Coast, particularly Vancouver Island, wet and windy weather can make enjoying storm-watching even more enjoyable. Ski areas usually open their doors by the end of November, making it the perfect time to begin preparing for the upcoming winter season. Therefore, November is an ideal month for Canadians to move into winter mode and start taking advantage of the colder temperatures and all that they have to offer.
Temperature range to expect: -9°C - 11°C
Events: Niagara Festival of Lights
Canada in December
In December, Canada experiences the start of winter. It is usually the coldest and driest month of the year, with below-freezing temperatures, strong blizzards and gusts that make outdoor activities difficult. Snowfall in December can be heavy, making it a great time for outdoor activities such as skiing or visiting parks near Banff National Park. Celebrating a white Christmas is an annual tradition for many Canadians. While travelling to Canada in December has its perks, it’s important to be aware of the cold temperatures and inclement weather.
Temperature range to expect: -15°C - -5°C
Events: Vancouver Festival of Lights, Christmas
In order to take advantage of the lowered room rates during the colder months, travellers should plan around the weather and try to visit destinations during November before there is significant snowfall. Rain on the west coast and temperatures below freezing on the east coast can drastically change traditional outdoor tourist attractions and make many bucket-list sights or national parks hard or even impossible to experience.
Spring is a great time to plan a winter sports trip without breaking the bank. To find the best deals, research beyond well-known locales like Big White, Sun Peaks and Mont-Sainte-Anne, and keep in mind to avoid spring break or other holidays like Easter if possible. Additionally, visiting less popular provinces like Prince Edward Island, Manitoba or Saskatchewan can also help you save money on your vacation.
July and August are the busiest and most expensive because that’s the summer season.
The best time to visit Canada for a honeymoon can be between December to April and July to October. For skiing, the best time to go is between December and April, when most ski resorts are open. However, snow can still be found at higher elevations in the mountains and interior of Canada until late April. If you want to go hiking or enjoy outdoor activities like camping, kayaking, winery tours, or festivals then July through October is the ideal time. And if your plans include exploring cities consider visiting during warmer months.
The best time to observe wildlife in Canada is from May to October. During these months, you will have the opportunity to spot various species such as grizzly bears, polar bears, migrating birds, and more than ten types of whales. In particular, May and June is when grizzly bears come out of hibernation, so it's a great time to catch a glimpse of them.
Additionally, from July to August the Arctic region off the coast provides sights of caribou, foxes and whales that follow herring swarms onto migratory trails. September is also an ideal period for wildlife spotting as bear activity increases due to preparations for winter hibernation, as they gorge on food supplies and chase wild salmon as they swim upriver. Generally speaking however, during the winter months much of Canada's wildlife will be harder to find due to periods of hiding or moving away to warmer climates.
May is preferable for those who want to avoid larger crowds, while June is perfect for those looking for long days and more daylight hours. September to November is preferable for those who want cooler temperatures.
Canada's busiest months are July and August due to the range of activities available to enjoy. During the summer months, you can easily travel across the country to take part in a wide array of entertainment options, from festivals and sports events to outdoor recreation and sightseeing. Whether you're looking for an active or relaxing getaway, Canada has something for everyone during these peak months.
Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to explore and experience the vast natural beauty and unique cultures that this country has to offer. You can choose to visit multiple provinces in one week if you have limited time, such as two or three of the Maritime provinces. Alternatively, you could spend more time in one particular province and get to know it well. The possibilities are endless!
September is the wettest month in Toronto, with an average of 2.1 inches of rain.
The best time to experience the stunning fall foliage in Ontario, and other areas of eastern Canada and the Rockies, is from mid-September to mid-October. During this period, you can expect to see incredible displays of vibrant colours as the leaves change colour. However, keep in mind that the further north you go, the earlier winter will start and the fall colours will begin to disappear. With this in mind, it's best to plan your trip during this optimal window for experiencing peak fall foliage.
If you're looking to find the most affordable places in Canada to visit, then look no further than Quebec! The region is usually the cheapest of the provinces across the country. Quebec offers visitors access to some of the most breathtaking places that Canada has to offer at a fraction of the cost! Not only will you get to explore its stunning landscapes and unique culture, but also take advantage of its great deals as well. So if you're looking for an affordable vacation spot in Canada, then consider paying a visit to Quebec!
For a two-week vacation for two people, you should plan on spending around CA$5,273. This includes accommodation, meals and other activities while you're there. Of course, if you plan on doing more expensive activities such as skiing or visiting popular attractions like Niagara Falls, this cost can go up significantly. To budget effectively, make sure you take into account all possible costs before departing.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on industry experience and several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes.
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