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What is the best time to visit Canada?

The best time to visit Canada is Spring (March to May) and Fall (September to November). These are the shoulder months when the crowds are less, and the weather is neither hot nor cold. Not only the weather is pleasing, but it provides fantastic opportunities to be outdoors hiking, canoeing, kayaking, etc. But, if you would love to explore the winter wonderland, the best time to visit Canada is between November and March. But if you are not a fan of cold and harsh weather, then it might not be the best time to travel. Summer (June to August) is a busy time in Canada as it is the peak season with travellers coming from all over the globe. Canada is a country of extremes. It has two coasts, six time zones, Rockies and with Arctic tundra in consideration, a lot is going on. But, it embraces all seasons and weather conditions and offers the best for their tourists.

Seasons in Canada

Peak Season in Canada
Summer is the peak season for Canada. From late June till September, the weather remains warm, making it ideal for all kinds of travellers. It is also a popular choice for a family crowd because the schools are closed. The rural parts of Canada do not see a lot of crowd, but popular places like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal are packed. The national parks have a good inflow of tourists during holidays, and the accommodation and travel rates increase a lot during this season. It is ideal for planning your trip beforehand.

Shoulder Season in Canada
Spring (April and May) and Fall (September to November) marks the shoulder season of Canada. It is between the seasons but makes it almost perfect for travelling. If you wish to enjoy the Rockies and spend quality time at Banff and Lake Louise, then consider travelling in March or mid- September. The weather is around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, not too cold, the crowds are lesser, and most of the tourist destination are pristine. There are also rainy days with temperature and wind fluctuations. But, nothing too bad to spoil your tour plans. It is always advised to check the weather app before flying to enjoy your visiting days.

Low Season in Canada
Winter (November to March), although it has its charm, marks the low season of Canada. The strong winds, inches of snowfall, and frigid temperature keep a lot of travellers away. The accommodations are relatively low, and so is the airfare. However, if you are the one who wants to gain rare insights into the Canadian culture while saving a lot of money, try travelling during the peak winters. The only condition - you should be willing to beat the cold! As the hordes of summer clear out and the roads line up with Autumn leaves, the Maple Syrup production takes a peak. Winter is also the time for the National Hockey League, which may turn out to be your trip’s highlight. Enjoy an evening under the northern lights over silos, a much cheaper option than heading out to the Scandinavian countries.

Spring in Canada (March - May)

Weather in Canada in Spring 
Finally, the weather seems above subzero temperature and is around 10 degrees Celsius. Though a slow tourist season, the start of March sees tourists on a ski vacation or for the famed maple syrup tasting in Quebec and Ontario. The west coast of Canada sees spring earlier during February while the rest of the country experiences spring only after April. But, in places like Alberta, there is a chance of snowstorm during May. High altitudes like Banff or Whistler are still cold and don’t have a better temperature until summer.

While skiing can still be enjoyed on the high rises, the rest of the country experiences a full spring bloom in April. Weather remains unpredictable, and thus it is essential to pack your raincoat. Visiting national parks, famous lakes, and valleys is a great idea during this season. It is the best time to go fishing, golfing, hiking, canoeing, camping, and bird watching. This is a migratory season for birds and places like Marsh Lake and Nokomis are the mecca for catching those birds. Places like Windsor, Annapolis Valley, Grand Metis have magnificent gardens to catch upon spring bloom.

Events in Spring
Every year during the early spring days (somewhere between late March and early April) about 20,000 whales make their journey from Mexico to Vancouver. If you want to get a glimpse of these gigantic creatures, you can take a chartered watching tour, take a float plane, or hit the Pacific Rim National Park’s Wickaninnish Centre viewing station.
The Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival is one of North America’s largest festivals that overlaps with the 10-kilometre Vancouver Sun Run in April.
During May about 3 million flowers sprout up during Ottawa Tulip Festival. There are guided tulip tour and shuttle services to admire this beauty. There are also musical performances, fireworks, and parades.

Summer in Canada (June - August)

Weather in Canada in Summer
The summer season in Canada usually lasts from June to August, when the fall takes over, and the temperature starts to come down. It is the perfect time to visit Canada. The weather is around 26 degrees on an average warm enough to try outdoor activities. July and August have similar temperatures without much difference. The popularity the summers bring to Canada is outrightly reflected in the rising hotel prices. It is thus essential for anyone travelling during the summer to get all the reservations and bookings done well in advance. The increase in humidity invites bugs like the black flies, that are present everywhere! So, don’t forget to carry your bug spray. The only exception to the heat is Vancouver, where the temperatures start to fall, and the weather begins to cool off during August.

Events and Things to do in Summer
Local people in Canada love to relax in lakeside resorts and cottages during summer. It is also the best season for biking, water sports, and camping. Nova Scotia and Newfoundland give an extraordinary experience of the Atlantic Coast. Do not miss on catching Niagara Falls in full glory. A shopping trip to Toronto, Deep diving in Montreal, or train ride through the Rockies is great things to cover during summer. Despite the rising temperatures and increasing humidity, the national parks and famous tourist destinations overflow with tourists.
  • June comes bearing gifts of music and theatre through The Banff Summer Arts Festival in Alberta and then again the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal towards the month end that brings together thousands of jazz enthusiasts from around the world for almost a week and a half.
  • The month of patriotism, July celebrates Canada Day on the 1st, every year. This is followed by a 10-day rodeo and celebration of the ranch life and heritage at the Calgary Stampede.
  • If you happen to be in the country in July, don’t forget to grab your cowboy hat and head to the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. This is an event that invites over a million people every year to Calgary.
  • Right from the 1980s, till the present day, the Edmonton Folk Festival continues to be one of the world’s premier folk festivals held in August.

Autumn in Canada (September - October)

Weather in Canada in Autumn
Known as the Indian summer, the months of September and October, witness a lowering of temperature in Canada. The forests turn into brilliant hues of red and gold. With nature in its peak, the weather is pleasant, though the evenings turn chilly, making it essential to pack warm clothes if you wish to travel to Canada during this time. With lesser number of tourists visiting, this is a good time for budget travellers. The eastern and central parts of Canada have cooler temperatures providing relief from heat and humidity. Day time temperatures are around 16 degrees and nights get colder around 3 degrees. 

Events and Things to Do in Autumn
Autumn is the final call to go on hiking before the weather gets too cold. Regions in-between Montreal and Quebec has around 10,000 lakes and endless parks and forest. There are small towns and village which has its charms. Visit the La Mauricie National Park for pristine lakes and hikes. Cape Brenton Highlands National Park, Kejimkujik National Park, and National Historic Site is also a must visit the place during fall. You can also canoe in peace in Algonquin Park which is near Toronto which is surrounded by Maple Trees.
  • Start of the fall, the Toronto International Film Festival gets all the attention as it features best of Hollywood, Canadian Cinema, and also other international movies.
  • Every October, Celtic Colors International Festival is help for nine days in the island of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
  • Have a taste of Germany in Ontario for the Oktoberfest celebration. To make this a bit unique, it is televised across the country during Thanksgiving Day.
  • Halloween is also observed in Canada during the last week of October.
  • The Vancouver Fringe Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, both in the background of the stunning foliage of the fall, make autumn the perfect time for a short trip to Canada.
  • The Canadian Thanksgiving and the Oktoberfest, celebrated at the Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, perfectly sum up the months of September and October in this Northern country.

Winter in Canada (December - February)

Weather in Canada in Winter
Winter is between December and February but can last until late March or even first weeks of April. February is the coldest month across Canada. Places like BC Coast, Calgary are exceptions which have moderate winter. But everywhere else including Montreal, Toronto, Whistler, has fierce winter. The weather can go even -20 degrees Celsius. The holiday season is one the busiest in the country. With the onset of November, the temperatures fall to -8 degrees Celsius and so do the hotel prices. If you love to ski, December is the best time to visit Canada. If you are the one that is looking for the wonders of the north, the winter months of November through February are the best time to visit Canada and enjoy exciting activities like snowmobiling and dog sledging. If you want to catch the sight of polar bears and northern lights, then Churchill, Manitoba is a small yet brilliant place. If you are interested in ice fishing, then Cold Lake Alberta is a great place.

Events in Winter in Canada
  • The winter season is kicked off in style in Toronto with Cavalcade of Lights celebration which lighting up a huge Christmas tree with over a 100,000 sparkling lights in Nathan Phillips Square.
  • New Year's Eve is celebrated with fireworks, food, and carnival in some of Canada's epic locations including Niagara Falls, L'Olympia de Montreal, Vancouver Waterfront, Old City Quebec, and Olympic Park, Calgary among others.
  • The Quebec Winter Carnival begins during late February and lasts for about three weeks.
  • Ottawa Winterlude has fun winter activity such as gliding down the world's longest ice skating rink, attend an igloo building workshop, play in the ice ground, or enjoy the ice sculptures which are illuminated in Confederation Park.
  • Every year, Toronto celebrates the restaurant festival, Winterlicious, when the best chefs of the city come together to serve affordable prix-fixe menus.
  • The one festival that has made Canada extremely famous as a tourist destination is the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights in Ontario, which kicks off in November and runs till January end.
  • Another week-long event, the Festival du Voyageur, is celebrated to mark Saint-Boniface's French Canadian heritage in February.

Monthly Weather in Canada

Month Avg. Minimum (°C) Avg. Maximum (°C)
January -1 6
February -1 7
March -1 7
April 6 13
May 8 16
June 12 20
July 14 22
August 15 23
September 12 20
October 7 15
November 5 11
December -1 5
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