When to Go to Canada

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Canada may be huge but, luckily for us, its weather is fairly consistent across the country. The coastal regions are typically a bit milder and the interior is chillier/snowier, but generally speaking you can pick a month and expect the outlook to be similar no matter which destination you go for. There are four distinct seasons to choose from. Each one has its magic too: think wildflower blooms in spring; sun-soaked cities in summer; brown, red and yellow leaves in the autumn; and Champagne powder snow in the winter. Narrow down which season suits you with our when to go to Canada guide:

Spring: March to May

Spring is a beautiful time to visit Canada. The mountains are still snow-capped, but at ground level there’s an explosion of colour; Ottawa hosts a city-wide tulip festival to celebrate the arrival of the flower. Be prepared to enjoy late spring flurries of snow in high-altitude spots like Jasper and Banff, but equally expect warm, temperate days. Average temperatures hover around 13-16ᵒC in the west and 2-19ᵒC in the east.

Best places to visit in spring:

  • Ottawa for the Canadian Tulip Festival
  • Vancouver for the cherry blossom season
  • Whistler for skiing

Summer: June to August

With great weather, come great crowds: summer in Canada is a buzzing time, with tourists arriving from all over the world. And who could blame them? The sun barely dips below the horizon in the Arctic regions, while both east and west are equally blessed with blissful temperatures. High altitude routes and highways that are shut throughout the rest of the year; now open their barriers to motorists now that the snow has melted, simultaneously opening up new opportunities for exploration.

Best places to visit in summer:

  • The forests and lakes of Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island for unbeatable shellfish
  • Nova Scotia for maritime culture

Autumn: September to October

Autumn is one of the most laid-back, beautiful times to discover Canada. The summer crowds have dissipated – and thus the prices have dropped – while the temperatures remain pleasant. If that’s not enough, the fall colours are in full swing: check out the changing maple trees in Algonquin Provincial Park or Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains in particular.

Best places to visit in autumn:

  • New Brunswick for the Fundy Coastal Drive
  • Lake Louise for stunning autumnal sunrise and sunset vistas
  • Niagara for autumn leaves, wine and the falls

Winter: November to February

Winters in Canada can be fierce, but they’re also beautiful and the locals really know how to make the most of them. Eastern Canada, Montreal and Toronto in particular, see several inches of thick snowfall, bringing a real magical feel to the region. The Rockies are transformed into a winter playground of horse-sleigh rides, ice climbing and snowshoeing. 

Best places to visit in winter:

  • Yellowknife for the Northern Lights
  • Johnston Canyon, Banff, walking amid vast walls of ice
  • Practically anywhere with a hill or mountain for skiing