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; scorching cities in summer; brown, red and yellow leaves in the autumn; and dense pockets of 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 even hosts a city-wide tulip festival to celebrate the arrival of the flower. Brace for snow showers in high-altitude spots like Jasper and Banff, but equally prepared for 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 when the bulk of the tourists descend. 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
- Nova Scotia for Canada’s wine country
Autumn: September to October
Autumn is one of the most laid-back, beautiful times to discover Canada. Most of the 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 are pretty fierce, but they’re also beautiful. Eastern Canada, Montreal and Toronto in particular, see several inches of thick snowfall, bringing a real magical feel to the region. The Rockies are largely inaccessible for hikes and non-cramponed exploration, but if you’re looking for a skiing vacation, British Columbia is where it’s at.
Best places to visit in winter:
- Yellowknife for the Northern Lights
- Golden, BC, for skiing
- Banff for ice walking