If you’re thinking about booking a holiday to Canada, you’re probably wondering what time of year is the best to go. Of course, this depends on your preferences and what you will actually be doing; Let’s start by exploring the seasons of Canada.
Like most Northern Hemisphere countries, Canada’s winter is during the Christmas festive time of December to February. Spring is from March to May, whilst the summer blooms in June through to August.
However, being the second- largest country in the world, the climate changes from one place to another, despite being in the same seasons.
Where is the warmest place in Canada during summer?
You would have thought that the cities near the US boarder, of which many of the largest cities are, is the hottest place to be during summer. This is almost true, as it’s nearest the equator, but strangely a city a few hundred kilometers north of the border called Kamloops is the hottest. The average temperature of Kamloops during July and August is 29°C, which is a solid 8°C higher average than Vancouver.
Toronto is also very hot in the summer, with averages of 27°C, and around 6-7 days of rainfall per month in summer.
The northern territories of Yukon and Nunavut are mild in the summer, but not hot. For example, Whitehorse (capital of Yukon) averages around 19°C in the summer, whilst Iqaluit averages around 12°C in summer. Eureka in Nunavut is perhaps the coldest place in Canada, and is around 7°C in summer.
What is Canada like during the winter?
Canada is a snowy place during the winter. In fact, it can be a snowy place through 9 months of the year if you live in Eureka, which gets to averages of -35°C during winter. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t have to be this cold.
Both Kamloops and Toronto, two of the warmest places in Canada, both average at around 0°C in winter. So, you can’t really escape the snow, with most cities being somewhere in between these two examples (though, most of the population lives in the south, where it’s usually between -5°C and 0°C.
Vancouver is the warmest major city during the winter, with it rarely getting below 0. 7°C is about average in January, but it is very rainy, with 12 days of rain per month - even more rainier than Toronto’s 9 days per month. Some of the snowier and colder places inevitably avoid the rain, such as Edmonton which averages -5°C but only rains 4 days per month in winter.
Where to go based on activity
Given the two seasons of winter and summer, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that many of the warmer cities have their “best”, most pleasant weather around September, when it’s cooling down but winter hasn’t arrived yet. This is ideal for walking lots around a city, exploring museums and enjoying the nightlife.
However, if you’re looking for winter sports such as skiing, it will heavily depend on the place you visit. Of course, snow is important, but you wouldn’t want to visit some of the northern cities in winter, as their summers often provide snowy mountains but milder weather.
Summer is undoubtedly the best time of year if you’re visiting nature parks or festivals. This is when the flowers are blooming, the grass is green, and the live music is out in full force. However, Autumn is absolutely stunning too, with the leaves changing color, Oktoberfest begins, and the weather is at its mildest. Spring is perhaps the odd one out, although late spring is the start of the blossoming and could also be a good time to visit some northern glaciers and lakes.