Canada's weather depends upon the current season prevailing in the country as well as on the area of the country in question. It is a huge country and the weather in the Eastern parts of the country can often be completely different from that in the Western parts. The difference is also attributable to the fact that Canada is a country with two Coasts, six time zones, and a terrain that ranges from pleasant beaches to snow capped mountains, glaciers, and arctic tundra. This necessarily means that the weather is going to be different in different places in Canada at different points of time in the progression of seasons. But as a rule tourists should visit Canada either when the weather is pleasant for such activities as hiking, canoeing, kayaking, etc., or when winter has arrived in the country but it’s not harshly cold yet and winter sports or adventurous activities can still be enjoyed. Alternatively, if you want to visit an urban city it might be easier to visit the country at any point of time. But to help you make your decision as to when is the best time to visit Canada here is a comprehensive weather guide for Canada.
Canadian Weather Across Regions
The weather across the different cities and regions in Canada depend upon the kind of climate conditions and temperatures that those places experience throughout the year. Far from being cold and snowy everywhere, Canada’s climate is dependent on the various diverse landscapes found in the country.
- Such cities as Vancouver and Victoria experience oceanic climates as they border the Mediterranean and thus get dry summers. Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto also have warm summers and Vancouver’s winters are quite mild compared to other big cities in Canada.
- Mountainous regions such as British Columbia contain areas with different and varying elevations which means that temperatures and climate conditions in different mountainous towns can differ. For example, coming right after the warmer areas of Vancouver and Kamloops, the mountain passes of Southern British Columbia surprise people with their Subarctic or Subalpine climate. However, coastal British Columbia has heavy rains but moderate summers and winters.
- Inland regions such as southern Ontario and Quebec experience continental climate. The summers are hot and humid and the winters cold and snowy.
- Central Canada and Northern Canada, of course, experience arid Arctic and Subarctic climates in their Tundra like terrains. The climate conditions are often severe here, with only very brief summers, which is why these are not the most densely populated regions of Canada.
Canadian Weather in Different Seasons
What kind of weather different areas in Canada are experiencing depend also on the season that is currently playing out in the country. Canada has four well defined seasons, spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
Winter in Canada
Winters in Canada are cold across the country although there are variations depending upon the latitudes and terrains. Coastal cities like Vancouver have milder winters with temperatures as high as 4 degrees Celsius whereas everywhere else temperatures drop below zero. In flatlands such as Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa temperatures drop around -20 degrees Celsius. It is the Northern regions in Canada, however, that have the most blistering and harsh winters. The winter season in Canada lasts from the months of December to the month of February, sometimes even March. If you don’t mind the cold weather and want to enjoy the winter sports and many winter festivals that Canada has to offer, then you should visit the country in late November or December.
Spring in Canada
Spring in Canada lasts from March to May, although it arrives during February itself in western coastal regions and many other regions see it only after April. The temperatures finally start rising above zero in these months, going as far as 10 degrees Celsius. In places like Alberta and high altitude regions such as Banff and Whistler are still quite cold but everywhere else it is only chilly. The tourists who are visiting the country from regions with warmer climates are the ones who especially find it chilly, but it is the season that experiences the most pleasant weather in Canada otherwise and hence is a nice time for tourists to visit the country, especially the month of May. It is the best time to go to national parks, lakes, and valleys, and enjoy such outdoors recreational activities such as fishing, golfing, hiking, canoeing, camping, etc. You can also enjoy bird watching as this is the migratory season for birds.
Summer in Canada
Summer in Canada lasts from the months of July to August and is the peak season in Canada with the warmest temperatures the country experiences throughout the year. Toronto experiences higher temperatures whereas Vancouver and other temperate regions experience somewhat lower temperatures and the weather begins to cool there during late August. But otherwise it is perfect almost everywhere in Canada during these months and that is why it is the summer season during which the most number of tourists flock to Canada. There are many things you can do in Canada during summer such as biking, water sports, camping, etc, and you can visit such places as Niagara Falls, the Rockies, national parks, and the cities of Toronto and Montreal.
Autumn in Canada
September to October is autumn in Canada, also known as the Indian summer. The temperature starts lowering in differing degrees after the summer months, especially making the evenings chilly, but otherwise the weather is pleasant with crunchy leaves falling everywhere. It’s a good time to visit the country if you want to avoid the crowds of tourists that are present in summer and also experience pleasant weather before the cold of winter sets in. You can still go hiking, go to such tourist destinations as Niagara Falls and certain national parks, visit small and quaint Canadian towns, or the cities of Quebec and Montreal.