Have you been wanting to plan a trip to Canada, but are unsure of when to visit? Canada is filled with scenic terrain and is attracted by millions of travelers that are looking to brave the natural elements. With many cities and towns that have their unique activities you’ll be amazed by the number of attractions there are to explore.
The best time to visit Canada is during the months of September through November. It is best to visit during this time because of the cooler temperatures and the fall colors that give Canada its pleasant feeling. You’ll also be able to participate in fall activities such as pumpkin picking, apple picking, and wine festivals.
When traveling to a destination such as this Canada, you’ll want to weigh the factors that help you know when to plan your vacation. Let’s dive into the best time to visit Canada.
Worst Time to Travel to Canada
When traveling to Canada, you’ll want to take into consideration the current season, climate conditions, and busiest time of year. The worst time to travel to Canada is April because the weather is too warm and it’s too early in the season for any tourist activities.
July and August is also peak tourist season from Halifax to Vancouver. If you want to experience the ore popular attractions, you’ll need to book six to nine months in advance. If you don’t book in advance, you won’t be guaranteed availability.
July and August are also in the dead of summer where the temperatures are very hot and the prices have increased. This could make your trip a little less enjoyable.
When is the Cheapest Time to go to Canada
If you’re looking to travel to Canada on a budget, you’ll want to avoid traveling during July and August which are peak summer months. These are the months where prices are most expensive and national parks are crowded with visitors, hotels are booked up in advance, and you’ll have to pay more money for attractions.
To experience Canada on a budget and score cheaper deals, you’ll want to visit from May to June, or September to October. You can also find deals during the winter if you’re willing to brave the colder temperatures. In addition, if you’re traveling during the winter, you’ll need to be prepared for weather such as snowy and icy conditions.
If you’re planning on a staycation in Canada, the best day to book a hotel is on a Tuesday. Prices on a Tuesday are usually 10% cheaper, followed by Monday which is normally 8% cheaper. Don’t book on Fridays as prices will usually go up 10%.
What Time of Year is the Best Weather in Canada?
When planning your vacation to Canada, you’ll want to go when the weather is permitting and deals are at their lowest. Below, we discuss the weather by month so that you can choose the best time to visit for you and your family.
January: Carnaval de Quebec
Temperatures average between 19 and 27 degrees during January in Canada. Like December, January is a freezing cold month in Canada and considered the coldest month out of the year. January is the month with the most precipitation between rain and snow.
If you’re planning to travel during January, you’ll want to pack plenty of warm clothing such as layers, coat, boots, gloves, a hat, a scarf, and sweaters. During this month, Canada has Carnaval de Quebec. Carnaval de Quebec is the largest winter carnival in Canada. Thousands of visitors come together each year to partake in a variety of outdoor activities.
This carnival dates back to 1894 and ranks up there with New Orleans and it’s festivities. They use 475 tons of water to create ice sculptures including an ice palace. You’ll be able to view a variety of competitions such as dog sledding, canoe and sleigh racing, and even a parade at night.
- Carnaval de Quebec
- Cavalcade of Lights
- Frozen Fairways
- Niagara Falls Winter Festival
February: Best For Skiing & Snowboarding
Temperatures average 19 to 29 degrees during February in Canada. February is the past month of winter and another freezing cold month in Canada. February is the month with the least amount of rainfall raining for 5 days out of the month with less than an inch of accumulations.
If you’re traveling during this month, you’ll want to pack plenty of layers as this is a freezing month. Make sure you have a heavy coat, sweaters, gloves, a hat, scarf, and some snow gear just in case of inclement weather. During this month, Canada is best known for Skiing and Snowboarding.
Ski resorts are very popular all over Canada but the mountain regions that are in Alberta or British Colombia are popular for their slopes. You can visit Whistler Blackcomb, Mont Tremblant, Blanff, Big White, and Kickinghorse.
- Best for Skiing and Snowboarding
- Snow Moon Festival
- Halifax Boat Show
- Maple Syrup Experience
March: Festival du Voyageur
Temperatures average 28 to 37 degrees during March in Canada. March is the first month of spring in Canada and experiences a slight increase in temperature. As for rainfall and snow, you can expect to see around an inch of accumulations of both for the month.
If you’re planning to travel during this month, you’ll want to pack warm clothing and any wet gear that you have. During this month, Canada has the Festival du Voyageur.
This festival is a family-friendly event located in Winnipeg. It is a 10 day festival that has concerts, parades, snow sculptures, sleigh rides, kid shows, and more!
- Festival du Voyageur
- Go biking in the Canadian Peninsula
- Explore Hogtown
- Explore the Everglades
April: Best For Whale Watching
Temperatures average 37 to 47 degrees during April in Canada. April is a chilly spring month with temperatures rising slightly from winter to frosty temperatures. During this month it rains for 12 days with around an inch and a half of rainfall.
If you’re traveling during this month, you’ll want to pack warm clothing and a pair of binoculars if you plan to go whale watching. During this month, Canada is best known for whale watching. The best months to go whale watching really depend on the region and it’s species, although April is considered the best.
You can find whale watching trips available on the east coast, west coast, and in the Hudson Bay. If you travel more north, you can check out Toonik Tyme. Toonik Tyme Fest is an annual spring celebration that features singing, dancing, igloo building, and dog sledding.
- Best for whale watching
- Toonik Tyme Fest
- See the cherry blossoms in Vancouver
- Attend the Ottawa Tulip Festival
May: Canadian Tulip Festival
May temperatures average 47 to 59 degrees during May in Canada. May is the last month of spring in Canada and has moderate temperatures. It rains for around 15 days out of the month seeing almost two inches of rain accumulations.
If you’re planning to travel during this month, you’ll want to pack a coat, light jacket, and a few sweaters and t-shirts. During this month, Canada has their Canadian Tulip Festival. The Canadian Tulip Festival happens every May and blossoms in Canada’s Ottawa region.
Around a million Tulips are planted every year and the festival also has food trucks, history displays, crafts, and more! If you’re looking for another spring event you can attend Vancouver’s cherry blossom festival. This is an annual city-wide event that has events, musical shows, crafts, and workshops.
- Canadian Tulip Festival
- Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival
- The Stratford Festival
- Canadian Music Week
- Carassauga Festival
June: Festival de Jazz de Montreal
Temperatures average 57 to 68 degrees during June in Canada. June is considered the first month of summer in Canada experience a rise in temperatures. As for rainfall, rain falls for around 13 days seeing around an inch and a half of rain accumulations.
July: Calgary Stampede
Temperatures average between 65 and 76 degrees during July in Canada. July is the warmest month of the year in Canada with humidity being around 75%. This is also the month that experiences the most rainfall, raining for 15 days with accumulations around two inches.
If you’re planning to travel during this time, you’ll want to pack a light jacket, pants, shorts, t shirts, and a good pair of sneakers. During this month, Canada has the Calgary Stampede. The Calgary Stampede takes place every July in Calgary, Alberta.
This event attracts around one million visitors with the stampede being part rodeo, exhibition, fair, parades, concerts, food trucks, and rides.
- Calgary Stampede
- Best for outdoor swimming
- Vancouver Art Gallery
- Wild play Element Park
Related Read: Best Time To Visit Lake Louise
August: Folk Festivals
Temperature average between 65 and 76 degrees during August in Canada. August is another moderately hot month and the last month of summer. August is also the month with the lowest humidity being around 74%.
If you’re planning to travel during this month, you’ll want to pack lightweight clothing for hotter temperatures during the day. During this month, Canada has their Folk Festivals. Summer is considered Folk Fest season in Canada with events occurring in Winnipeg, Regina, Halifax, and Vancouver.
If you’re looking for another activity, August is a great month to go camping in Alberta. You can go camping in your RV, tent, tipi, or shack up in one of the cabins for a weekend. This is a great trip before the kids head back to school for the year.
- Folk Festival
- Best for Camping
- Get lost in Corn Mazes
- See Mud Racing
September: British Columbia Salmon Run
Temperature average between 59 and 69 degrees during September in Canada. The first month of autumn is September and is a pleasant month with comfortable temperatures. September is another month with low humidity being at 74%.
If you’re planning on traveling during this month, you’ll want to pack lightweight clothing and a pair of pants and jacket for cooler evenings. During this month, Canada has the British Colombia Salmon Run. The Salmon run is one of the most largest migration runs in the world.
This event is where millions of salmon swim up the rivers to spawn. You’ll be able to see the Salmon Run in Victoria, Vancouver, and Port Alberni.
- Salmon Run
- Niagara Wine Festival
- Dark Sky Festival
October: Okanagan Wine Festival
Temperatures average 47 to 57 degrees during October in Canada. October is another moderate warm month with an average relative humidity at 76%. As for rainfall, rain falls for 14 days out of the month dropping around an inch and a half of rain accumulations.
If you’re planning to travel during this month, you’ll want to start packing warmer clothing as the temperatures begin to drop more. During this month, Canada has the Okanagan Wine Festival. The Okanagan Wine Festival has great wine, vineyards, beautiful fall foliage, and an amazing atmosphere.
If you’re looking for another event to attend you’ll want to check out the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival. This event features winery tours and tastings, concerts, local cuisines, street parades, family entertainment, and more!
- Okanagan Wine Festival
- Niagara Grape and Wine Festival
- Prince Edward County Pumpkinfest
November: Toronto Santa Claus Parade
Temperatures average between 36 and 44 degrees during November in Canada. November is the last month of autumn and is considered another chilly month. As for rainfall, it rains for 9 days out of the month with accumulations up to one inch.
If you’re planning to travel during this time, you’ll want to pack a coat and plenty of layers as the temperatures drops. During this month, Canada has the Toronto Santa Claus Parade. The Toronto Santa Claus Parade is an annual event that happens on the third Sunday of November.
The Santa Claus Parade kicks off the holiday season every year and attracts around a half a million people and has a number of floats and bands.
- Toronto Santa Claus Parade
- Montreal Festivals
- Dine in an outdoor light up dome
December: Best For Christmas Markets
Temperatures average between 27 and 34 degrees during December in Canada. December is the first month of winter in Canada and considered a wintry month. December is the month that has the shortest days in Canada, having sunlight for only 9 hours.
If you’re traveling to Canada during this month, you’ll want to pack plenty of layers, a coat, scarf, gloves, a hat, and pair of boots just in case of wintry weather. During this month, Canada is best known for their Christmas Markets. Canadian Christmas markets are a tradition that is passed down among generations.
- Christmas markets
- Stay in an ice hotel in Quebec
- Go dogsledding
What is the Best Time to Visit Canada With Family?
If you’re planning on traveling to Canada, especially with young kids, you’ll want to plan your vacation in either June or September. Canada in the summer can become very hot, which make it vulnerable to wildfires. During the summer, this has caused Smokey conditions which could make trips less-enjoyable.
If you’re looking for a vacation that is more enjoyable, you’ll want to go when temperatures are more enjoyable and air quality is at its best. Late spring and early autumn are your best times to visit.
Niagara Falls has the famous waterfall that your family must see. It has three separate drops that drop over fifty meters at about 2,400 m3 per second. When you’re there you can ride the Maid of the Mist right to Horseshoe Falls.
Related Read: Do You Need a Passport To Go To Niagara Falls?
Royal Tyrrell Museum
If your kids love dinosaurs, this is a must-do activity to put on your list. This museum is home to over one hundred and thirty thousand fossils that were found in Dinosaur Provincial Park. When you’re there you can go on an expedition to dig up bones and fossils and even have the kids make their own fossils.
The Toronto Zoo is the largest zoo in the country and is home to to over five thousand animals and represents over four hundred species. The zoo has seven different regions you’ll be able to explore that have different animals in each one. Here you’ll be able to see lions, zebras, giraffe, red pandas, snow leopards, and even grizzly bears.
Related Read: New York City to Niagara falls Road trip!
If your family likes amusement parks, you’ll definitely want to add this one on your list. This amusement park is the largest park in the country. Your family will be able to ride rollercoasters, Ferris wheels, and giant swings.
If you have smaller children you can take them to play in the children’s area that has rides and games that are age-appropriate. This amusement park also has a water park.
When is the Best Time to Avoid Crowds in Canada?
Anyone who plans a vacation will tell you that the best time to travel and enjoy more experiences are when crowds are at their lowest. If crowds are an issue for you, you’ll want to plan your trip during the shoulder season.
It’s important to keep in mind that Canada runs no matter what what the season, it just matters what the environmental conditions are. Canada operates even in the coldest of temperatures, so there would still even be festivals occurring. If you don’t like crowds, you’ll want to research which events will be at their lowest.
Best Time to Go Skiing and Snowboarding in Canada
If you want to go skiing or snowboarding in Canada, you’ll want to plan your trip between December and March. Traveling during certain times will ensure that you make the best out of your trip. If you’re looking to get the best prices on skiing, you’ll want to travel during late March and early April.
In addition to prices, crowds will also be at their lowest at skiing and snowboarding locations. Weather wise, the best time to visit Canada for skiing is December to March.
Whistler Blackcomb offers more options than any other mountain destination in the world. It has numerous descents and beautiful scenery. The powder and crisp air draw visitors in from all over the world.
You’ll get to experience world-famous apres, five star dining, spas, shopping, and nightlife.
Mont Tremblant is a four season destination and ski resort. You’ll have access to mountain facilities, and European-style villages with lodging, amenities, restaurants, boutiques, and many other things to do.
Whether you’re skiing or snowboarding for the first time, Banff has three mountains and terrain for every type of pro. This resort has kid packages, teen packages, and adult packages available. They are located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies 7,200 feet high.
Their seven month ski season lasts from November until late May, making them the longest non-glacial ski season in Canada. On average, they receive up to 30 feet of snow per year.
Related Read: Best Time to Visit Banff
Big White is hailed as Canada’s ski in and ski out resort village. Visitors can ski right to their doorstep or stroll to the village. Big White will give you everything you need for a great vacation, while keeping it all in walking distance to your accommodations.
The Winter season hours at Big White ski resort operate from November to April.
Kicking horse mountain ski resort has expanded and now offers 4,314 feet of vertical descent. It is the 5th biggest vertical in North America. You will have a large 660 acres of rowdy skiing to experience!