Skip to content
Moose in Quebec

When is the best time to visit Canada?

The best time to visit Canada is during the summer months, when sunny days and pleasant temperatures are the norm. Despite Canada’s size, weather patterns are largely the same across the country, with defined seasons similar to those in Europe. Coastal regions are usually more temperate than prairie provinces, and mountain ranges attract higher rainfall and snow in some areas than others. However, it’s cold everywhere in winter and warm in most locations in summer.

Springtime, which starts in late April through to early June, can also be a delightful time of year to visit. Gradual snow melt reveals forests and wildflowers, while Canadian wildlife re-emerges from the long winter hibernation.

September is considered the peak of the salmon run, attracting large numbers of bears. It also marks the start of autumn, with spectacular fall foliage lasting into October.

Speak to someone
who's been there

Audley Travel specialist Emily

Start planning your tailor-made trip by contacting one of our Canada specialists

Canada Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Banff -6°C 41mm -1°C 29mm 2°C 25mm 7°C 39mm 14°C 59mm 18°C 74mm 22°C 54mm 21°C 53mm 15°C 47mm 10°C 32mm 0°C 32mm -4°C 38mm
Calgary -5°C 17mm -1°C 16mm 2°C 19mm 10°C 32mm 16°C 51mm 20°C 82mm 23°C 64mm 22°C 56mm 17°C 44mm 12°C 18mm 3°C 14mm -1°C 17mm
Jasper -7°C 39mm -1°C 23mm 3°C 20mm 10°C 25mm 15°C 37mm 19°C 60mm 22°C 63mm 21°C 60mm 16°C 46mm 10°C 34mm 1°C 32mm -4°C 33mm
Lake Louise -9°C 57mm -3°C 39mm -1°C 36mm 4°C 43mm 10°C 60mm 14°C 78mm 19°C 65mm 17°C 61mm 12°C 55mm 6°C 42mm -2°C 45mm -6°C 55mm
Montréal -5°C 69mm -3°C 64mm 2°C 72mm 11°C 74mm 19°C 72mm 24°C 86mm 27°C 90mm 25°C 98mm 20°C 89mm 14°C 76mm 6°C 90mm -2°C 92mm
Niagara Falls -1°C 66mm 0°C 60mm 5°C 69mm 12°C 74mm 18°C 74mm 24°C 72mm 27°C 68mm 26°C 93mm 22°C 81mm 16°C 69mm 8°C 82mm 2°C 82mm
Ottawa -6°C 57mm -4°C 54mm 2°C 59mm 11°C 65mm 19°C 72mm 24°C 82mm 26°C 82mm 25°C 84mm 20°C 82mm 13°C 73mm 5°C 79mm -3°C 77mm
Québec City -6°C 84mm -5°C 71mm 1°C 71mm 9°C 72mm 17°C 80mm 22°C 115mm 26°C 118mm 24°C 108mm 18°C 105mm 12°C 82mm 4°C 94mm -4°C 108mm
Toronto -2°C 55mm -1°C 52mm 4°C 58mm 12°C 64mm 18°C 67mm 24°C 68mm 27°C 71mm 25°C 82mm 21°C 73mm 15°C 61mm 7°C 72mm 1°C 67mm
Vancouver 5°C 176mm 7°C 134mm 10°C 115mm 14°C 74mm 17°C 61mm 20°C 52mm 23°C 36mm 22°C 42mm 19°C 67mm 14°C 136mm 9°C 178mm 6°C 196mm
Whistler -1°C 156mm 2°C 104mm 5°C 84mm 10°C 58mm 15°C 53mm 18°C 52mm 22°C 39mm 21°C 44mm 17°C 57mm 11°C 122mm 3°C 154mm 0°C 166mm

Month-by-month guide to travelling in Canada

Polar bears play fighting out on the tundra near Churchill, Canada

Visiting Canada in January - March

The weather is unquestionably cold at the start of the year, but if you're prepared and have packed appropriately you can enjoy the many activities and festivals that take place during the Canadian winter. There are popular cultural and sporting events and some incredible wildlife experiences, but perhaps best of all is the amazing phenomenon illuminating the dark winter skies known of course as the Northern Lights.

Events & Festivals

  • Quebec Winter Festival (last weekend of January to February) Lasting 14 nights, this is the world’s largest winter carnival, notable for incredible ice and snow sculptures. Québec
Vancouver marina

Visiting Canada in April

A good time to travel to Canada, with improving weather and longer days. Vancouver and the west coast in particular feel more pleasant. High up in the Rockies, the ski season is at its best with sunny days and blue skies. Elsewhere in the country, the chill of winter starts to disappear but weather can be unpredictable - be prepared for a variety of conditions.

Humpback whale fluke, Princess Royal Island

Visiting Canada in May

Warmer weather, fewer crowds and lower costs make May a good time to visit Canada. There's still some chill in the air, but with the snow largely gone and spring flowers blooming many lodges start to reopen and national parks become more accessible, allowing visitors a chance to explore in relative solitude before the peak season starts. This time of year is also perfect for whale watching on the Atlantic coast, with humpbacks, minkes and belugas frequently sighted.

Niagara on the Lake, Canada

Visiting Canada in June

June is, for many, the ideal time to visit Canada. The full peak summer season hasn’t quite started, but the days are warm and long. Hiking trails are open, the lakes and rivers have thawed and wildlife is increasingly active. In the north of the country, parts of the Yukon, Nunavut and Northwest Territories that have previously been inaccessible because of snow open up to uncover mountain ranges, forest valleys, lakes and glaciers waiting to be explored.

Events & Festivals

  • Festival de Jazz de Montreal (June and July): The largest event of its kind, the festival attracts thousands of global jazz artists and features hundreds of concerts, with many events free of charge.
Cowboy in Calgary, Canada

Visiting Canada in July - August

The long summer days offer opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors through the wonderful hiking, boating, camping and fishing opportunities available across the country. Summer festivals, including Canada Day and the Calgary Stampede, take place, and outdoor dining is popular in towns and cities. Summer is also a great time to view orca on the west coast of Canada as they follow migrating salmon on their long journey.

Events & Festivals

  • Calgary Stampede (July): An annual rodeo and festival celebrating cowboy culture. The ten-day event is highly recommended and very popular. Often referred to as the ‘Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’. Read more
  • Festival de Jazz de Montreal (June and July): The largest event of its kind, the festival attracts thousands of global jazz artists and features hundreds of concerts, with many events free of charge.
  • The salmon run (late August to November): One of nature’s great events; salmon return from the ocean in huge numbers, travelling into the river systems of the west coast for spawning and attracting hundreds of bears and other predators.
Niagara Falls, Canada

Visiting Canada in September - October

The weather is comfortable in autumn, and the changing colours of the fall foliage is spectacular. Most outdoor activities can be enjoyed and temperatures, though cooler, are still pleasant. It is a great time to visit Niagara Falls in particular; with fewer crowds and the stunning autumn colours along the Niagara Gorge. September also sees the start of the salmon run and is consequently a good month to witness bears fishing for migrating salmon. October starts to get colder still, but offers the chance to spot polar bears as they make their way back from their summertime habitat. 

Events & Festivals

  • The salmon run (late August to November): One of nature’s great events; salmon return from the ocean in huge numbers, travelling into the river systems of the west coast for spawning and attracting hundreds of bears and other predators.
Kermode bear catching salmon, Princess Royal Island

Visiting Canada in November - December

The days are darker, snow may have started falling and the temperatures drop with the onset of winter. Despite this, November and December are still lively months, with holiday season festivals and the re-opening of ice skating rinks making for great family entertainment.

Events & Festivals

  • The salmon run (late August to November): One of nature’s great events; salmon return from the ocean in huge numbers, travelling into the river systems of the west coast for spawning and attracting hundreds of bears and other predators.
  • Toronto Santa Claus Parade (mid-November): A festive parade of decorative floats and costumes. It is now one of the largest parades in North America, attracting over half a million spectators each year.

Why travel with Audley?

  • 100% tailor-made tours
  • Fully protected travel
  • Established for over 20 years
  • 98% of our clients would recommend us
Travel advice aircraft image

Travel advice

Practical tips for travelling to Canada, from social protocols to guidance on money matters, with a link to the latest government travel advice.

Canada & Alaska Brochure Cover

Request a brochure

Our detailed brochures feature trip ideas and travel experiences recommended by our specialists.

View itinerary ideas