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Moose, Kananaskis Country, Alberta

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.

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Audley Travel specialist Lucy

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our Canada specialists on 01993 838 700

The majority of people travel to Canada in the main summer months, although one of the best times to visit is during the autumn when there are fewer crowds and a stunning backdrop of colours in the forested parks and valleys with the spread of red and golden fall foliage. September is particularly special as salmon arrive from the Pacific Ocean and hundreds of bears wait patiently to meet them.

Anna, Canada, Alaska & The Arctic Specialist

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 »

Why travel with Audley?

Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring Canada