From Montreal to Vancouver via Quebec City, Toronto, Ottawa and the Great Plains, Canada is a vast territory and a dream playground for adventurers. Our tips for choosing the right travel dates and destinations, depending on the climate and the activities you want to do.
Because of its latitude, Canada has a wide variety of climate zones. The northern two-thirds of the country experiences very cold winters and short, cool summers. The Interior Plains region has a continental climate characterized by relatively low rainfall, while Ontario and Quebec are characterized by hot and humid summers. With the exception of the west coast, all of Canada experiences a winter season with average temperatures below 0°C and continuous snow cover.
When is the best time to visit Quebec and Eastern Canada?
Eastern Canada experiences wet summers and snowy winters. Ontario and Quebec enjoy a more continental climate than the coastal regions of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador. Winter temperatures can drop below -20°C while summer mercury rises to 28°C. The period from May to October is the best time to discover the charms of this part of Canada, in particular Quebec City, which is dominated by the imposing Château Frontenac and its long terrace overlooking the old town and the harbour. Heading south out of the city you will arrive in Montreal, known for its cultural vibrancy and lively nightlife.
Located on the shores of Lake Ontario, Toronto is Canada’s largest city. Multi-ethnic and rich in museums, it is the ideal base for visiting Niagara Falls. Canada’s federal capital Ottawa is in a panoramic location on the south bank of the Ottawa River. The city center unfolds between the meandering canals of the river and the city’s surroundings are characterized by the rural charm of old villages. At the eastern end of Canada is St. John’s, Canada’s oldest city, with its brightly colored wooden houses rising out of the harbor giving it a quaint charm.
When is the best time to travel to Vancouver and Canada’s Pacific Coast?
British Columbia is one of Canada’s warmest regions. Summer temperatures can exceed 30°C in the interior of the province, while winters are cold with temperatures sometimes falling below -20°C. Coastal regions have a more temperate climate, with summer highs of 25°C in Vancouver, where winter temperatures rarely drop below 0°C.
Late spring to early fall is the perfect time to experience this vibrant city, where you can stroll among the towering trees of Stanley Park and visit the nation’s largest aquarium. Be sure to visit Vancouver Island, home to the provincial capital, Victoria. Surf enthusiasts can indulge their passion in Tofino, while nature lovers may prefer to venture into some of the oldest forests in the country. Between April and October you can even spot killer whales and humpback whales swimming off the island.
When is the best time to visit the Great Plains of Canada?
The Great Plains include areas of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and parts of Alberta. This vast area with a great variety of endemic flora and fauna has a continental climate with sometimes extreme seasonal temperatures. Alberta benefits from the best sunshine of any province, experiencing very hot summers with highs in excess of 30°C and freezing winters with temperatures dropping to -25°C.
April to October is the ideal time to explore the state’s national parks, with September and October being the preferred months when the magic of Indian Summer takes hold. Beginning in Banff National Park, take breathtaking scenic drives past Lake Louise and the Athabasca Glacier to the town of Jasper. Be sure to visit Edmonton, the capital of Alberta and one of Canada’s greenest cities.
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