Canada is a popular country to visit any time of the year, but it can be a very different travel experience depending on the season that you choose to visit.
Summer is peak season in Canada when the weather is at its best. Winter is cold, snowy and icy, but it’s the perfect time for skiing and snowboarding. Spring and autumn are lovely and come with fewer crowds, but the weather can be unpredictable.
The best time to visit Canada will depend on what activities you’re looking to enjoy, and how many other tourists you don’t mind sharing that experience with.
To help you to plan your trip, here’s our month by month breakdown of the best time to visit Canada.
Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Canada (Country Guide)
Best Time to Visit Canada: Month by Month Breakdown
Canada Summer Months
Summer is the most popular time of the year to visit Canada. For hikers and outdoor lovers, this is the best time to visit Canada, for the simple reason that you can guarantee the hiking trails will be open.
There are lots of festivals and events too in summer, and it’s a great time for a road trip.
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June in Canada
June is the start of the summer high season, and this is when Canada starts to get busy as tourists begin to flock in for road trips and to explore the national parks.
June is still a good time to avoid the worst of the crowds, which tend to arrive in July and August when many countries are in the midst of their school holidays.
In June, take to popular places like Banff and Jasper, and the wider Canadian Rockies and make the most of the newly opened hiking trails and the resurgent wildlife.
July in Canada
July is busy, but that’s because weather-wise this is the best time to visit Canada. In the far north, you can enjoy endless hours of sunshine in offbeat destinations such as Edmonton or Whitehorse.
While other travelers will head to the Canadian Rockies or Vancouver, in the Arctic Circle, you’ll find a fraction of the tourist numbers.
Get off the beaten track in July, and enjoy a unique experience without the crowds in the north.
July is also a great time for city hopping, like Montreal, Calgary and Toronto all throw big summer festivals through July to make the most of the sunshine.
August in Canada
August will be just as busy as July across the country, but again, weather-wise this is one of the best times to visit Canada.
The sun is still shining, and this is the last month of the year where you can guarantee the good weather before autumn arrives.
Go on a road trip in British Columbia, and take in the epic Sea to Sky Highway, or take the road more traveled and drive the Banff to Jasper Highway, along the Icefields Parkway.
But remember, that Canada is a vast country, and if you’re looking to travel off the beaten track and find secluded places, then it’s never too hard to do this away from the major tourist trails.
Head off hiking, climb mountain peaks and camp out in the wild through Autumn.
Canada Fall Months
Fall is a shoulder season when it comes to the best time to visit Canada, but if you’re looking to escape the summer crowds then there isn’t a better time to visit.
Prices are lower and popular attractions aren’t nearly as busy, but the weather can be unpredictable.
September in Canada
Fall comes around all too quickly in Canada, but September will still see good weather across the country. Just be prepared for a bit of unpredictability.
On the plus side though, towards the end of September, the colors will be Autumnal, and the outdoors is still as beautiful as ever.
September is a good time to make the most of lower prices and smaller crowds after the summer rush has ended.
Vancouver is still positively hot if you’re looking for sunshine, and there are some great national parks nearby, as well as epic road trips from the west coast city and into the wilderness of British Columbia.
Visit top tourist sights such as Banff and Jasper, take the Rocky Mountain train, or gaze ina we at the crashing force of Niagra Falls from the Canadian side.
October in Canada
October is the middle of Fall, and it’s the best time to visit Canada if you’re in search of those golden, red and yellow shades of natural beauty.
It can rain a lot in October, so be prepared for wet weather, but in the moments of sunshine, the outdoors radiates gloriously.
Hiking trails will already start to close down in many destinations, but travel to British Columbia and you’ll find that the warmer climate keeps places open and busier for longer than other areas such as the Rockies.
November in Canada
November is the last month of Autumn, but in many places, it will already feel as if it’s been winter for a long time.
If you’re after low prices and small crowds, then there isn’t a better time to visit Canada than in November.
The weather is bound to be unpredictable and in many places, it’s going to be snowing already.
You can catch early deals at ski resorts if there’s been enough snowfall. Or you can enjoy the best of Canada’s cities, and make the most of the museums and galleries while soaking up the culture in Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal.
Canada Winter Months
Winter is the time for snowsports across Canada because this is a country that gets very cold between December and February.
The ski resorts will be full over winter, with peak season falling over Christmas and through to the New Year.
December in Canada
In December, it’s the real start of the ski season in popular destinations such as Whistler and Banff. With lots of snowfall and the Christmas holidays, this is a great time to be in Canada if you love festivities and snow sports.
If you want to go skiing though, then make sure that you book in advance, because this is peak season.
The cities hold Christmas events all through December, and with all the museums still open through winter, it’s a great chance to escape the cold and to explore urban Canada.
January in Canada
January is a cold time of the year to be in Canada, and you need to be prepared for the icy chill of the Canadian winter wherever you are.
After the Christmas rush, things slow down, so this is a good time to get a few good deals at the ski resorts, or least to hit the slopes without so many other tourists around.
If you are looking for a unique experience, then why not consider heading into the Arctic Circle?
The remote north of Canada is becoming more popular and more accessible, even in winter, and there are endless opportunities for dog sledding, husky safaris and seeing the colorful Northern Lights in the night sky.
Travel can be unpredictable in January, due to the weather, but heading north is well worth the effort if you have the time and patience.
February in Canada
February is a great time for skiing in Canada, as the ski slopes will be in great shape by now.
It’s never too busy either, except on the weekends, and you’ll be able to get low season prices on both hotels and flights.
If skiing isn’t your thing though, then you can head north into the Arctic Circle to search for the Northern Lights.
Or you can stick to the cities and enjoy the warmth of Canada’s many great museums, bars, galleries, and restaurants instead of braving the chilly outdoors.
Canada Spring Months
Spring is a slow starter in Canada, and winter can linger for a long time, particularly if you head further north.
The weather can be unpredictable, and it’s not a good time for hiking as many of the trails are still closed.
Life is returning to Canada though after a tough winter, and it can be a beautiful time for wildlife spotting.
March in Canada
March is a slow month when it comes to travel, but that does mean you can take full advantage of low prices and small crowds.
This is the start of spring, but it will still feel a lot like winter in many places, particularly if you travel further north.
Warmer locations such as Vancouver are beginning to bloom into life, while the national parks will have plenty of wildlife sightings as bears and other animals begin to slowly emerge.
April in Canada
April can be quiet, although there will be a mini-high season over the Easter Holidays.
The weather is unpredictable, but expect it to be cold in most locations, with the odd sunny day as summer begins to arrive – slowly.
April is quite often the last month of the ski season, so head to Whistler or the Rockies for more snowsport action before summer arrives and the snow melts.
May in Canada
May is when the weather will finally begin to turn for the better across Canada, and this can be a fantastic time to explore the country.
If you love your snowsports, then some ski resorts will still be open, and you can find some end of season deals.
If you love national parks, then many of the hiking trails and campsites are beginning to open – although this varies each year, so check in advance.
The best thing is, you miss the summer crowds in May and get those great low season prices!
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