It doesn’t seem that controversial to call Canada one of the most beloved countries in the world. Sure, it’s not the perfect haven that a lot of people make it out to be. But there’s no doubt that it’s an incredible place, especially when you’re looking at it in the context of geography, events, and general vacationing.
One of the greatest things about Canada is that there isn’t really a bad time to visit. Sure, there are times where it will get bitterly cold during the winter in certain places, but winter in Canada opens up so many possibilities when it comes to activities! It’s an absolutely breathtaking country, a place that needs to be seen at several points throughout the year if you really want to appreciate its beauty and breadth of things to do.
We’re going to take a quick look at Canada across all four seasons. This isn’t a competition, mind you; we’re not here to pick the best season in which to go. More than anything, this article highlights that there basically isn’t a bad time to head up to Canada. Let’s start with our current season!
Summer is the most popular time to visit Canada – which seems to be true of pretty much any vacation spot on Earth! One of the reasons that summer is particularly attractive is the wealth of outdoors activities that Canada offers. June, July, and August might be a more expensive time to travel, and you’ll certainly have to deal with a lot of fellow travelers pretty much anywhere you may choose to go. But that shouldn’t sully the experience too much!
Urban locations remain popular throughout the summer, and Toronto is no exception. The average peak temperature in July is about 80°F, or 24°C. So it’s pretty warm, but you’re certainly less likely to get the punishing heatwaves that other urban environments across the world see, including London and New York City.
It remains comfortably warm for most of the season, rarely getting scorching – in fact, the temperatures are perfect for festivals and other outdoor events, of which there are loads in Toronto. You can read more about some of the most popular ones at http://bloor-yorkville.com/annual-events/. If you don’t fancy throngs of people and music, then you should consider hitting up one of the national parks in the area. As with national parks in other Canada locations, they’ll all be free to visit in 2017! You just need to ensure you get yourself a pass.
Montreal has its fair share of incredible summer events, too. The largest pyrotechnics competition in the world takes place throughout July and some of August – the Montreal International Fireworks Competition. Beginning in the mid-80s, the competition has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. There’s also the Montreal Fringe Festival to consider. As its name suggests, its a festival specializing in ‘fringe’ entertainment and performance. You can read more about it at https://montrealfringe.ca/. In short, its a festival of performances in which randomly selected applicants are allowed to perform what they want on stage, censorship-free. Obviously, this means that it can sometimes be very child-unfriendly – it also occasionally means you’ll see something both baffling and terrible. Still, it’s worth a look!
When it comes to vacationing, autumn is probably the most underappreciated season. You’ll hear more people talking about vacationing specifically in the other seasons than in autumn. But considering the unique visual beauty that autumn brings, as well as its perfect temperatures for those who don’t like it too hot or too cold, it’s no wonder that autumn is pretty much the perfect time to travel – especially when you consider the fact that prices are often lower in these months.
If you want to see something truly incredible in Canada during autumn, then perhaps the best place to see is Yukon. Yukon has the smallest population of any territory in Canada, which might be one of the reasons you may not have heard much about it when looking up locations to visit in Canada. But Yukon has incredibly pristine nature that has to be seen to believed at any time of the year – but especially in autumn, when a fuller variety of color can be observed. You can read more about the various activities available in Yukon at http://yukonhiking.ca/. Hiking, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking – it’s all here. Autumn is the perfect time to catch a glimpse of aurora borealis from Yukon, too.
Montreal is a particularly popular destination for autumn travelers. One of its greatest attractions is the annual Magic of Lanterns event, which takes place of the Montreal Botanical Garden. You can read more about it over at http://provincequebec.com/montreal/magie-of-lanterns/. Anyone with even a passing interest in Chinese culture and art should definitely check it out. It’s a perfect destination if you’re going with your family, but the sheer number of brightly colored Chinese lanterns that light up the night sky at the event will wow people of any age.
A lot of people already have a fairly good idea of the plethora of things available for them to do when it comes to Canadian winters. Many others will have a slightly more parochial take on the whole thing – they’ll think only of skiing! And, of course, there are few, in any, countries out there with better ski seasons that Canada. The skiing resorts in Quebec have to be experienced first-hand. Perhaps the most notable are the facilities of Mont-Tremblant, which you can read more about over at https://www.tremblant.ca/things-to-do/skiing. Some of the best skiing slopes in North America – perhaps even the world – are housed right here.
Ottawa, the capital city of Canada (Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario, a province in Canada – some people get the two confused, which is made easier by the confusing fact that Ottawa is also in Ontario!), is an essential winter visit. The first three weekends of February are home to the annual Winterlude celebration, which features performances, elaborate ice sculptures, and ice skating. In fact, Winterlude features the Rideau Canal Skateway – the world’s largest skating rink! You can read more about Winterlude over at https://www.ottawatourism.ca/ottawa-insider/winterlude/. However, if you’re in Quebec for the Mont-Tremblant skiing, then you may be able to make your way to the Gatineau version of Winterlude!
Of course, if you’re going to Canada in winter, then you need to be prepared for the cold. Summer may be milder here than in many other places, but winter is a bitter beast. Territories like British Columbia have more moderate winter temperatures, but even that place will probably be a little colder than you’re used to! So make sure you and your fellow travelers come prepared.
Is there a country on Earth that doesn’t have a beautiful spring? You’re basically going to have an overwhelming amount of choice when it comes to picking a place with overwhelming natural spring beauty in Canada, but we can get the ball rolling with a suggestion in Vancouver. Vancouver has some incredible foliage, and its cherry blossoms definitely beat the cherry blossoms you’ll see in France and the U.S. (As for the ones in Japan, we’re not so confident about that!) In fact, there’s the annual Cherry Blossom Festival for those who want to behold the true power of the Canadian springtime. https://montrealfringe.ca/ has more information about this beautiful event.
Back in Ottawa, one of Canada’s most pleasing spring visual feasts comes in the form of the Ottawa Tulip Festival. There are few things that are more ‘spring’ than tulips – and if you’ve got millions of them in the same place, how could you resist giving them a look? You can read more about the festival at http://www.tulipfestival.ca/. There’s fireworks at night, live music, and parades to enjoy – though, with all of those tulips across such a wide area, you won’t have trouble finding a place that isn’t quite so busy and noisy if you’re not in the mood for such festivities!
Toronto in spring means many things, but perhaps the best place to visit during the spring is Niagara Falls. Okay, so technically it’s outside Toronto, but if you’re visiting Toronto then getting to Niagara Falls is very easy, as it’s pretty close by. If you need a break on the drive, however, there’s Royal Botanical Gardens. This place features some of the best green space in the entire country – and it should go without saying that it’s particularly stunning when spring really comes into bloom as May starts turning to June.
While spring doesn’t touch the brutal chill that winter can bring, it can still be fairly chilly, especially during March. The average temperature seems to hover around 32°F (or 0°C!). So you probably shouldn’t expect to be able to spend a lot of time just wearing a t-shirt when you’re outdoors – leave that for the summer months and bring a jacket with you during the spring!