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The best time to travel in Canada

Temperatures in Canada can be glacial, particularly in the north of the country. So unless you're planning a ski trip, avoid the north in winter. The rest of Canada has a decent climate all year round, so the choice is yours!

At a glance

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The best time to visit Canada is hard to define. Winter's great for skiing and summer preferable for outdoor activities and touring the larger towns. Canada also has resplendent Springs and Autumns. So, it really depends on what you're planning to do once in Canada. In general, winter should be avoided as it gets extremely cold with Artic conditions in the Great North. And winter is long in Canada, lasting from December to April...

Nature tours and national parks

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Canada's well known for its numerous preserves. Tour Banff's turquoise lakes or explore the troglodyte tombs and Totem poles in Gwaii Haanas National Park. Summer and Autumn are best for visiting these intriguing sites. Same goes for Yoho National Park's waterfalls and the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. And don't forget the urban Stanley Park in Vancouver, where you'll find a forest surrounded by water.

Quebec and the Atlantic provinces

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Quebec and the Atlantic provinces of Canada are best visited during summer or when Autumn's colours abound. Winters here are freezing and the cold lasts until Spring. Touring Montreal's famous historic and cultural sites by bike is a must! You can spend several days in Nova Scotia, an impressive, desertic landscape, populated by communities of Celtic and Acadian descent.

British Columbia

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What about Vancouver? You'll love the town's bars, restaurants, parks and neighbourhoods. Spring, Summer and Autumn are great for touring the town by foot or bike. If you like skiing, it's only half an hour away from some excellent pistes. So whether it's to enjoy a bit of urban culture or explore its surrounding countryside, Vancouver has all year round appeal.

The Central prairies

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Canada's central prairies are home to some of the world's largest, agricultural regions. Banff and Jasper National Parks are a hikers dream and you can trek from one to the other along the famous 'glacier ice walk'. Leaving from Calgary and Edmonton, you can head to the Canadian Rockies, stopping at the well known Athabasca Glacier whilst you're there. The climate is cold and dry, so July and August are best if you don't want to freeze your socks off! It's worth noting, however, that Alberta is one of the country's sunniest provinces!

Ontario

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Ontario's appeal is its culture, cuisine and modern living. Toronto, the biggest city in Canada, is a multi-cultural, dynamic melting pot and gastronomic heaven. After spending time in the capital, Ottowa, take a tour of its surrounding, historic villages and the region's numerous national parks. June to September is the period for visiting this part of the country, when the climate is pleasant and ideal for walks and hikes.

The North

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The best, or rather the only time, you should head to the north of Canada is during summer. It's freezing during the rest of the year! July and August are good months for exploring the Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. Spend time at Great Bear Lake and the Nahanni National Park.
Tiphaine Leblanc
78 contributions
Updated 26 October 2018
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