Canada’s climate is hugely varied, but it’s a safe generalization to say the areas near the coast have milder winters and cooler summers than the interior. July and August are reliably warm throughout the country, even in the far north, making these the busiest months to visit, with September also warm (and busy) in the south (note also that the sun sets much later in the far north in summer). In Newfoundland, the Maritime Provinces and the North the tourist infrastructure closes down completely from October to May, though the long autumn can be the best time to visit Ontario and Québec, when there are equable temperatures and few crowds. November to March is an ordeal of subzero temperatures almost everywhere except on the West Coast, though winter days in many areas are clear and dry, and all large Canadian towns are geared to the challenge of cold conditions, with covered walkways and indoor malls protecting their inhabitants from the worst of the weather.

The southwestern parts of British Columbia enjoy some of Canada’s best weather: the extremes are less marked and the overall temperatures generally milder than elsewhere. Much of the province, though, bears the brunt of Pacific depressions, so this is one of the country’s damper regions: visiting between late spring and early autumn offers the best chance of missing the rain.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Canada features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Road trip Canada: 5 of the best routes

Road trip Canada: 5 of the best routes

Rugged and vast, Canada has much to explore and enjoy. Driving gives you freedom to travel at your own pace, allowing you to pull over and appreciate scenery al…

05 Dec 2016 • Stuart Forster insert_drive_file Article
15 awesome images of Canada

15 awesome images of Canada

Canada is has vast and varied landscape, from beautiful beaches to glassy mountain lakes. It's difficult to capture the country's real beauty in a photograph, b…

09 Sep 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
8 reasons Vancouver is cooler than you think

8 reasons Vancouver is cooler than you think

Vancouver sometimes gets knocked for being a bit dull – and while it’s true that its residents can be earlier to bed than in the rest of North America, thi…

05 Sep 2016 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month