When is the best time to visit Canada?

Updated: Apr 05, 2024 | Tags: Canada Tourism, Canadian Culture, Canada eTA

The best time for an eTA or visa visitor to see Canada largely depends on what experiences they are looking for, as Canada offers distinctly different attractions across its vast and varied landscape in each season. Here’s a seasonal guide to help you decide:

Spring (March to May)

  • Ideal for: Experiencing the bloom of spring, especially in cities like Vancouver and Victoria, where cherry blossoms and other flowers start to bloom.
  • Activities: Ideal for city tours, mild hiking, and witnessing the thawing landscapes.
  • Considerations: The weather can be unpredictable, with some regions still experiencing snow in early spring.

Summer (June to August)

  • Ideal for: Visitors looking for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and water sports.
  • Destinations: National Parks like Banff and Jasper in Alberta, or the Canadian Rockies are particularly stunning.
  • Events: This period includes Canada Day celebrations on July 1st, offering a chance to experience Canadian patriotism and festivities.
  • Weather: Generally warm and pleasant, making it the peak tourist season.

Autumn (September to November)

  • Ideal for: Experiencing the fall foliage. The landscapes in provinces like Ontario and Quebec are particularly beautiful with vibrant autumn colors.
  • Activities: It's a great time for hiking and enjoying outdoor activities in cooler, but still pleasant weather.
  • Considerations: Early autumn can still be warm, but temperatures drop towards November, with some northern areas seeing early snowfall.

Winter (December to February)

  • Ideal for: Winter sports enthusiasts. Canada is famous for its winter activities like skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating.
  • Destinations: Whistler in British Columbia, Mont-Tremblant in Quebec, and Banff in Alberta are popular.
  • Events: Winter festivals like Quebec Winter Carnival or the Winterlude in Ottawa.
  • Considerations: Be prepared for very cold temperatures and shorter daylight hours.

General Tips

  1. Crowds: Summer and winter are peak seasons in popular destinations, so expect more crowds and higher prices. Spring and autumn are generally less crowded.

  2. Wildlife Viewing: For wildlife enthusiasts, the best time is usually in the spring or fall, particularly for spotting bears and whales in regions like British Columbia.

  3. Northern Lights: If seeing the Northern Lights is a priority, winter months are best, particularly in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

  4. Cultural Experiences: Big cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver offer year-round cultural events and activities, unaffected by the changing seasons.


Ultimately, the best time to visit Canada on an eTA or visa depends on personal preferences, desired activities, and the type of landscapes one wishes to explore. Each season offers its unique charm and array of experiences, making Canada a versatile destination year-round.