In other words, cities with the mildest winters on average. Rainfall, heat waves, and other meteorological events aside, if Montreal's -30 degree winters have proven to be too much torture for you, then these are the cities you need to consider.
There’s nothing Canadians love more than talking about the weather and when they’re choosing a place to live, minimizing the number of days they’ll spend shoveling snow can be an important factor. Toronto, which isn’t particularly known for its great weather, has milder winters compared to the rest of Canada than you might realize, with 264 days per year above 0 °C.
Mild winters are the most important factor in our ranking of the cities with the best weather, with seven out of 10 points in the category dedicated to the number of days above 0 °C. We also reward communities with dry climates, with two points dedicated to the number of days per year without rain or snow.
Maclean’s Best Communities in Canada ranks 415 cities across the country based on 10 categories: Wealth and economy, affordability, population growth, taxes, commute, crime, weather, access to health care, amenities and culture. While chilly Canadian winters can be a lot of fun (think ice-skating on frozen canals, skiing down snowy mountains, or watching the Northern Lights dance in the winter sky), not everyone is willing to brave the frigid temperatures of the Great White North.
There's a clear theme to the destinations on this list: most of them are located in Canada's westernmost province, British Columbia. Although BC is home to some of the best ski areas in the world, many of its coastal communities benefit from warmer temperatures and mild climates.
While St. Catharines is warmer than other places in Ontario, it still gets pretty chilly in deep winter. If you want to escape the cold but prefer not to get caught in the rain, check out Kelowna, British Columbia.
In the summer, this is a popular destination for travelers: the weather is hot, and the lake is perfect for just about every water activity you can imagine. If you've got your heart set on visiting Canada's beautiful East Coast in the winter, the warmest city to travel to is Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia.
There are lots of options for embracing the white fluffy stuff, from snowshoeing to cross-country skiing to tobogganing on Citadel Hill. A side benefit of visiting Halifax in the winter is that all of its attractions are significantly less busy than in the touristy summer months.
If you're visiting Vancouver in the winter and are desperate for a break from the gray skies and rainy weather, keep your eye on the forecast in White Rock. Then, grab a long lunch at one of the many restaurants overlooking the ocean before heading back up to Vancouver.
White Rock is the perfect way to get a much-needed dose of vitamin D in the middle of winter. When it comes to weather, St. John's, Newfoundland, is known for a few different things: it is the #1 windiest, foggiest, and cloudiest city in Canada.
When you're ready to dry off, head to downtown St. John's and check out the local shops, stopping for a coffee or tea to warm up. You can easily fill a day exploring The Rooms, a stunning museum celebrating Newfoundland's rich history and impressive artists.
And we’ve got a list of cities where the weather is, well, the least terrible. In rainy B.C., consider Balloons, where you can expect precipitation just 106 days a year.
In the cold prairies, Moose Jaw, Sask. It’s hard to avoid the snow in Quebec, but in l’Assumption, and nearby Valerie, just north of Montreal, you only have to deal with precipitation an average of 137 days a year.
Likewise, in rainy Atlantic Canada, Edmonton, N.B. To rank the cities with the best weather, we look at Environment Canada ’s climate normal data, which are based on three-decade averages of statistics on temperature and precipitation.
Living through a drought brings as many problems as living through a constant deluge of rain, so we reward cities that have few rainy days, but a total amount of rainfall that’s as close as possible to an ideal of 700 mm. The weather is worth 10 per cent of the main Best Places to Live ranking.
For warm winter weather, no major city east of the Rocky Mountains comes close to the balmy climate enjoyed by the three large cities in southwestern British Columbia: Victoria, Vancouver and Abbotsford. BC's other large city, Kelowna lands at a distant fourth in winter warmth.
Elsewhere in Canada, the warmest cities for winter weather are in Ontario and the Maritime Provinces. Among these, the Ontario cities of Toronto, Windsor and St. Catharines stand out as having a consistently warmer winter climate than the rest.
Victoria, BC is the unchallenged leader among Canada's large cities for winter heat. The tables below list the major Canadian cities that in winter have the highest maximum and minimum temperature averages, the fewest freezing days and the lowest number of freezing nights.
They are the only major Canadian cities with an average daily high temperature during winter that's above freezing. Catherine, Ontario38Halifax, Nova Scotia38Calgary, Alberta38Windsor, Ontario39 Just eight Canadian cities typically have no more than 25 nights a winter when the temperature drops to -10 °C.
The weather has cooled down but is still comfortable, the summer crowds have left, prices drop, and changing fall foliage provides a beautiful backdrop for a vacation. Also, fall celebrations such as pumpkin, apple, and wine festivals are in full swing and give visitors a chance to visit slightly out of the way farms and orchards.
Generally, the summer months are the most popular time to visit, but no matter when you choose to travel to Canada there will be some advantages (perhaps cheaper flights and hotels, fewer crowds) and some disadvantages (cold weather, fewer hotel options). On the west coast, spring arrives by the end of February, ringing in the last of the freezing temperatures.
By June, summer's arrived, bringing with it high humidity and hot weather, especially in the central and eastern parts of the country. Fall weather throughout Canada showcases cooler temperatures and less humidity than the hotter days of the summer months.
Peak season in Canada typically takes place during the summer, especially late June through September, when the weather is warm, and schools are out of session. While more rural parts of Canada still see fewer crowds, be sure to book your visit early if you're heading to popular tourist destinations like Vancouver, Montreal, or Toronto.
Additionally, many of the country's national parks experience swells of crowds during summer holidays, and rates for accommodation and travel rise accordingly. Canada's sheer size and diversity mean that the country hosts unique and lively holidays and festivals throughout the year.
Some popular events include the Québec Winter Carnival, a two-and-a-half-week long celebration of winter; Interlude, held in Ottawa, where guests can skate along the ; and Calgary Stampede, a rodeo that got its start as a quaint agricultural fair and now draws in competitors from around the world. Head to Ottawa where you can glide along the Skate way, the world's largest natural ice rink.
The Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights in Ontario kicks off in November but runs through January. Each year, Toronto hosts Winterlicious, a restaurant festival where some of the city's best chefs serve affordable prix-fixe menus.
Many visitors to Canada during March come to ski or visit one of the country's famed sugar shacks for maple syrup tasting. Spring arrives earlier along the West Coast, and Vancouver holds its annual cherry blossom festival each year in March.
Ski season is still going strong on Canada's highest mountains, but the rest of the country is beginning to experience spring, along with its colorful blooms. If you're camping or staying at a cottage, bring plenty of bug spray, as pesky black flies are everywhere throughout Canada in the early summer.
Despite the hot and humid weather, expect national parks and other city attractions to be packed. Each year, more than a million people visit Calgary to partake in this 10-day rodeo and celebration of the ranching heritage held every July.
The calendar is still packed with cultural events and festivals, while the weather is still hot and muggy, and vacationers are still visiting en masse. Held each August, the festival's lineup is always outstanding and ticket prices stay reasonable.
Temperatures cool down in September as stunning fall foliage starts creeping in, making the month a great time to visit. The Fringe presents live, unburied performances and artists receive 100 percent of regular box office revenues generated during the festival.
The weather is cold and there will probably be snow, but if you're prepared, you can still enjoy Canada's cities and lots of outdoor activities come December.