Canada

When to go to Canada

The best time to go to Canada

Whilst Canada is perceived as a year-round destination, the temperatures of the summer months lend themselves to more of the outdoor activities for which Canada is renowned, although there are huge regional differences to consider, highlighted below, as well as best times to view specific wildlife. Generally, in the south, the summer period is between late May and early September, whilst in the north, this is a much shorter season between mid-June and mid-September, after which snowfall can begin.  Winter months are characterised by darker and colder weather, but are of course perfect for winter sports. 

"The best time to see bears in canada is during the summer months"

When to go

Click on a month to gain an overview of Canada's weather patterns. This is a guide for the British Columbia, indicating good times to plan a holiday, taking into account wildlife encounters and overall weather. 

When to go by Region

British Columbia

This westernmost province of Canada has some of Canada’s warmest weather and a temperate climate for exploring the outdoor scenery and wildlife of the area. The mountain ranges and thick forests of BC are rich in wildlife such as deer, wolves, cougar, and of course the black and grizzly bears.  The optimum time to view the bears is during the salmon spawning season from late August to September, when they can be seen swiping salmon from the rivers and fattening up before the onset of winter.

Churchill

The shorter summer period can be warm, with temperatures known to reach 30ºC, but with some rain at times.  The majority of snow tends to fall when the temperature is not at its lowest during the winter season, which is generally cold and dry.  It is one of the world’s best places to experience the the natural phenomenon of Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), which are at their most impressive from January through March when skies are clearer.  Churchill’s setting within the transitional zone between the Arctic tundra and the Boreal Forest also makes it ideal for wildlife.  Up to 60,000 beluga whales can be seen in the summer months, particularly between July and August, along the shores of the Hudson Bay.  Those looking to witness polar bears in their natural habitat should aim to visit October to November, when they arrive on the tundra nearby Churchill before the ‘Big Freeze’ and winter hunting season.

Festivals

Canada Day is a huge celebration across the country on and around 1st July, with events such as Bella Coola Rodeo and ‘Bay Dip’ in Hudson Bay renowned for marking the start of summer. The Bella Coola Valley Fall Fair in September is also a fun affair, with everything from ringtoss to axe throwing, and if you’re in Vancouver in August, the nine-day MusicFest Vancouver is worth catching.

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