The Best Time to Visit the East Coast

Toronto skyline at dusk

The East Coast & Toronto by season

While East Coast Canada follows the same seasonal patterns as the UK, its weather is more definable, and although the east is one of the warmest parts of the country, it still receives long, cold winters and frequent snowfall coupled with bright and warm, yet changeable summers. To help you choose the best time for your holiday to Canada’s east, here are our seasonal suggestions:

Spring Garden in Ottawa
Spring - May

As temperatures start to rise, the trees turn green, the flowers bloom and the wildlife emerges. Although snow can stick around until May, as long as you come prepared, this is a lovely time to search for moose in Algonquin Provincial Park and to tour Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec City before the summer peak.

Go for:

Maple syrup festivals: In March and April celebrate the famous Canadian sweet treat at one of many festivals, including Saugeen Bluffs Maple Syrup Festival on the shores of Lake Huron.

Canada Blooms: Canada’s largest flower festival takes place in March. Tour the gardens, admire the spring flowers and watch Toronto burst into a riot of colour.

Adirondack chairs in Muskoka
Summer - August

As summer approaches, the days lengthen and the sun comes out. This is the most popular time to visit Canada, as the parks and lakes are all easily accessible, the days are a warm 23-28°C and the festivals are in full swing. Summer is the ideal time for extended canoe trips and hikes in Mont Tremblant and the Great Lakes, while Newfoundland is the place to go for berry picking and whale watching.

Go for:

Toronto Pride Month: In June, join the Torontonians for one of the largest gay pride festivals in the world, a month-long celebration of diversity and the LGBT community.

Montreal International Jazz Festival: the world’s largest jazz festival welcomes 2.5 million people to its lively concerts, which close the city centre roads to traffic for 10 days. 

Mont Tremblant, Canada
Autumn - November

The fall, as it’s known in Canada, is a lovely time to visit the east coast. Across the region, the trees turn a multitude of ochre and russet hues and reflect beautifully in the lakes. See it at its best in the Algonquin and Muskoka regions, as well as in Quebec. The warm weather usually sticks around until September and, as the summer crowds disperse, wandering the cities becomes a delightful pastime.

Go for:

Cavalcade of Lights: In November, join the rest of Toronto and watch the illumination of the city’s official Christmas tree, with live music, fireworks, skating parties and general frivolity.

Symphony of Colours: On weekends in September and October head for Mont Tremblant for this annual festival, celebrating the fall foliage with concerts and sports.

Quebec City at Christmas
Winter - February

As Canada heads into winter, the temperatures drop and the snow begins to fall. In the cities, the January temperatures can be as low as -6°C while, out in the wilderness they can plummet to -40°C and below. The snow makes Quebec City look particularly fetching, and skiing and winter sports are possible all over Quebec and Ontario.

Go for:

Montreal Snow Festival: In January and February Montreal turns into a winter wonderland, with ice sculptures, snow tubing, sliding, skating and snowshoeing fun for all the family.

Christmas: You’re guaranteed a white Christmas in Canada, and what could be better than celebrating under the mistletoe, surrounded by twinkling lights and a log fire. 


Top East Coast Canada Journeys

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Group of people sipping wine in Ontario, Canada
My group tasting cranberry wine at Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh & Muskoka Lakes Winery in Ontario. Surprisingly delicious, the wine tasted like a cross between Ribena and rich port. Yum! #canadajourneys #expertfinds #ontario #cranberrywine