The Best Time to Go to Toronto
Toronto by seasons
While Canada as a whole can be subject to huge temperature variations, Toronto avoids the extremes due to its position on the edge of Lake Ontario, which moderates the local climate, keeping summers mild and winters relatively warm. As there’s no one best time to go, we’ve split the year into the four seasons to help you choose when to travel:
By March, the days are warming and the snow is melting, bringing warmer weather to Toronto. The locals all start heading outside again after the winter, and the baseball season starts again. As the days lengthen, restaurants begin to offer al fresco dining, and the flowers bloom in parks across the city. If you like the outdoors, this is a wonderful time to visit – not too hot, not too cold.
Cherry blossom: get yourself down to Toronto’s High Park to admire the beautifully soft pinks of the Sakura cherry blossom, which blooms in early May, attracting large crowds.
Doors Open: in late May, many of Toronto’s most impressive buildings open their doors for free, allowing curious visitors and locals the chance to have a good look around.
Summers in Toronto are hot and sunny, with temperatures up to 30°C and beyond, and high levels of humidity. The city’s festivals will be in full swing in the summer months, and it’s the perfect time to explore the green spaces, such as High Park, or to get out of the city and visit the Muskoka Lakes. Rain is possible, sometimes accompanied by thunder and lightning, so it’s a good idea to bring a brolly.
Beer drinking: Torontonians love their craft beer, and in summer there are frequent beer festivals, including the Toronto Festival of Beer, at which to try the local brew.
Movie watching: Drive-in movies are all the rage in Toronto, so get down to Port Lands to catch the latest flick, or watch a free film under the stars on the Harbourfront. Showings are held throughout the summer months.
Autumn, or fall as they know it in Toronto, sees warm, dry days and cool nights, the ideal time to visit weatherwise. One of the main attractions of visiting the city in autumn is the colour wheel of golden hues on display on the maple trees, which can be seen on a walk through one of the city’s parks or with a drive out into the Ontarian countryside.
Halloween: if scaring yourself silly is your bag, then Toronto puts on plenty of ghoulish events to mark October 31st. Try the Halloween Haunt at Canada’s Wonderland or the Pumpkin Parade in Mimico Square.
Santa Claus Parade: it might still be November but the Torontonians have held this float-laden parade at this time of year since 1905. Bring the family and see if you can spot Father Christmas himself.
Although Lake Ontario ensures that Toronto’s winters are milder than they would otherwise be, it can still get very cold, with snow flurries common. Temperatures can plummet to as low as -7°C at this time, so it’s best to wrap up and find a cosy bar or fireside restaurant to sit in, or better yet, warm up with the enthusiastic crowds at an ice hockey match featuring the beloved Maple Leafs.
Ice skating: as the festive season arrives, over 50 outdoor skating rinks spring up over the city, and stick around until mid-March. Try the ice at Nathan Phillips Square, right by the enormous Christmas tree.
Toronto Christmas Market: there’s something quite magical about Christmas in snowy Toronto, and where better to soak in the festive atmosphere than at the magical Christmas market, one of the best in the world?