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Best Time to Visit

Wolverhampton...
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Best Time to Visit

Can anyone tell me when is the best time to visit Canada?

West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
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87 reviews
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1. Re: Best Time to Visit

Hi Michelle15780;

WHERE in Canada are you planning to visit ?

Canada is a huge country. It is;

• approximately 9,984,670 sq. km / 3,855,103 sq mi.

• comprised of six time zones.

• over 8,000 km / 5,500 mi. wide, from Atlantic to Pacific coasts.

• only slightly smaller than all of Europe.

• almost 30% larger than Australia

• more than 3 times the size of India.

• almost 11 times the size of Venezuela.

• more than 18 times the size of France.

• almost 20 times the size of Spain.

• almost 28 times the size of Germany.

• more than 33 times the size of Italy

• almost 37 times the size of New Zealand

• almost 41 times the size of the UK.

• more than 142 times the size of Ireland.

Without knowing your interests (skiing, swimming, fishing, boating, etc) your question is quite vague !

Best Regards

belleville ontario
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224 posts
12 reviews
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2. Re: Best Time to Visit

Hi,

the summers here in ontario are beautiful 30 deg and sunny.the autumn is lovely with all the fall colours on the trees sep /.oct.winter feb/jan can be like a fairy land with beautiful white covered landscapes and gin clear air .niagara falls is covered in ice from the falls spray and coats the trees and building with ice that makes them look like glass.but, it can be killler cold -20 deg.

there are many areas of this huge country but for a first visit i recommend southern ontario and the montreal areas..many lakes and rivers as well as great cities ,toronto etc.

let me know if you need particular information.

Ottawa, Canada
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48 reviews
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3. Re: Best Time to Visit

Hi Michelle15780,

My esteemed colleague RESCUE TEAM is right , Canada is a HUGE Country... second largest in the world, only behind Russia.

Generally speaking, May thru October offers up good weather in all regions.... but as said you'll have to decide where it is you want to visit.

Canada is made up of 10 Provinces and 3 Territories, most of which are bigger than many countries. Because Canada is so big, and distances between points so great... the longer you can alot to your vacation the better... even with a 2 or 3 week vacation, one will have a difficult time seeing a whole region... you'll come away with just a taste.

So you'll have to decide what part of our geography interests you:

1- Newfoundland & Labrador - Where the Vikings first landed. Rugged Coastline and an area dominated by Forests, Rocks and Sea Coast.

2- The Maritimes - A grouping of 3 Provinces (Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick)... a definitive Scottish-Celtic flavour, dominated by Fishing Villages, Forests, Coastal Scenery and Farming.

3- Quebec - Canada's predominently francaphone Province... Birthplace of North American Settlement (Quebec City) and the cradle to French-Quebecois Culture. Favourite tourist spots include Whale Watching on the St Lawrence, Historic Quebec City, Cosmopolitan Montreal and Eastern North America's best rated ski resort (Mont Tremblant) and The Laurentians... a year-round recreation area.

4- Ontario - Dominated by water. From the 1000 Islands on the St Lawrence River, to Ottawa Canada's Capital City perched along the mighty Ottawa River. Historic Canals (Rideau and Trent-Severn) and Cottage Country (Rideau Lakes, The Kawarthas, The Muskokas). The Beautiful Great Lakes (Ontario - Erie - Huron and Superior) .

5- Southern Ontairo - The most populated part of Canada, forms a horseshoe around the westen end of Lake Ontario. Canada's largest city Toronto with its worldclass Theatre, Dining and Entertainment. The magnificent Niagara Falls, and the Niagara Region (Shaw Theatre, Wine, Agriculture, Historic Sites and the Welland Canal). Kitchener-Waterloo, St Jacobs, Stratford and London.

6- Northern Ontario - Dominated by the Canada Shield (Forests, Rock Faces, Rivers & Lakes). Small centres of population, and rugged wilderness. Untouched beauty. Favourite with Fishermen and other outdoor enthusists.

7- Central Canada - The land that transitions from the rugged Canadian Shield to the rolling edge of the Prairie.

8- The Prairies - Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta flatlands... the "breadbasket" of Canada. Discover the beauty of fields filled with wheat and small cities brimming with optimism... Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary.

9- Alberta - The High Prairie. Cattle Country... cowboys. Oil Rigs. Edmonton

10- The Rockies - Breathtaking scenery along the continental divide.. back to back mountain ranges. Tourquoise ice fed lakes. Glaciers. National Parks. Fabulous skiing.

11- British Columbia - Rain Forests. Rugged Coastline. Victoria, Vancouver (2010 Olympic Site).

12- Far North - Regions above the 60th Parallel. Rugged Wilderness... many spots are only accessible in the summertime and fly-in. Some spots rarely see above freezing temperatures. Tundra and Arctic.

I hope this is helpful in getting you started... you'll have to do quite a bit more research to find a region that interests you... you'll find lots of resources on TA including the CANADA TRAVEL GUIDE (click on the button to the left of this screen) and individual TRAVEL FORUMS for Provinces, Geographic Areas (like THE ROCKIES) and cities.

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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4. Re: Best Time to Visit

If you could tell us a bit more about what you want to see and do in Canada, we could better advise you as to regions and time of year. Do you, for instance, want to be at a beach for swimming and suntanning, or do you want to ski and go dog-sledding?

Wolverhampton...
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28 posts
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5. Re: Best Time to Visit

Thanks Guys. You've given me food for thought.!

The kind of trip i'm planning is most likely a tour of Canada, currently looking for escorted tours as we speak. So wouldn't want it too hot but it would be good to have sunshine.

I've just got back from 3 weeks in Australia (east coast) and the weather there was late 20's degrees, so something along that temperature. Don't mind it a little bit cooler thou.

Don't plan on spending much time at the beach, probably be spending our time taking in the sights.

Winnipeg
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308 posts
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6. Re: Best Time to Visit

If you are looking for cooler temperatures but still pleasant for touring around, you're best bet would probably be April/May or September/October. As a previous poster suggested, southern Ontario- Toronto, Niagra Falls - through to Ottawa (Canada's capital city) and Montreal (two hours from Ottawa) would probably be a good choice for a first-timer to Canada. In the spring you would see all the newly blooming trees and flowers. Ottawa has a Tulip Festival and if you time it right for their blooming, it's quite the sight. In the fall - around the 3rd week of October - you'll see the beautiful fall leaf colours, particularly around Ottawa and Montreal. If your were to come June-Aug., the humidity in southern Ontario and Quebec can sap the energy right out of you. I lived there for a couple of years and didn't like it and someone from the UK could find it very draining for a short visit. If you want a real shock to your system, you could come December through March and experience cold like you've never felt before. We've had relatives from England come and loved it (but don't want to live here!!).

London, Canada
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7. Re: Best Time to Visit

Hi Michelle~ If you're not looking for hot beach weather then spring or fall would be perfect seasons for you to see Canada.

If you were to come late May and start in the East, by the time you got to Rocky Mountains it would be June and warmer for seeing the sights and maybe doing a bit of hiking.

If coming in the autumn, then I'd start in the West in September and enjoy the last of the moderate temperatures before heading East to Ontario and the Maritimes for our gorgeous fall colours.

As already pointed out, there is a vast amount to see and do across Canada! Good luck with your planning. :)

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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8. Re: Best Time to Visit

I doubt that you will be able to find a package tour for more than a small portion of the country, unless you book more two or more packages, back to back. There are tours for western Canada that include either or both the coast (Vancouver, Victoria, BC) and the Rockies (Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta); there are tours for the Maritimes (PEI, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia), and there are tours for the cities and the capital city region of eastern Canada (Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City etc.) but one that includes even just "highlights" from all these regions with transportation between would be very, very expensive. Because of the vast distances, it can be quite expensive to travel within Canada. (I regularly see specials advertised for flights between eastern Canada and the UK that cost less than for me to fly across the country to visit family members in the east.)

In some areas of the country, tourism is quite seasonal. While the beauty of the landscape can be appreciated any time of the year (and sometimes a snowy landscape is even prettier), in some areas, the tourist attractions are only open during the warmer months of the year.

If you are looking for warm/hot temperatures in the Rockies, you're talking high season in full summer - July and August. While we do occasionally get hot weather - up to the mid-30s - average temperatures in the summer would fall in the mid-20s. Other regions of Canada have much hotter weather in the summer. Spring and Fall (May/June, Sept/Oct) would bring temps in the teens/low 20's in our area (warmer in others), and would be a little less expensive in most, being in the "shoulder season".

Are escorted tours the way you prefer to travel? Most of us who post regularly here on these forums are not too keen on them, especially if you are going somewhere where there is no language barrier. (But then, internet forums like this one are probably skewed towards those who enjoy doing the research and advance planning, which is not everyone's cup of tea.) Through the use of the internet, it is possible to arrange your own fly/drive holiday; then you can have the freedom of spending more time at places you really like, and not being herded back onto the bus after a brief photo-op so that the group can maintain its schedule. Of course, if you prefer the convenience of having it all laid out for you and no decisions to be made about which hotels to book and which sights to visit, that's where a package is best. I notice, in your profile, that you are much younger than the clientele on most bus tours in our area, so would suggest that unless you like being the youngest in the group (by probably several decades), you will want to find a company that markets packages for younger groups.

Perhaps the Canadian Tourism Commission website will help you narrow down which area(s) you want to visit: www.canada.travel/ Once you narrow it down, then you can browse/post on those particular forums for more detailed information.

Happy planning!

Ottawa, Canada
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9. Re: Best Time to Visit

Hi Michelle15780,

Wow you sure are getting a ton of great info (and I might add from some of Canada's most esteemed DEs for their various regions). As already stated, you could easily plan your holiday (and save a lot of money) by utilizing TripAdvisor's resources and the various FORUMS to plan a great adventure.

I personally agree... I don't think that as a younger person that an organized escorted tour would be for you (most folks on these are in their retirement years). And as already stated, the tours will be regional (not national) in nature... and very very expensive.

More than anything else at this point, I think that you'll have to do some serious reading to get an understanding for all that Canada has to offer... and then decide on a timeframe (both amount of time for a visit, and time of year). Unless you have months and months for a visit (May thru October) there is no way you'll be able to see a huge chuck of this country... and even then you wouldn't do it justice... at over 5000 Kms wide, 6 time zones and 50 Degrees Latitude, many Canadians have only seen a fraction of this great country.

As I stated previously, there are basically 12 Geographic Regions and first time visitors tend to start their Canadian explorations with a 2 to 3 week visit and concentrate on one of these the most popular regions:

A- Quebec

B- Ontario

C- Southern Ontario

D- The Rockies

E- British Columbia

F- The Far North

Also as a general rule of thumb, expect to account for 2 Nights in cities that you plan to visit, 3 or more nights in our larger or historic cities (Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver).

As well by consulting GOOGLE MAPS you'll quickly discover that points of interest can be quite far apart. Most cities in Eastern Canada are 2 or more hours apart... and in Western Canada driving 6 to 8 hours between urban centres is the norm.

As for transportation... it is easiest in Quebec & Ontario as well as the BC to Alberta corridor (bus, train). BUT having a rental car will give you the greatest of flexibility... as already stated Canada is a HUGE country, and so renting a car means that you'll get to make the most of your trip and be able to get out into the countryside and see more than just the "transportation corridors".

Hope this is helpful,

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
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87 reviews
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10. Re: Best Time to Visit

Hi Michelle15780;

Due to the size of the country, trips to Canada are usually split into three groups, Maritime Canada, Eastern Canada, and Western Canada.

For Maritime Canada destinations, have a look at following areas;

Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island

New Brunswick

• Newfoundland

For Eastern Canada destinations, have a look at the following cities;

Niagara Falls

Toronto

• Kingston / Gananoque / 1000 Islands

• Ottawa

Montreal

Quebec City

For Western Canada destinations, have a look at the following cities;

• Calgary

• Banff

• Jasper

• Lake Louise

• Edmonton

• Whistler

Vancouver

Of course, the Rocky Mountains are a category all to themselves. ;-)

All of these locations can be found on TripAdvisor by searching for the area’s name, and of course there are the destination forums as well.

Best Regards