Are you planning a trip to Canada? Then you must apply for an eTA or visa before departure. It is also recommended finding out what the best period for your trip is. The weather conditions can have a huge impact on your stay. Canada is the second-largest country in the world after Russia and therefore has different climate zones. This makes it very difficult to state a single best travel time that applies to the entire country. This article therefore describes the best time to travel for each region in Canada.
Most of Canada has a temperate to cool continental climate. The coastal areas have a maritime climate. The weather in regions with a maritime climate - for example Vancouver - is somewhat comparable to the weather in the UK. The temperature is moderate, but there can be a lot of rain. The far north, on the other hand, has a tundra climate, and extreme temperatures of -40 degrees Celsius can occur.
The best month to travel depends on the area of Canada you are visiting. It also depends on whether you are taking a city trip, visiting national parks or going on a winter sports trip to Canada. The eTA for Canada is valid for five years. Within these five years, you may travel to Canada multiple times, as long as each individual stay does not exceed six months. This gives you the opportunity to visit the country in different seasons.
Best months for a trip to the west
The provinces of British Columbia and Alberta in western Canada are popular for their famous national parks and cities like Vancouver and Calgary. Most of British Columbia has a maritime climate with moderate temperatures. In the summer, the daytime temperature averages 16 to 20 degrees Celsius, in the winter about 5 to 8 degrees Celsius. Most rain falls in the months from October to March.
Alberta has a continental climate. Unlike British Columbia, the temperatures here vary greatly throughout the year. Because of the Chinook wind, a dry and warm wind which blows from the west across the Rocky Mountains, temperatures can rise by up to 15 degrees Celsius in a short period of time. The maximum temperature in August is around 22 degrees Celsius, in January around -9 degrees Celsius.
The best time to travel to Western Canada is usually between May and September, as temperatures are pleasant and there is little rain. However, the best time to travel depends on what you want to do during your trip to Canada. In the summer, the lakes are crystal clear, and you have a better chance of spotting wildlife. If you are travelling to Canada for winter sports in the Rocky Mountains, it is best to travel between November and May.
Climate and best time to travel for Eastern Canada
The east of Canada is also popular with tourists, with its metropolises of Toronto, Montreal and Quebec, and the Niagara Falls. The east, in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, has a continental climate. This means that the temperatures in winter and summer vary greatly. In the capital Ottawa and in the city of Quebec, it can get as low as -17 degrees Celsius at night in the winter, while the maximum daytime temperature in the summer is about 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. The climate in Toronto is slightly more moderate with temperatures between -7 and 25 degrees Celsius.
The best period for a trip to eastern Canada is in the summer months, from June to September. The temperature is pleasant and there is little rainfall. Nature lovers are advised to travel between mid-September and mid-October - during the Indian Summer. The foliage of the forests changes into beautiful red, orange and yellow colours.
Climate in the North
The north of Canada is loved by adventurers for its pristine landscapes. The north, like the east, has a continental climate, but with more extreme minimum temperatures. The Nunavut region even has a tundra climate. Here, it is cold throughout the year, and minimum temperatures of -40 degrees Celsius can occur. In the province of Manitoba and the territory of Yukon, the average temperature at night in winter is -17 degrees Celsius. In the north of Canada, you can still experience the famous sled dog races.
A visit to the far north of Canada in winter is not recommended due to the extreme weather conditions. The mildest weather in the north is in July or August. In the months of September and May, the north-eastern part of Canada has the best chance of seeing the northern lights.
Apply for a visa or eTA Canada
In addition to researching the best month for your trip to Canada, you should also apply for an eTA or visa. Most British and Irish tourists qualify for the eTA that can be applied for online. After paying the application fee for the eTA, you will receive confirmation of the approval of your application within three days.
Once your application has been approved, you can travel to Canada with your eTA. The expected date of arrival no longer matters. During the five-year validity period of the eTA, you can decide on what day you will arrive in Canada. This means that even after receiving your eTA, you can still determine the season and month you will be travelling to Canada. You only need to apply for a new eTA if the passport with which you applied for the previous one expires.