Canada is what the early settlers and pioneers always dreamed of. Sprawling mountains strewn with glaciers, rolling hills and prairies and overwhelming inland seas and lakes. In the northern regions, you can marvel at the aurora borealis while bears, elk and wolves roam the forests.
Around 70% of Canada is wilderness. One of the largest contiguous areas of coniferous forest in the world stretches from Alaska to Newfoundland. It rains more on the Pacific coast than in the east, so the western forests largely consist of conifers such as spruce, fir, pine and cedar. There are more mixed forests to be found in the east. Among them is the maple, the leaf of which can be found in the national flag.
According to Politicsezine, the major cities of Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec are in the east of the country. In the extreme southwest are Vancouver and Calgary. The distances between the cities are very long, which is why the journey by car can take a long time.
Best travel time
The best time to travel to Canada is in the summer months, when the weather is mostly sunny and temperatures are most comfortable. Despite the size of Canada, weather conditions are largely the same across the country. The seasons are similar to those in Europe. Coastal regions are usually more temperate than the prairie areas, and the mountains have more rainfall and snow than other regions. Canada is cold everywhere in winter and warm in most places in summer.
Spring, which lasts from the end of April to the beginning of June, is also a beautiful time of the year. As the snowmelt gradually reveals more and more of the forests and wildflowers, most wild animals awaken from a long hibernation.
September is considered the highlight of the salmon migration and attracts many bears. It also marks the beginning of autumn, with spectacular fall foliage well into October.
Optimal travel time after months
January – March
The weather is undoubtedly cold at the beginning of the year. However, if you are prepared and bring enough clothes and luggage, you can enjoy the many activities and festivals that take place over the Canadian winter. There are popular cultural and sporting events and some incredible nature experiences, but perhaps best of all is the amazing phenomenon that lights up the dark winter sky – the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis).
April is a good time to travel to Canada. The weather is improving and the days are getting longer. The ski season is at its most beautiful high up in the Rocky Mountains with lots of sunshine and blue skies. In the rest of the country, the cold of winter is slowly receding, although the weather can still be unpredictable. You should therefore be prepared for different weather conditions.
Warmer weather, fewer crowds, and lower travel costs make May a good time to visit Canada. The air is still a bit chilly, but most of the snow has melted and the spring flowers are in bloom. Many lodges are reopening and national parks are generally becoming more accessible. This gives visitors the opportunity to explore nature in relative solitude before the start of the high season. This time of year is also perfect for whale watching on the Atlantic coast. Humpback whales, mink and belugas are the most common sightings.
June is the ideal time to visit Canada for many. The high season has not quite started yet, but the days are warm and long. Hiking trails are open, the lakes and rivers are thawed, and wildlife is increasingly active. In the north of the country, parts of the Yukon, Nunavut and Northwest Territories that were previously inaccessible due to snow are opening up. You can discover mountain ranges, forest valleys, lakes and glaciers waiting to be explored.
The long summer days provide an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors with wonderful hiking, boating, camping, and fishing opportunities across the country. Summer festivals like Canada Day and the Calgary Stampede take place. Summer is also a great time to spot killer whales on the west coast of Canada as these migrating salmon follow on their long journey.
The weather is still pleasant in autumn and the play of colors in the changing autumn leaves is spectacular. The temperatures are cooler, but still comfortable. It’s a great time to visit Niagara Falls in particular. With smaller crowds and the breathtaking autumn colors along the Niagara Gorge, it was a dreamy sight. September is the start of the annual salmon migration, making it a good month to see bears hunting migrating salmon. It gets even colder in October, but the month offers the chance to spot polar bears.
The days are shorter and darker, the thermometer shows sometimes very cool temperatures and you always have to expect snow. Even so, November and December are still popular months to travel to Canada. Skiers in particular get their money’s worth.
Climate in Ottawa
The maximum temperature in Canada is 26 ° C in July. In January the thermometer rises to a maximum of −6 ° C. The summer (June to September) with average 24 ° C warm . In the winter months it is around -1 ° C very cold . During the day, the average annual temperature in Canada is 11.0 ° C.
At night it gets coldest in January at −15 ° C. The thermometer rarely falls below 16 ° C in July. While the nights in summer are averaging a pleasant 13 ° C, the thermometer drops to a cold −9 ° C at night between November and March. The temperature averages 1.6 ° C at night all year round.
With 17 rainy days, January is the rainiest month of the year. From June to September Canada is relatively humid with an average of around 13 rainy days, the winter (November to March) is also relatively humid with 14 rainy days. Rain falls on an annual average of 13.5 days per month.
There are two official languages in Canada, English and French. Quebec French differs from its European form in style and accent.
Food and drink
In a country as large as Canada, the cuisine varies greatly from region to region. All the cuisines of the world are represented in the big cities, and in urban centers like Montréal there are many restaurants that ennoble their Gallic heritage in a North American way.
On the Atlantic coast, you’ll find some of the freshest and largest lobsters in the world, as well as an abundance of other seafood. Domestically, dishes more often consist of locally produced meat, grilled dishes and steaks. The portions are generally very generous.
The North American breakfast can be a real highlight, and often includes eggs, pancakes, and maple syrup, or a continental breakfast with a wide variety of cheeses, pies, and ham.
The official currency is the Canadian dollar. All major credit cards are widely accepted, and you can also access Canadian currencies at ATMs.
Most purchases across the country, including food and beverages, have a 5% goods and services tax that is not included in the listed price. This will be added at the point of sale. Most provinces also levy a provincial sales tax, which varies between provinces but is never more than 10%. This is also collected at the point of sale.