Sunday, November 22, 2009

When to Go

Weather and geography dominate any visit to Canada. The vastness of the country means that most trips will be centered on one or the other of tha major cities, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal, although it is possible to stay in remote areas such as the isolated Inuit settlements dotted west and north of Hudson Bay. Depending on each visitor’s individual interests, the best time to go will be dictated by local climate and the time of year.

In general, the climates on both the west and east coasts are temperate, while harsher weather occurs in the center of the country, in Saskatch-ewan, Manitoba, and Alberta, where the summers are fine but winters long and hard. Northern Canada is at its most welcoming during July and August when the land thaws, and the temperature is more likely to climb above zero.

In eastern Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, there are four distinct seasons, with snowy winters, mild springs, and long, crisp falls; summer is still the best time to visit the provinces’ resorts. Quebec and Ontario have hot, humid summers and cold winters, with snow lingering until late March. Spring and fall are brief but can be the most rewarding times to make a visit.

The northeastern province of Newfoundland and coastal Labrador have the most extreme temperatures, ranging on a winter’s day from 0ºC (32ºF) to -50ºC (-41ºF) in St. John’s on Newfoundland’s east coast. Winter visitors to British Columbia and the Rockies can enjoy some of the best skiing in the world. This region is also noted for its temperate weather but can be very wet in spring and fall as Pacific depressions roll in over the mountains.


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