When to go to Ontario

by SmarterTravel Staff

Ontario has four diverse seasons, and its large size and central location provide many different climates and geographies. The most popular time to visit is during the summer months when the weather is ideal for outdoor activities, and there are many opportunities for wildlife viewing from the Hudson Bay to Pelee Island. Summer is also when the province hosts an array of popular festivals. The least popular time is during the spring, when the weather can be wet and overcast. The fall is a colorful and less expensive alternative to summer, making it one of the best times to visit the Niagara Region. Winters are typically cold, but the weather can be great for skiing and outdoor activities.

  • high season: June to August
  • low season: March to May
  • shoulder season: September to February

Weather Information

Summers can be warm and humid, with occasional thunderstorms. During the fall, the leaves begin to change colors in September and continue through November. Winters can be cold, with bursts of sunlight accompanying snowfall and strong winds. Snow begins around November and can last until April. Spring can be unpredictable and rainy.

Crowd Information

Crowd size typically depends on activities and the area visited. For example, Ottawa gets busy during its Winterlude Festival in February and Canadian Tulip Festival in May. Toronto fills up during Caribana in August, the Gay Pride Parade in June, and the Toronto International Film Festival in September. Niagara-on-the-Lake attracts many visitors during the Shaw Festival that runs from March through November, peaking in July and August, as well as during the Stratford Festival that runs from May though September.

Closure Information

Most businesses close for Christmas Day and Boxing Day (December 26).

When to Save

Hotel prices are typically discounted from November through April.

When to Book

For visits during major festivals, book at least one month in advance for lodging in smaller cities and towns. Book at least six months in advance for lodging at a specific property.

Information provided by the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership.

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