The best time to visit Toronto, of course, depends on your travel priorities.
We all play the give and take travel game in planning an itinerary. Do you want to travel somewhere when the weather is nicest? Great, but it will be more expensive. Going to score a discounted low-season rate at a hotel? Sure, but you'll have to trudge through a foot of snow to reach the front door.
Choosing the best time to visit Toronto involves weighing your travel needs and wants with your travel budget and then finding what's available.
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The Most Popular Time To Visit Toronto: Summer
Peak travel to Toronto occurs between June and September, especially July and August, the months when most North American schools are out.
Warm Weather Brings the Party Outside
Summer weather in Toronto is warm and sunny and perfect for strolling the streets, lounging on outdoor patios and attending the myriad festivals that take place, including the Caribbean Festival and Pride Week. Tens of thousands of people descend on Toronto to shake their stuff for these festivals and others.
If you visit Toronto between June and September, you will have no shortage of open-air activities, public programming, and neighborhood festivities - big and small scale - to spice up your Toronto stay.
Keep in mind Toronto temperatures get super steamy in summer - hot and humid. July and August average over 27 ℃ (82 ℉). Nevertheless, evenings and lakeside locations can be cool.
Of course with popularity and demand come inflated prices and limited availability. Book Toronto hotels early for summer stays, especially for weekend dates. (Did you know that Trump Hotel and others in the business district are actually cheaper on the weekends?)
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The Least Popular but Cheapest Time to Visit Toronto: Winter
Lots of visitors are reluctant to go to Toronto in the winter months between November and March because of the cold, snow and ice. Completely sensible; however, you can still pack a lot into a chilly Toronto sojourn and enjoy its many indoor activities, including fine food, theater, shopping and dabble in some outdoor fun, like ice skating, cross-country skiing, or just picking up a snowball and chucking it at a passerby.
Winter Weather - Why They Stay Away
Winter in Toronto is cold, but surprisingly the climate is slightly more moderate than many other big Canadian cities, like Montreal, Edmonton, or Winnipeg.
Of course, the use of the word "moderate" is by someone with Canadian winter sensibility. It's still bitterly cold and the average temperatures are sub-zero. Gloves, parkas, proper winter boots and hats are a given.
Most snowfall occurs from December through March, with an annual average of 133 cm (52 in). Snowstorms can be sudden and intense and affect traffic and air travel.
I'm Cold but My Hotel Was Cheap
Your reward for braving the brisk of Toronto? Hotel savings. Rates are cheaper in winter except over the Family Day weekend in February where demand increases.
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Shoulder Season is My Favourite
I actually prefer traveling many places during their shoulder seasons, which are - in Toronto's case - October, April, and May.
October - especially early October, but beware of the Thanksgiving holiday - is a beautiful time to visit Toronto: the fall colors are maybe at peak or just past and the weather is cool but conditions are not bleak or mucky.
Spring in Toronto can be dicey. Winter can linger into April, so it can remain quite cold. But for the most part, you could expect warming weather, gardens greening and a spring returning to Torontonian steps.
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Toronto celebrates the following holidays: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Family Day (third Mon of Feb), Good Friday and Easter Monday (Mar or Apr), Victoria Day (Mon following the third weekend in May), Canada Day (July 1), Simcoe Day (first Mon in Aug), Labour Day (first Mon in Sept), Thanksgiving (second Mon in Oct), Remembrance Day (Nov 11), Christmas Day (Dec 25), and Boxing Day (Dec 26).
On Good Friday and Easter Monday, schools, and government offices close; most corporations close on one or the other, and a few close on both. Only banks and government offices close on Remembrance Day (Nov 11).