April in Canada: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Field of tulips in Ottawa with the Parliament Buildings across the water

Dennis McColeman / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images

No matter where you're planning to go in Canada, April is a great time to get a travel bargain on a trip to this northern country. Many hotels, airlines, and tour companies offer savings in this part of spring before the busy summer season sees tourists flock to the biggest cities in the country.

However, what you can expect from the weather, what you'll need to pack to be comfortable, and what you can do on your trip greatly depends on where you want to go this April. Whether you're looking for a chance to explore the outdoor attractions opening for the season in Vancouver without the crowds or you want to ski on the mountains outside of Montreal, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your trip to Canada this April.

Canada Weather in April

By April, spring temperatures have firmly settled over Vancouver and the west coast; nevertheless, the ski season in northern Whistler is still going strong. Elsewhere in the country, the chill of winter is disappearing but the weather can be unpredictable—so you should be prepared for sun, rain, or even snow.

  Average High Average Low Average Rainfall
Vancouver, British Columbia 55 F (13 C) 41 F (5 C) 3.5 inches over 14 days
Edmonton, Alberta 48 F (9 C) 27 F (minus 3 C) 0 inches over 0 days
Calgary, Alberta 50 F (10 C)  30 F (minus 1 C) 0 inches over 0 days
Yellowknife, Northwest Territory 30 F (minus 1 C) 9 F (minus 13 C) Less than an inch over 2 days
Iqaluit, Nunavut 14 F (minus 10 C) minus 2 F (minus 19 C) 1.1 inches over 5 days
Winnipeg, Manitoba 48 F (9 C) 28 F (minus 3 C) 1.4 inches over 8 days
Ottawa, Ontario 54 F (15 C) 37 F (3 C) 2.6 inches over 11 days
Toronto, Ontario 53 F (11 C) 34 F (1 C) 2.5 inches over 12 days
Montréal, Quebec 52 F (11 C) 34 F (1 C) 2.2 inches over 12 days
Halifax, Nova Scotia 48 F (9 C) 34 F (1 C) 4.5 inches over 14 days
St. John's, New Brunswick 41 F (5 C)  30 F (minus 1 C) 4.3 inches over 14 days

Across the country, you can expect average highs to range from 14 F (in northern places like Iqaluit, Nunavut) and 55 F (in southern cities like Vancouver, British Columbia). However, no matter where you go, you're likely to run into rain on anywhere between 10 and 16 days out of the month; if you want to avoid the wet spring weather, you can head to Edmonton or Calgary in Alberta, which both receive little to no rain this month. The rainiest cities in Canada are Halifax, Vancouver, and St. John's, while Edmonton, Calgary, and Yellowknife are the driest cities.

What to Pack

What you pack depends on where you are going in Canada, but you should probably bring a winter coat, warm and water-resistant outerwear, an umbrella, comfortable closed-toe shoes and boots, and a range of clothing for layering. Staples like T-shirts, sweaters, light pants, heavy slacks, and a pullover jacket are also recommended. If you're heading to Toronto or Montreal, you may need to bring more layers since temperatures can still drop below freezing, but for Vancouver, you'll just need to pack a few layers and make sure you're ready for an occasional rain shower whenever you go out.

April Events in Canada

From the last of the winter sporting events to the first of the warm-weather activities, there are plenty of ways to celebrate this April in Canada—depending on which part of the country you're visiting. While Easter and Carnival are often celebrated this month (if not March) across Canada, you can also stop by Newfoundland for a unique observance of St. George's Day.

  • Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival: All month long, various venues across the city will host a variety of festive events in honor of the annual blossoming of the cherry trees, starting with the Cherry Jam Downtown Kickoff Concert on April 2–3, 2020.
  • Sakura Days Japan Fair: A two-day event and one of the biggest Cherry Blossom Festival celebrations, which takes place at the VanDusen Botanical Garden in celebration of Japanese culture and art.
  • Art Vancouver International Art Fair: From April 16–19, 2020, over 100 exhibitors from around Canada and the world gather at the Vancouver Convention Centre for this annual art show, which also includes a city-wide art gallery crawl.
  • Hot Docs International Documentary Festival: This festival is North America's largest conference, market, and festival dedicated to documentary film making, and it begins on April 30, 2020.
  • Festival Vues d'Afrique: This celebration of African film making returns to Montreal for exhibitions, shows, dining, film screenings, and round table discussions from April 17–26, 2020.
  • St. George's Day: The entire province of Newfoundland celebrates St. George's Day on the Monday nearest to April 23. It's a holiday throughout the province, so businesses may be extra busy or even closed.

April Travel Tips

  • Loads of travel deals and discounts on popular tourist activities are available this month, and the warmer weather means more attractions will be opening and more outdoor activities will be available across the country.
  • Snow melting and spring showers can mean wet, muddy conditions, especially outside of the cities. While you can still enjoy hiking and camping this time of year, you may need to prepare for worse conditions in April than later in the spring or summer.
  • Weather is unpredictable, which is why dressing in layers is advisable and you should always carry a small umbrella in case of a sudden shower while you're out exploring the countryside.
  • Easter in Canada falls sometime between March 22 and April 25, which may mean holiday closures for government offices, local businesses, and even some restaurants and bars.
  • Skiing remains popular in spring and lots of spring skiing vacation deals are available around the country—even at some of Canada's best-known resorts.
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