Warmer Weather and Fewer Crowds Make Early Spring a Great Time to Visit Canada
There's still some chill in the air, but with the snow gone and spring flowers in bloom, May is, for many, an ideal time to visit Canada.
The complete gamut of summer activities is not in full swing, but golfing has begun in the western provinces and spring ski deals are still available.
If you want to visit a Canadian city, May offers pleasant temperatures for walking and getting outside for hiking even camping if you're prepared. Rain is a reality all across the country, so just have some indoor backup plans wherever you are and / or good waterproof clothing.
The good news is May is generally a shoulder travel time and you can probably score a pretty good deal on airfare and hotels.
Be sure to recognize that weather conditions among Canadian cities can be drastically different. For example, May in Vancouver is much more moderate (and rainy) than in, say, Toronto or Halifax. Be sure to check regional weather forecasts for where you're going.
Canada in May in Major Canadian Cities
Know where in Canada you're going? Check out more detailed Canadian city weather and event guides:
Average May Temperature (Low / High)
- Vancouver, BC: 46 / 61ºFahrenheit (8 / 16ºCelsius)
- Edmonton, AB: 37 / 63ºF, (3 / 17ºC)
- Yellowknife, NWT: 32 / 50ºF, (0 / 10ºC)
- Inukjuak, NU: 25 / 34ºF, (-4 / 1ºC)
- Winnipeg, MB: 41 / 66ºF, (5 / 19ºC)
- Ottawa, ON: 45 / 66ºF, (7 / 19ºC)
- Toronto, ON: 43 / 64ºF, (6 / 18ºC)
- Montréal:, QC: 45 / 66ºF, (7 / 19ºC)
- Halifax, NS: 39 / 59ºF, (4 / 15ºC)
- St. John's, NF: 34 / 50ºF, (1 / 10ºC)
- Warmer weather means visitors can enjoy more of Canada's great outdoor offerings.
- Springtime means the full throng of summer visitors has not yet arrived.
- Spring ski season runs to the end of May out West and great ski package deals abound.
What's Not So Great about Canada in May
- Some of the most popular Canadian festivals and events are not yet under way.
- May can still be quite chilly and not comfortably warm enough to do certain activities. Certainly, lake and ocean swimming are not yet in season.
Good to Know
- Victoria Day is a national holiday in Canada that falls on the Monday before May 25th. Government services, schools, and banks will be closed. Victoria Day weekend is a big travel holiday in Canada (commonly referred to as "May Two-Four Weekend"). Expect crowded highways on the Friday and Monday of this weekend and long lineups at border crossings.
May Highlights / Events
- Banff Summer Arts Festival, May through August: Banff, Alberta
- The Canadian Tulip Festival, Ottawa
- Contact Photography Festival, the Month of May: Toronto
- Sante: The Toronto International Wine Festival, Toronto
- The Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival, May to June: Nova Scotia
- The Stratford Festival (Theatre), May - October: Stratford, Ontario
- The Shaw Festival (Theatre), April - November: Niagara-on-the-Lake