What Is Canada Like in November?

A pile of raked fallen colored Maple leaves on the ground in Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Herman Bresser/Getty Images

 

The Canadian ski season is not fully underway in November but the cold weather probably has arrived. Travelers to Canada in November can take advantage of lots of low-travel-season deals with great airfare and hotel packages and fewer crowds for attractions.

If you pack the appropriate attire, then you can still enjoy city walking and the outdoor activities that Canada has to offer in November.

Weather

Canada is a very large country—3.8 million square miles. There is a vast difference in weather and climate throughout the country, which is the second largest country in the world (by area). But, if you know where in Canada you are going, for example, major cities like Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, then you can get a better picture as to the temperatures and weather to expect. For example, Vancouver is the warmest major city with highs in the 40s F. Meanwhile, the Northwest Territory records some of the lowest temperatures in the country; its high averages about 14 F.

City/Province or Territory Average Low Temp Average High Temp
Vancouver, British Columbia 37 F 48 F
Edmonton, Alberta 14 F 32 F
Yellowknife, Northwest Territory 0 F 14 F
Inukjuak, Nunavut 16 F 27 F
Winnipeg, Manitoba 18 F 32 F
Ottawa, Ontario 28 F 41 F
Toronto, Ontario 32 F 45 F
Montreal, Quebec 30 F 41 F
Halifax, Nova Scotia 32 F 45 F
St. John's, Newfoundland 32 F 43 F

What to Pack

Since winter is around the corner, Canada is starting to have some freezing cold days. No matter what part you travel to, you will want to bring warm, waterproof clothing including sweaters, hoodies, light jackets, and a heavier coat or jacket. For the colder cities, you will want to layer your clothes to give you versatility when you go to restaurants or visit museums or other indoor attractions.

You will need gloves, a hat, and a scarf. Bring closed-toe shoes and boots. Don't forget an umbrella (especially if you plan on visiting Vancouver, which is at its rainiest).

Events

Most events and activities start heading indoors in November. Although, if you do attend an outdoor event or plan to go skiing, then plan your attire accordingly. 

  • Santa Claus ParadesMost of the major cities of Canada host Santa Claus parades in November to gear up for the Christmas season. The family-friendly parades feature floats and usually have activities for children.
  • Whistler Cornucopia: This event in Whistler, British Columbia, features wine tastings, elegant gourmet food events, celebrity chef seminars, and parties.
  • Royal Agricultural Winter Fair: This fair in Toronto, Ontario, is the world's largest combined agricultural, horticultural, canine, and equestrian event.
  • Montreal Documentary Festival: November is a good time for film festivals in Montreal. The Montreal Documentary Festival is a 10-day festival highlighting creative documentary filmmaking. Other film festivals in November include the Cinemania Film Festival featuring French films, and the week-long Image + Nation International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.
  • Ottawa Food and Wine Show: Usually the first week in November, Ottawa, Ontario, hosts a two-day Ottawa Food and Wine Show, which includes pouring more than 1,400 wines and spirits. The show is enjoyed by up to 25,000 wine and food enthusiasts.

Travel Tips

  • Canada observes Remembrance Day, which is similar to Memorial Day in the U.S., on November 11. School, bank, and government closures vary by province or territory. In Ontario and Quebec, November 11 is not a general holiday, but in the West and in the maritime provinces it is. Best bet is to call ahead to any banks or government offices if you are planning a visit.
  • Daylight Savings Time goes into effect the first Sunday of November. At 2 a.m. on that first Sunday, clocks are turned back one hour to 1 a.m. local standard time.
  • Canada has its own currency—the Canadian dollar—however in border towns and at major tourist attractions (like Niagara Falls) U.S. currency may be accepted; it is at the discretion of the proprietor. When in doubt, use a major credit card, which is widely accepted throughout the country.
  • If your trip spans from the end of October into November or is at the tail end of the month with part of your trip in December, there are plenty of activities in those months, too.
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