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

Montreal in October

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In October, Canada's weather is cool yet comfortable, which means most outdoor activities can be enjoyed with a minimal need to layer up. Across this large country, October weather conditions in Canada will be cool with some precipitation, but generally pleasant. You are unlikely to see snow, unless you head to the northern provinces. In general, October is a great time to visit Canada, because there are fewer crowds and shoulder season means you can find some good deals on accommodation.

Fall Foliage

October is an excellent time to visit Canada to spot the bright colors of the fall foliage. In the northern provinces, the leaves will hit their peak colorfulness early in the month, but if you're staying close to the U.S. border, the best time to visit would be in mid-to-late October.

Average October Temperature

Depending on which of Canada's thirteen provinces you plan on visiting, you're likely to find varying weather and climates across Canada. The Current Results website provides additional weather information for a range of Canadian cities and provinces. The following guide breaks down the average high and low temperatures in some of each province's most popular cities.

  • Edmonton, AB: 51/32 F (10/0 C)
  • Calgary, AB: 53/29 F (12/-1 C)
  • Vancouver, BC: 56/45 F (14/7 C)
  • Victoria, BC: 58/45 F (15/7 C)
  • Churchill, MB: 34/19 F (1/-7 C)
  • Winnipeg, MB: 51/31 F (11/0 C)
  • Moncton, NB: 56/38 F (13/3 C)
  • Saint John, NB: 60/37 F (16/3 C)
  • St. John's, NF: 51/39 F (12/3 C)
  • Yellowknife, NWT: 44/14 F (6/-10 C)
  • Halifax, NS: 56/43 F (13/6 C)
  • Iqualuit, NU: 30/21 F (minus -2/-6 C)
  • Ottawa, ON: 55/39 F (13/4 C)
  • Toronto, ON: 57/45 F (14/7 C)
  • Charlottetown, PEI: 54/40 F (12/4 C)
  • Montreal, QC: 55/39 F (13/4 C)
  • Quebec City, QC: 52/36 F (11/2 C)
  • Saskatoon, SK: 51/32 F (10/0 C)
  • Whitehorse, YK: 40/26 (4/-3 C)

What to Pack

Clothing needs vary depending on what part of Canada you'll be visiting and whether you'll be traveling at the beginning of October or towards the end. The beginning of the month might still be warm enough to wear a short-sleeved shirt during the day, but at night you'll still want a warm jacket. Wherever you go, you'll probably need to bring a jacket, fleece, sweater, gloves, a hat, and a pair of long pants. They key to preparing for October in Canada is to pack clothes that can be easily layered on top of each other. This way you can adjust to cooler and warmer temperatures and the weather changes throughout the day and night.

October Events in Canada

If you're planning a trip to Canada, keep in mind the following fall events which may be happening near where you plan to go. there are many seasonal festivals worth traveling for like the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival in Alberta, the Celtic Colours International Festival in Nova Scotia, and the largest Oktoberfest celebration in North America that occurs each year in Ontario. You can also easily find plenty of typical fall activities like pumpkin patches, corn mazes, apple-picking, and autumn festivals wherever you go. Toronto's Nuit Blanche is also a good event for art-lovers with the entire city coming together to celebrate and see the new exhibits on display and wine lovers should take a detour to check out either the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival near Toronto or the Okanagan Wine Festival near Kelowna.

October Travel Tips

Because of Canada's reputation as a prime leaf-peeping destination, fall is a very popular time to visit, which means you might be the only ones paying a trip up north. Other than a few crowds, the only thing you really need to be aware of when visiting Canada in October is Canadian Thanksgiving, which unlike the U.S., happens in October instead of November.

Every year on the second Monday of October, businesses will be closed in most provinces. Quebec, which celebrates a slightly different version of Thanksgiving, is the exception. However, it's not totally unheard of to find businesses closed for the holiday in Quebec either.

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