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 the 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.
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.
Average October Temperature by Province
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.
During October, the province of Alberta is just starting to get frosty with nightly temperatures that hover around the freezing point.
- Edmonton, AB: 51/32 F (10/0 C)
- Calgary, AB: 53/29 F (12/-1 C)
Although it's one of Canada's warmest provinces, October in British Columbia sees mild temperatures and lots of rain.
- Vancouver, BC: 56/45 F (14/7 C)
- Victoria, BC: 58/45 F (15/7 C)
October weather in Manitoba varies depending on where you go. If you're in Winnipeg, which is close to the U.S. border, you'll experience mild temperatures and some rain. However, if you travel north to Churchill for polar bear watching season, you should expect cold polar weather.
- Churchill, MB: 34/19 F (1/-7 C)
- Winnipeg, MB: 51/31 F (11/0 C)
The province of New Brunswick is located to the northeast of Maine, which means it sees mild weather and cool temperatures in October, similar to New England.
- Moncton, NB: 56/38 F (13/3 C)
- Saint John, NB: 60/37 F (16/3 C)
Newfoundland and Labrador
The weather in Newfoundland can be a little unpredictable, but generally October sees cooler temperatures and high humidity.
- St. John's, NF: 51/39 F (12/3 C)
Located way up in the north between the Yukon and Nunavut, the Northwest Territories are cold in October with chilly days and below-freezing nights.
- Yellowknife, NWT: 44/14 F (6/-10 C)
October weather in Nova Scotia is consistently rainy with cool temperatures during the day and cold, but not freezing, temperatures at night.
- Halifax, NS: 56/43 F (13/6 C)
In this extremely cold northern province, October weather is harsh with temperatures consistently below freezing.
- Iqualuit, NU: 30/21 F (minus -2/-6 C)
Octobers in Ontario are on the colder side, but it's not winter yet, so snow is unlikely.
- Ottawa, ON: 55/39 F (13/4 C)
- Toronto, ON: 57/45 F (14/7 C)
Prince Edward Island
The smallest of all the Canadian provinces, Prince Edward Island sees pleasant temperatures in October thanks to its location near the ocean. However, it can also be quite rainy towards the end of the month and into November.
- Charlottetown, PEI: 54/40 F (12/4 C)
During October in Quebec, you'll find mild temperatures typical of autumn on the northern Atlantic coast.
- Montreal, QC: 55/39 F (13/4 C)
- Quebec City, QC: 52/36 F (11/2 C)
Octobers in Saskatchewan are on the chillier side with cool temperatures during the day and near-freezing ones at night.
- Saskatoon, SK: 51/32 F (10/0 C)
Bordering Alaska, weather in the Yukon is intense year-round. As nights get longer in October, temperatures stay low and dip well below freezing at their lowest.
- Whitehorse, YK: 40/26 (4/-3 C)
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. You'll also want to be aware that Canadian Thanksgiving always takes place on the second Monday of October, which means banks and government offices will be closed.
In addition to the fall colors, 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.