It should come as no surprise that Canada is cold in February, and the country's biggest city of Toronto is no exception. While the temperatures can feel extreme, it's not as cold as other Canadian cities such as Montreal or Ottawa, and as long as you come prepared, the weather is bearable.
What's more, Torontonians truly make the most of the winter weather with all types of festivals and events that embrace the cold instead of shy away from it. Mix in the festivities with low-season travel prices, and February isn't such a bad time to visit the city after all.
Toronto Weather in February
Do not underestimate how cold it can get in Toronto in February, when the daily high is usually below freezing. On a "warm day" the temperature might rise up to above freezing, but it will still be cold. In fact, because Toronto is so windy, it often feels several degrees colder than what the thermostat says.
You may also get snow in February and, if you do get snow, the walkways and roads may be slippery and hazardous. When it is very snowy or slick, then you may have additional transportation challenges, such as canceled or delayed flights or slower public transit.
- Average High: 30 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 1 degree Celsius)
- Average Low: 16 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 9 degrees Celsius)
- Average Monthly Snowfall: 11 inches (28 cm)
- Average Monthly Rainfall: 2 inches (5.5 cm)
What to Pack
Packing for warmth is key when it comes to being comfortable in Toronto in February. You don’t want to underestimate the power of the wind to bite through thinner layers. In order to keep your body warm in winter, layering will be a big help. Pack warm, waterproof clothing, including sweaters, hoodies, a heavy jacket, hat, scarf, gloves, and insulated waterproof boots with a non-slip sole. You'll also want skintight layers or thermals to wear underneath your clothing for the most protection.
Make sure your outer layers are easy to remove for when you step inside the metro, a restaurant, museum, or another heated place, or you may end up overdoing it and feeling overheated.
February Events in Toronto
Despite the chillier temperatures, there are still quite a few fun and interesting events happening in Toronto in February that cover everything from food to art. Do note that some of the events happen outdoors, so make sure to bundle up.
As of February 3, 2021, the province of Ontario is on a strict stay-at-home order and nearly all events planned for the month have been canceled.
- Bloor-Yorkville Icefest: Ice sculptures come to the trendy Bloor-Yorkville neighborhood with carving demonstrations, competitions, and plenty of photo ops. For 2021, the Icefest is happening with sculptures set up across the entire neighborhood from February 26–28, so residents can visit them without gathering in groups. If you can't make it to Toronto, see the sculptures through the official Instagram account.
- Winterlicious: From the end of January to the beginning of February you can experience Winterlicious, a series of culinary events and the ever-popular prix fixe promotion at more than 200 participating top Toronto restaurants. The 2021 Winterlicious event is canceled.
- Toronto Light Festival: Toronto's historic Distillery District is transformed into a whimsical and breathtaking light show featuring thousands of lights throughout the Distillery as well as art installations. However, the Toronto Light Festival is canceled in 2021.
- Winter Light Exhibition: Ontario Place helps make winter a little more enjoyable with this festival of creative light installations. In addition, there's a bonfire on offer on the north end of Cedar Cove on the West Island. In 2021, the Winter Light Exhibition is not taking place.
- Winter Stations: See some stunning art installations at Toronto's east end waterfront. The designs for the 2021 event with the theme, "Refuge," have been selected, but the event has been postponed to later in the year.
- Harbourfront Centre: This cultural hub of Toronto offers special artistic and cultural events throughout the year. From November to March, you can ice skate for free on Canada's largest artificially-frozen outdoor rink. The rink is set along the beautiful shoreline of Lake Ontario and is the city's most scenic rink. However, the Harbourfront Centre and Ice Rink are closed for the 2021 season until further notice.
February Travel Tips
- February is low season for visitors to Toronto, so lots of hotels offer great deals and it's a great time for booking cheaper-than-normal accommodations.
- If you like winter activities such as snowshoeing, ice skating, or skiing, then February may be one of the best times for you to visit. Toronto is home to many outdoor skating rinks and you can find opportunities to ski and snowboard not far from the city.
- You may want to avoid popular attractions or ski lodges on the third Monday of February, which is a holiday called Family Day in Canada (and falls on the same day as President's Day in the U.S.). Ski resorts will be extra crowded and you might experience long waits for ski lifts.
- The Eaton Center is one of many indoor shopping malls and connects to Toronto's underground "path" of shops. PATH, the largest underground shopping center in the world, is an 18-mile network of underground pedestrian tunnels and walkways connecting the office towers of downtown Toronto and four million-square-feet of retail space.
To learn more about when the best times to travel to Toronto are, check out the guide on the best time to visit.