Learn What to Expect When Visiting Toronto in May

What to Expect When Visiting Canada's Largest City in Late Spring

A city park in Downtown Toronto
••• Driendl Group/Photodisc/Getty Images

Planning a trip to Toronto this spring? In the month of May, you can expect a short, but mild spring season. This warmer weather means that visitors can enjoy more of the city's great outdoor offerings, such as dining al fresco or going on a walking tour of the city.

Springtime also means that the full throng of summer tourists have not yet arrived, but you might miss out on some of the most popular festivals and events that are not yet underway.

That being said, near the end of the month is the national holiday, Victoria Day, that brings in a large number of international tourists and locals heading to the beach or countryside.  

Average Temperatures This Month

Canada may be known for record-breaking low temperatures, but if you're visiting Toronto in May, you can expect mild weather during your stay. During the daytime, it will be warm, but evenings can still be chilly.

  • Average maximum temperature: 63 F
  • Average minimum temperature: 45 F
  • Lowest temperature on record: 25 F
  • Highest temperature on record: 93 F

What Clothing Items You Should Pack

Typically, rain is expected for 11 out of the 31 days in May, so you will no doubt want to bring a raincoat, umbrella, and water-resistant footwear, such as rubber boots, and comfortable closed-toe walking shoes, especially if you plan on seeing the city on foot. You will also need to bring a wide range of clothing pieces that can be layered.

These items include t-shirts, tank tops, sweaters, light pants, heavy slacks and a light jacket. Though you probably won't be soaking up the sun on a beach, bring a sunhat and sunscreen to protect your skin, even on cloudy days.

Important Dates and Event Information for 2018

From national holidays to festivals honoring film, food, photography, and so much more, there is plenty to do in Toronto this month.

  • Victoria Day is a national holiday in Canada that falls on the Monday prior to May 25th each year. Expect all government services, schools, and banks to be closed. Additionally, Victoria Day weekend is a major travel holiday in Canada and is commonly referred to as "May Two-Four Weekend". Traffic is inevitable on the highways beginning on Friday and runs until Monday evening. You will also encounter long lines at all of the border crossings.
  • Running from April 26th through May 6th is the largest documentary festival in North America, called the Hot Docs International Documentary Festival. Over 150 cutting-edge documentaries are screened during the event, from both local and international filmmakers.
  • The Scotia Bank Contact Photography Festival is a month-long event that features over 1,000 local, national, and international photographs on display at more than 200 different venues scattered across the city.
  • Doors Open Toronto is a free festival that showcases 150 architecturally significant buildings that open their doors to the public during this event on May 26th and 27th. Toronto was the very first city in North America to host this event, and it remains one of the best around.
  • The local LGBT community has been organizing the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival for over two decades in Toronto. This festival, which runs from May 24th through June 3rd is a celebration of the best queer films around.
  • Celebrate 125 years of the most prestigious award in sports, and Canada's favorite pastime with the Stanley Cup tribute at the Hockey Hall of Fame. The exhibit will be on display this month until December 2018.
  • Step inside the historic Evergreen Brick Works on May 18th and 19th to get a taste of one of the best global food festivals, Tastemaker Toronto
  • From May 7th through 13th you can celebrate Canadian Music Week. Part industry conference and festival, this event is packed with workshops, panels with music professionals and culminates in the Canadian Music Fest that brings in 1,000 bands for live performances at 60 local venues.
  • The Toronto Palestine Film Festival is bringing the internationally-acclaimed play: TAHA! to Toronto on May 11th and 12th. The play is based on the Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali, and it will be performed in English.