Vancouver, British Columbia, a city on the Pacific Coast of Canada, is renowned for its extremely scenic location, surrounded by mountains and water. The city offers many waterfront activities, festivals, fairs, and parks at which you can enjoy the nice summer weather. Therefore it is not surprising that August is one of the most popular times to visit; book early and expect higher prices and bigger crowds.
The third largest metropolitan area in Canada, Vancouver has notably different weather conditions from much of the rest of the country, including Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal, three of the country's other popular destinations.
Vancouver Weather in August
Visiting Vancouver in August is a wonderful experience—the city with so much natural beauty quite reliably has long warm, sunny days and less rain than any month (other than July).
- Average high: 74 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius)
- Average low: 54 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius)
The average overall temperature is warm and rarely scorching at around 63 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Celsius) for the month. Visitors can expect rain about 11 days out of the month.
What to Pack
Since it's summer you can count on needing the usual summer gear like shorts, T-shirts, and sandals. However, temperatures can dip at night, so you should bring long-sleeved shirts, pants, closed-toed shoes, and rain gear. If you plan to visit the surrounding mountain areas, it is wise to pack a light jacket or sweater.
Accessories to remember include an umbrella, sunglasses, sun visor or hat, and sunscreen. If you head out of the city, bring bug spray to ward off the mosquitoes.
August Events in Vancouver
Vancouver is full of interesting music, art, and theater happenings, and August brings festivals galore, along with many waterfront activities. Also, summertime means that you can expect an electric atmosphere bustling with people, laughter, and camaraderie. Many love to take advantage of Stanley Park, Vancouver's enormous urban park that is full of activities for all ages. This is also a good time to head out to one of the many beaches in Vancouver. Or, if you prefer to skip the crowds, lines, and traffic, find a patio and lounge to enjoy the splendid temperatures.
- Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival: From June through September, enjoy Shakespeare against a natural backdrop of sea, sky, and mountains in tents at Vanier Park. The performances are near the Bard Village, a gathering space where theater attendees mingle and enjoy a boutique, educational events, and concession and bar services.
- Vancouver Chinatown Festival: Celebrated in August by more than 50,000 people, the event offers street festival activities including a day market, a food tasting and walking tour, shopping, fun for kids, multicultural stage performances, and a talent show. Find the festival at Columbia Street and Keefer Street.
- Abbotsford Air Show: Founded in 1962 and watched by millions of spectators, this has been designated as Canada’s national air show and aviation festival. Civilian and military aerobatic performances take place at the three-day event offering more than 14 acres of activities at the Abbotsford International Airport, about 30 miles from Vancouver.
- Vancouver Queer Film Festival: The second largest film festival in Vancouver is held at several venues for 10 days in August. The event showcases independent films "that illuminate the everyday and transformative moments in the lives of queer, trans, and two-spirit people."
- The Honda Celebration of Light: This fireworks festival has been going strong since 1990. Global pyrotechnic teams compete, and the celebration also shines with its food and musical entertainment. Honda sponsors this event, which takes place at a few different venues for three days and nights in late July and early August.
- Vancouver Pride Parade and Festival: People of all stripes take to the streets in West End for the Pride Parade, said to be the biggest such event in Western Canada, and one of the largest in North America. For one day in early August, plenty of people enjoy wearing their finest and shiniest at the parade, dances, cruises, parties, and more.
- Pacific National Exhibition Fair: From August to early September, this fair offers a good time for the whole family, with a variety of outdoor concerts and shows, educational agricultural and dinosaur exhibits, rides and games at the amusement park Playland, food, and additional activities. The fair takes place on Hastings Street and Renfrew Street.
- Music Under the Clock: On Saturdays in summer, spend a few hours checking out some live music under the clock at W. 41st Avenue and Yew Street N. This event is in the charming neighborhood of Kerrisdale on the west side of Vancouver, not far from restaurants and shops you may enjoy perusing.
August Travel Tips
- It is high season, so that means more expensive travel, fuller than usual hotels and restaurants, and longer lines at Vancouver's tourist attractions. Be sure to book ahead for hotels, transportation (including car rentals and ferries), restaurants, and tours. Get tickets online when possible.
- The first Monday of August is a public holiday in British Columbia, called B.C. Day or Civic Holiday. Most Canadian provinces observe a similar holiday on this date but have their own names for it. Banks and most stores will be closed.
- Expect heavy traffic on major highways on the Friday and Monday of this weekend and potentially longer than usual lines at border crossings.