Vancouver has notably different weather conditions than much of the rest of Canada, including Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, three of the country's other most popular cities to visit.
Whereas spring in the Rocky Mountains can still get surprise snow storms and Eastern Canada can be cold or warm, Vancouver in May is more reliable in its raininess and mild temperatures.
May Weather in Vancouver
- Average maximum daytime temp: 17ºC / 64ºF
- The BC coast’s climate is the most moderate in Canada, but there is rain -- lots of it. In May, Vancouver has rain about 13 days out of 31.
What to Wear in Vancouver in May:
- Warm, water-resistant outerwear
- Comfortable closed-toe shoes and water-resistant footwear, especially if you're going to be outside of the city.
- Sunhat, sunscreen
- A range of clothing, including t-shirts, sweaters, light pants, heavy slacks. Dressing in layers is a good idea. Daytimes can be warm, but evenings can still be chilly.
Vancouver in May Perks:
- Warmer weather means visitors can enjoy more of Vancouver great outdoor offerings.
- May in Vancouver is less rainy than average.
- Springtime means the full throng of summer visitors has not yet arrived.
- Spring ski season runs to the end of May at Whistler and other BC ski destinations.
Vancouver in May Cons:
- Some of the most popular Canadian festivals and events are not yet under way.
Good to Know about Vancouver in May:
Victoria Day is a national holiday in Canada that falls on the Monday before May 25th. Government services, schools and banks will be closed.
Victoria Day weekend is a big travel holiday in Canada (commonly referred to as "May Two-Four Weekend").
Expect crowded highways on the Friday and Monday of this weekend and long lineups at border crossings.
Vancouver in May Highlights and Events:
- Vancouver International Children's Festival: A world-renowned festival of performing arts for young audiences, the Vancouver International Children's Festival has been educating, entertaining and inspiring young audiences since 1978.
- EAT! Vancouver, The Everything Food & Cooking Festival.
- Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition , (south of Surrey): Top cowboys and cowgirls on the professional rodeo circuit compete in traditional rodeo events including bare back, saddle, bronco, and bull riding.
- Whistler Wellness Week, (Whistler is a spectacular 2-hr drive from Vancouver): Seminars and teachings on living a better, more holistic life.