Canada in February: Is this the best time to visit?
If you’re thinking of visiting Canada in February, you’ll be rewarded with some truly spectacular winter scenery. From the snow-capped mountains of Banff National Park to the frozen Niagara Falls, there’s plenty to see and do.
Just be sure to pack your warmest clothes, as temperatures are still cold, and can vary widely across the country. Whichever part of Canada you choose to visit, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
Canada in February: Complete guide to visiting Canada in winter
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What season is February in Canada?
February is a winter month in Canada. January is the coldest month, but February is still pretty cold, and snowy in most parts of the country.
The average temperature in Canada in February is around -2°C (27 F). However, temperatures can vary depending on which part of the country you’re visiting.
Rains are also quite common in most destinations, especially in the first part of the month. With the rain, snow, and the cold, it can sometimes become quite uncomfortable for new travelers to Canada.
But in spite of this, we feel Canada is a welcoming place in February with all attractions being open, winter festivities, and fewer crowds (yes!)
When is winter in Canada?
The months from December to February are the official winter season in Canada.
Canada seasons: Canada has four distinct seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter. The monthly breakdown is as follows
- Spring: March, April, May
- Summer: June, July, August
- Fall: September, October, November
- Winter: December, January, February
Canada February weather, climate, and temperatures
February is the tail end of the winter season in Canada. However, winter is not over yet, so don’t expect the snow or ice to disappear.
There is still snow in most parts of the country, leaving aside parts of the west coast and some areas in the Maritimes.
The weather in February is similar to January – it is cold and gloomy. And you do need to pack and wear warm clothing to indulge in outdoor activities.
You can still go skiing and snowboarding. Canada experiences the most cloud cover in January, but in February the weather is still damp for 50% of the time.
Here is what temperatures look like in various places in Canada in February,
Canada Weather February:
|– 7 C|
|Ottawa||– 4 C|
|– 13 C|
|Edmonton||– 3 C|
|– 13 C|
|– 12 C|
|Quebec City||– 4 C|
|– 13 C|
|Montreal||– 3 C|
|– 11 C|
|Saskatoon||– 8 C|
|– 19 C|
– 2.2 F
|– 8 C|
|Charlottetown||– 3 C|
|– 11 C|
What to pack for a trip to Canada in February?
Canada can be quite cold during February, so don’t leave your woolens at home. A good parka, warm hat, thermal wear, and scarf are essential, as are gloves and winter boots.
If you’re planning on spending time outdoors, you might also need ski gear or cleats for your boots.
And, of course, don’t forget your camera to capture all the beautiful winter scenery.
- Long sleeve tops and T-shirts: Pack long sleeve tops and blouses so that you remain comfortable all day long. These are great for layering on
- Knit dresses and skirts: Pack knitted dresses or warm skirts for indoor events and activities
- Bottoms: Carry warm leggings, jeans, and snow pants
- Long Johns: Top and bottom thermal wear
- Warm and waterproof parka: This outerwear is important as you will be out and about exploring. I like this North Face Parka for winters
- Sweaters and cardigans
- Snow boots: Ensure you are lined with warm material and have a thick and sturdy outsole. Click to view my favorite one
- Warm accessories: Pack gloves, beanies, scarves, etc
- Loungewear: For use in the hotel/resort
What can you expect in Canada in February?
In February, you can expect to find snow in most parts of Canada. The east coast is especially prone to snowstorms, so be prepared for some winter weather if you’re visiting that part of the country.
In the west, the weather is usually milder, but it can still be cold.
No matter where you go in Canada in February, be sure to pack your warmest clothes and enjoy the winter wonderland!
Road trips are still a good idea in February but don’t ditch winter tires yet. Depending on your route – cities, towns, or parks – you will need to prepare for winter drives, and always look at the forecast for weather conditions for the day before embarking on a road trip.
As far as festivals go, Canada celebrates Family Day in most provinces in February. Family Day is not a national statutory holiday, it is only observed in the provinces of New Brunswick, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia. Other provinces celebrate a similar festival on the same day.
Here are some of the Canadian festivals to take note of in February,
- Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous (Yukon): Nothing to do with food, but the term ‘sourdough’ is someone who has braved a Yukon winter. With temperatures below – 40 C (or – 40 F) each winter, at this festival you can enjoy a fun experience in the cold with activities.
- Winterlude (Ottawa): Canada’s capital celebrates the Winterlude festival every winter. It draws over half a million people, and visitors get to enjoy the largest snow playground at the world’s largest ice rink along the Rideau Canal.
- Carnaval de Quebec (Quebec City): Quebec’s Winter Carnival is the oldest winter festival in the world. You can go dog sledding, canoeing, and sleigh racing in this mega event in Quebec City. This festival dates back to 1894.
- Festival du Voyageur (Winnipeg, MN): This is an epic 10-day winter festival that is held in Winnipeg’s French quarter, Saint-Boniface.
- Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Race (Ottawa): The Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival is the world’s largest ice dragon boat race The event takes place on the Rideau Canal Skateway, with boats equipped with skate-like blades. You can also check out free concerts, family activities, and traditional Indigenous performances with First Nations dancers and traditional Chinese success lion dancers.
Other than winter festivals, Canada’s major destinations celebrate Valentine’s Day (and Family Day) with great fervor. You can find romantic hotel getaways, restaurants, and spa packages to impress your special one!
February is an underrated time to visit Canada, just like November!
Because February is not a peak tourist season in Canada, you can surely score an awesome hotel deal overlooking the Niagara Falls, or the epic mountains of the Canadian Rockies!
Read: Canada bucket list
Best places to visit in Canada in February
If you are visiting Canada in February, you will love the snowy landscapes, minus the crowds at the skiing resorts.
Cities are not super crowded in February either. Some days you might get a few sunny hours, and on others, it could be super cold – and so packing warm clothes at all times of the month is essential.
Some of the best places to visit in Canada in February include Banff National Park, Whistler, Niagara Falls, Toronto, and Vancouver.
1. Banff National Park:
If you’re looking for a winter wonderland to visit in February, Banff National Park is a great choice. With its snow-capped mountains and frozen lakes, the park is a true winter paradise.
There’s plenty to do in Banff National Park in February, from skiing and snowboarding to hiking and wildlife watching. And, if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
During the month of February, Alberta residents can also avail of discounts for accommodation, and those looking to celebrate an anniversary and Valentine’s Day, do check out the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, and Fairmont Château Lake Louise.
Whistler is a world-famous skiing destination, and it’s also one of the best places to visit in Canada in February.
The resort town is located in British Columbia’s Coast Mountains and offers stunning scenery, along with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities.
If you’re a fan of skiing or snowboarding, you’ll be spoiled for choice in Whistler, as there are over 200 trails to explore.
And, when you’re not hitting the slopes, you can go dog sledding, ice skating, or even take a dip in an outdoor hot tub (like the Scandinave Spa).
3. Niagara Falls:
Niagara Falls is one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations, and it’s even more breathtaking in the winter. When the temperatures drop, the waterfalls freeze, creating a stunning natural spectacle.
There are several ways to view Niagara Falls in February, including from the Observation Tower, the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort, or even by taking a helicopter tour.
The best time to visit Niagara Falls is early February before the peak tourist season arrives.
Toronto is a great city to visit any time of year, but in February you can ring romantic celebrations on Valentine’s Day, and even score great hotel deals, as it is off-season.
There are plenty of things to do in Toronto in February, from exploring the city’s museums and art galleries to ice skating at Nathan Phillips Square.
And don’t forget to check out the city’s many attractions, from the CN Tower, and Casa Loma to the Royal Ontario Museum.
5. Quebec City:
Quebec City is a beautiful place to visit in any season, but it’s especially magical in winter. The city’s cobbled streets and historic buildings are blanketed in snow, making for a truly picturesque scene.
In February, you can also enjoy the annual Carnaval de Québec, a winter festival featuring parades, concerts, and other festivities.
Vancouver is a great choice for a winter getaway in February. The weather is milder than in other parts of the country, but it can still be cold and wet, so pack your raincoat and woolens!
You can hang out in various indoor places like art galleries, Canada Place with the popular FlyOver Canada, and watch a Canucks game or theatre.
In February you can also participate in the Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival (perfect for Valentine’s Day and beyond).
Vancouver is also home to some of the finest restaurants and cafes, which is great for date nights. You will also find amazing shopping opportunities at Robson Street.
And if you’re looking for some winter fun, Vancouver has plenty to offer, from ice skating and skiing to snowshoeing in the nearby Grouse Mountains and Mount Seymour.
Ottawa, the capital of Canada, is a great place to visit in February. The city comes alive in winter with its many festivals and events.
You can also go ice skating on the Rideau Canal, visit the Canadian Museum of Nature, and explore the Byward Market.
Montreal is a beautiful city to visit in winter, with its snow-covered streets and festive atmosphere. In February, you can enjoy the Montreal Winter Carnival, Ice Magic Festival, and more.
The Ice Hotel, located 2 hours from Montreal is open in February for visitors.
And be sure to try some of the city’s signature winter dishes, like poutine and tourtière.
Halifax is a great place to visit in February for its many events and festivals. From the Downtown Dartmouth Ice Festival to Sackville Snow Days Festival, you can enjoy winter weekends packed with fun events like ice carving, wagon rides, bonfires, live shows and so much more.
You can also explore the city’s historic sites in and around Halifax, enjoy the scenic views of the Halifax Harbour, and also participate in food and drinks (craft beer and whiskey festivals).
Whitehorse is the perfect place to experience the true beauty of the Yukon. In February, you can go dog sledding, ice fishing, and cross-country skiing.
You can also visit the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, where you can see elk, bison, and other animals in their natural habitat.
These are just some of the great places to visit in Canada in February. So whether you’re looking for a winter wonderland or a festive city, there’s sure to be a destination that’s perfect for you.
More Canada in February Travel Tips
February is not a popular time to visit Canada. It is not a peak tourist season, in fact, it is a slow season with plenty of amazing activities (winter, and indoor) to awesome accommodation deals to choose from.
The best time to visit Canada is from September through November instead when the summer months have gone by.
Canada is cold in February. Most of the popular destinations will experience snow, and temperatures ranging from -2 degrees (28.4 F) to – 12 degrees Celsius (10.4 F).
You can also expect rain for a portion of February, for about 8 to 12 days.
Being a low tourist season, February in Toronto is an underrated time to visit. It is cold, but you will also find prime tourist attractions like the CN Tower, Casa Loma, and Royal Ontario Museum will be less crowded.
Along with that lots of hotels offer great deals and it’s a great time for booking cheaper-than-normal accommodations.
In February, you can still go ice skating or skiing in the nearby areas. The average low temperature in Toronto in February is -5 degrees Celsius (22 F).
Unfortunately, Canada is not warm in February. In fact, it is quite cold. Although the weather varies from province to province, February is generally a very cold month across Canada with snow and some rain.
In places like Vancouver in western Canada, it is a mild winter but still cool due to rains and wind.
The winter months in Canada are from December to February. Snow begins in October/November and stays until March/April.
February can be a great time to visit Canada if you don’t mind the cold. There are fewer crowds, so you can still participate in winter sports and festivals with ease. Plus enjoy amazingly romantic stays in Canada in February!
More Canada travel inspiration:
- Canada in the spring
- Canada in the fall
- Canada in summer
- Canada quotes and Instagram captions
- Best sunsets in Canada
- Beautiful national parks in Canada