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Canada in March: Epic Spring Break Destinations

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Planning a spring break and wondering what is it like to visit Canada in March? March springs forward with longer days and warmer temperatures. But it is still not summer, or full-on spring weather yet. 

March in Canada can be very unpredictable, but with a little trip planning, you can have a great time here in the Great White North!

Visiting Canada in March: Insights & Places to visit for a spring break

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What season is March in Canada? 

March is the start of the spring season in Canada. The temperatures during this month are slowly moving towards positive single digits (Celcius), and days are longer and warmer. 

Calgary Alberta Canada in March

Evenings and early mornings can still be a little chilly, so don’t leave your winter clothes behind yet! 

Depending on the destination/s you are planning to visit in Canada in March, some places might appear to be covered in snow for most of the month.  

When is spring in Canada? 

The months from March to May are the official spring season. Typically late April to May is considered a good time to visit Canada before the summer madness kicks in. 

Canada seasons: Canada has four distinct seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter. The monthly breakdown is as follows

Canada in March weather: Canada temperature in March in Celsius & Fahrenheit

The weather in Canada in March can be quite variable. It can range from cool and sunny to cold and snowy. 

Onset of spring in Canada

The average temperature in Canada in March is around -5°C (23°F), but it can feel much colder with the wind chill.

March is also the month when we start to see more daylight, with an average of 11 hours of daylight per day. This is a great time to get outside and enjoy some of the many outdoor activities that Canada has to offer.

Here is what temperatures look like in various places in Canada in March, 

PlaceAverage
High
Average
Low
Average
Rainfall (days)
Toronto7 C
44.6 F
– 2 C
28.4 F
7
Ottawa2 C
35.6 F
– 7 C
19.4 F
8
Vancouver10 C
50 F
4 C
39.2 F
10
Edmonton– 7 C
19.4 F
2 C
35.6 F
5
Banff National
Park
4 C
39.2 F
– 8 C
17.6 F
5
Quebec City1 C
33.8 F
– 8 C
17.6 F
13
Montreal2 C
35.6 F
– 6 C
21.2 F
11
Saskatoon– 1 C
30.2 F
– 11 C
– 12.2 F
3
Halifax4 C
39.2 F
– 4 C
24.8 F
10
Charlottetown1 C
33.8 F
– 6 C
21.2 F
10
Weather data source: Weather.com

What to pack for a trip to Canada in March?

When packing for a trip to Canada in March, be sure to pack layers. You’ll want to have a mix of long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and jackets to help you stay warm. 

If you’re planning on doing any outdoor activities, pack appropriate clothing and gear, such as a winter coat, hat, and gloves.

Leggings and Sweater
Girl in Calgary Canada in March
Faux fur vest

The weather is quite unpredictable, so you will want to carry warmer clothes at all times (parka, some thick sweaters/jackets, etc.). 

You can pack a light dress, but you will have to layer it on, as the weather is not very warm yet.

Pack the following items for visiting Canada in March, 

  • Long sleeve tops and T-shirts: Pack long sleeve tops and blouses so that you remain comfortable all day long. Add moisture-wicking shirts for your hikes!
  • Bottoms: Carry leggings, jeans, and stylish pants 
  • Long Johns: Pack thermal tops and bottoms to layer on (and for outdoorsy activities)
  • Warm and waterproof jacket: Like this one
  • Parka: Waterproof parka for outdoors
  • Light cardigan
  • Walking and/or hiking shoes: Click to view my favorite one 
  • Warm boots: Depending on the place you are visiting, you will either need thick winter boots (for Banff, and other national parks), ankle-length booties might suffice in most cities, but ensure it has a solid outsole and insulation
  • Moisture-wicking socks
  • Travel documents: Ensure you have your tourist visa, tour and hotel bookings, insurance, etc. in place

Other things to bring to Canada include sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first-aid kit when hiking. 

All of the items are available on Amazon Prime so they can be at your door in two days or less!

What can you expect to see in Canada in March?

If you’re planning on visiting Canada in March, there are a few things you should keep in mind. 

First of all, the weather can be quite unpredictable during this time of year. It’s not uncommon for temperatures to fluctuate wildly from day to day, so make sure to pack accordingly. 

Canmore Best Small towns in Alberta
Canmore Canada in the spring

It is a crossover or a transition month, but expect cooler days than warmer ones in Canada.

Secondly, many attractions and activities may be closed or have limited hours during the shoulder season. So if you have a particular attraction in mind, it’s important to do your research in advance and plan your trip accordingly. 

This is particularly true for hiking trails and access to routes if you are planning a road trip (melting snow and road conditions post-winter months can be an issue).

Despite these potential challenges, March can be an excellent time to visit Canada. The crowds are generally smaller than in peak season, which means you’ll have more opportunities to enjoy the country’s natural beauty and attractions. 

And with a little advance planning, you can have a fantastic trip.

Hotels, tours, and other travel deals can be found online to make this Canada trip affordable as well in the early spring days. 

  • If you love snow and winter sports, then a March trip to Canada is perfect for you! The average temperatures in March range from -5°C to 5°C.
  • You can expect lots of snow in most parts of the country, especially in the mountains. And yes spring skiing is a thing. You can visit Banff, Jasper, or Whistler to go skiing, as their resorts are still open and taking in visitors.
  • March is also great if you want to ski or snowboard. Many of Canada’s top ski resorts are located in British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec. If you’re looking for someplace new to explore, try visiting the ski hills in Newfoundland or the small mountain town of Revelstoke, BC.
  • You can still see northern lights in the early spring months in the Northwest Territories. 
  • One of the best things about visiting Canada during the shoulder season is that it’s generally less crowded than in peak season. This is great when visiting popular tourist city destinations in Canada, so take advantage of the quieter streets and smaller crowds, and enjoy your trip!

Due to the unpredictable nature of the weather and attractions, it’s important to be flexible when visiting Canada in March. Have a backup plan for activities, and be prepared to adjust your plans as needed. 

And we always recommend packing like it’s the winter months – as the weather is super unpredictable. Anything waterproof – outerwear, jackets, boots, headgear, bags – is a must!

Now that you are aware of the weather and packing stuff, here are some of the coolest spring festivals in Canada in March, 

Festivals in Canada in March

  • Canada Blooms Flower and Garden Festival (Toronto): This 10-day festival showcases floral and landscape designs, products, and services in Toronto for visitors to enjoy.
  • Provost Music Festival (Alberta): This music festival is held in Provost in Alberta for 4-5 days. 
  • Revy Beer Festival (Revelstoke, BC): Revy Beer Festival is a 2-day beer festival organized in the mountains of Revelstoke in British Columbia.
  • Snowking’s Winter Festival (Yellowknife): Enjoy snow and ice castles on the shores of the Great Slave Lake in Yellowknife in this month-long Snowking’s Winter Festival.
  • Montréal en Lumière (Montreal): This is a month-long lights festival that takes place in Montreal. It also features musical performances, art events, and special tastings at local restaurants. 
  • Festival de la Mi-Carême (Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia): This is a two-hundred-year-old festival that celebrates dance, music, and the Acadian culture in Nova Scotia.

Tulip and cherry blossom festivals take place in late April or May, and unfortunately not in March!

Saint Patrick's Day. Montreal Downtown
Saint Patrick’s Day. Montreal Downtown

Although Saint Patty’s Day is not celebrated as a statutory holiday, many Irish bars and businesses will have festivities for you to enjoy!

Where to go in Canada in March?

There are plenty of fun things to do in Canada in March, despite the chilly weather. Here are a few ideas:

Visit a maple syrup farm – March is the perfect time to visit a maple syrup farm and see how this sweet treat is made.

Take a winter hike – There are many beautiful hiking trails across Canada that are even more stunning when blanketed in snow. Just be sure to dress warmly and pack appropriate gear.

Explore a new city – March is a great time to visit some of Canada’s larger cities, such as Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver. 

There are plenty of indoor activities to enjoy, such as museums, galleries, and restaurants that you can visit to learn about Canada’s history and cultural nuances.

For a March break in Canada, consider the following places,

Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper (Alberta)

Alberta Canada is a beautiful province in the western part of the country. The Canadian Rockies run through the province, and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in March.

Scenic Winter Drives in Banff Christmas Getaways
Scenic Drives in Banff, early spring days

If you are looking for winter activities from skiing, snowshoeing, ice walks and hikes, Alberta’s national and provincial parks are the best places to spend a spring break with kids. Add both Banff and Jasper National Park sites to your bucket list.

As this is not a prime tourist season, you can score a nice lodge or accommodation deal. 

The capital city of Alberta, Edmonton also welcomes you to many snowshoeing possibilities in the river valley and nearby areas. Plus you can always visit art galleries, museums, and the Alberta Legislature Building and grounds (on a free tour).

Whistler, Victoria, Vancouver, Sunshine Coast (British Columbia)

Located in western Canada in the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia is full of amazing natural landscapes and cities. 

Just like Alberta, you can go skiing in Whistler, Revelstoke, and many other places in BC (like Squamish, Mount Seymour, etc.)

Squamish, BC

The capital city of Victoria is absolutely beautiful in March. It is not super cold in Victoria, you can surely wear comfortable shoes and go walking along the promenade, enjoy the legislature grounds or sit down for a lavish afternoon tea!

Vancouver is another must-visit in BC. This city also experiences milder temperatures, so it is possible to wander about downtown, by the waterfront, or gardens/parks (like the Stanley Park, Granville Island, Sunyet Sen Gardens) in March. 

Olympic Cauldron part of one day in Vancouver itinerary
Olympic Cauldron, Vancouver in early spring

I love Victoria and Vancouver for a girl’s getaway or a romantic vacation. 

Missing the sun? Head to the Sunshine Coast in BC. You can experience warmer temperatures here (up to 20 degrees C/68 F), but rain is also quite common (about 11 days). So waterproof and warm clothes are a necessity. 

The Blue Mountains, Niagara On the Lake, Toronto (Ontario)

Ontario is Canada’s most populous province and its capital, Toronto, is one of the world’s most multicultural cities. It is a great place to ring the spring months.

This photo was shot from snake island which is opposite to Toronto city in the spring
This photo was shot from snake island which is opposite to Toronto city

There are also tons of things to do in Toronto, from checking out the city’s many museums and art galleries as well as a diverse range of restaurants and nightlife. 

The city is also situated on the shores of Lake Ontario, providing plenty of opportunities for sightseeing views.  

Not into cities? Start with the Blue Mountains for a relaxing getaway, or go skiing, if visiting in the early weeks of March. 

You can also go hiking or cycling in the Muskoka or Kawartha Lakes regions during the day. 

The wine town of Niagara-On-The-Lake is perfect for girls’ or couples’ getaway! 

Quebec 

In the province of Quebec, you can still go skiing in March, as there is still snow in the valleys and mountains. 

For outdoorsy lovers head to the Jacques Cartier National Park (30 minutes from Quebec City) or the Gatineau Hills. 

Maple syrup/ sugar shack season kicks off in March in Quebec as well, so be sure to check out local listings to visit a farm. 

Making sugar on snow, or maple toffee at the sugar shack in Quebec, Canada

Montreal is great for a visit in March – but don’t expect the weather to be promising. It is winter, and you can check out festivals like the Montréal en Lumière where the entire city is decorated with lights in this month-long event. 

There are film festivals and seasonal exhibits that also take place in Montreal such as the International Film Festival of Art, and Les Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Québécois.

You can plan a March break in the old city of Quebec and take in the beautiful architecture. It is still winter here, so you can enjoy snowy activities from tobogganing, tubing, skating, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, dog sledding, and more. 

The weather is not too harsh during the day, so you can enjoy a stroll outside. Don’t forget to wear warm clothing!

If it’s cold for you, then head to one of the many museums that showcase the province’s past and how it has evolved over the years. Top picks include Musée de la civilisation, and the Plains of Abraham Museum in Quebec City.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick in eastern Canada has so many amazing things to do in the spring. You can kickstart your March break at a maple syrup farm, and learn how sap is collected and prepared. 

Head over to Sucrerie Chiasson or Sugar Bush La Causerie for a real treat!

For skiing and snow-related activities, visit Crabbe Mountain, which is known to have the best snowboarding and skiing terrain. There is over 30 km of trails for snowshoeing here. 

You can also go snowshoeing at the Kouchibouguac National Park. 

For Alpine skiing, get to the Sugarloaf Provincial Park Ski Resort. 

For heritage lovers, visit the New Brunswick Museum to learn about the province’s history and culture. Or the Kings Landing Historical Settlement (outdoor) to learn about Canada’s early history.

Nova Scotia

March break is a lot of fun in Nova Scotia with plenty of festivities and events in place from ranch adventure, wagon rides to traditional festivals. 

Festival de la Mi-Carême is a two-hundred-year-old festival that celebrates dance, music, and Acadian culture. 

Kids will enjoy learning about technology, and custom and vintage cards at the Museum of Industry during their spring break.

Halifax in springtime

Do visit the many attractions in the capital city of Halifax, including museums, and wander the waterfront and downtown area.  

Don’t forget to check out some of Canada’s most famous attractions, like Peggy’s Cove or the Cabot Trail in March. This is a great time for road trips in Nova Scotia and in the nearby province of New Brunswick. 

More Canada Travel Tips for March

Is March a good time to visit Canada?

March is a crossover month in Canada. It can be a good time to visit for those who are traveling on a budget or still looking for skiing and winter activities.
Although March rings in the spring season, it is still cold (and there is snow) in many parts of the country.

Is March cold in Canada?

Yes, March is still cold in Canada. It is the onset of spring season,but temperatures are under 0 degrees Celcius for the most time of the month, and hence expect winter like weather. There’s going to be many days of rain during the month of March in Canada, about 15 to 20 days on an average.

Is March a good time to visit Vancouver?

Vancouver is great in the spring. Plan for late March visit, when the weather is warmer (it is milder than rest of Canada, in terms of weather),. You can also easily score awesome hotel deals in this month!

Pin: Guide to visiting Canada in March

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