Planning a spring break and wondering what it is like to visit Canada in March. March springs forward with longer days and warmer temperatures. But it still needs to be summer or full-on spring weather.
March in Canada can be unpredictable, but with a little trip planning, you can have a great time here in the Great White North! Here are all the fun things to do in Canada in March and travel tips for you!
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.
Evenings and early mornings can still be chilly, so don’t leave your winter clothes behind!
Depending on the destination/s you plan to visit in Canada in March, some places might appear 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 an excellent time to visit Canada before summer madness begins.
- Spring: March, April, May
- Summer: June, July, August
- Fall: September, October, November
- Winter: December, January, February
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.
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 Canada’s many outdoor activities.
Here is what temperatures look like in various places in Canada in March,
|– 2 C
|– 7 C
|– 7 C
|– 8 C
|– 8 C
|– 6 C
|– 1 C
|– 11 C
– 12.2 F
|– 4 C
|– 6 C
What should you 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 plan on outdoor activities, pack appropriate clothing and gear, such as a winter coat, hat, and gloves.
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 must 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 to remain comfortable all day. 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 plan to visit, you will 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, hotel bookings, insurance, etc., in place
Other things to bring to Canada include sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first-aid kit when hiking.
All the items are available on Amazon Prime and will 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, you should keep a few things 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.
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 bit of planning, you can have a fantastic trip.
Hotels, tours, and other travel deals can be found online to make this Canada trip affordable in the early spring days as well.
- If you love snow and winter sports, a March trip to Canada is perfect! 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 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 also go on whale watching tours on Vancouver Island on the west coast. These tours take off all year round, but April to October are the best times to spot whales and resident orcas.
- You can still see northern lights in the Northwest Territories in the early spring months.
- 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.
- Vancouver International Dance Festival (Vancouver): The Vancouver International Dance Festival is a month-long contemporary dance festival.
- Provost Music Festival (Alberta): This music festival is held in Provost, 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 during this month-long Snowking Winter Festival.
- Montréal en Lumière (Montreal): This is a month-long lights festival 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 two-hundred-year-old festival celebrates dance, music, and the Acadian culture in Nova Scotia.
Tulip and cherry blossom festivals occur in late April or May, and unfortunately, not in March! Maple syrup festivals kick start in March and end in the early days of April. Here is a link to the events in Ontario
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?
Despite the chilly weather, there are plenty of fun things to do in Canada in March. 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 – Many beautiful trails across Canada 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,
1. Banff and Lake Louise (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 in March.
Alberta’s national and provincial parks are the best places to spend spring break with kids if you want winter activities, including skiing, snowshoeing, ice walks, and hikes.
This is not a prime tourist season, so you can score a lovely lodge or accommodation deal.
March is springtime in Banff and Lake Louise, but don’t be fooled – the weather can still be cold. The average temperature during this month is around -4°C (25°F), with highs of 3°C (37°F) and lows of -10°C (14°F). However, the temperatures are much milder than in January and February, making outdoor activities more comfortable.
As the snow melts and temperatures rise, March also offers a taste of spring in Banff and Lake Louise. Hiking is popular during this time, as many trails start to thaw out and offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains. You can also go wildlife viewing, as many animals emerge from hibernation. Keep an eye out for elk, deer, and even bears!
As March is still cold in the Canadian Rockies, you can take advantage of Banff and Lake Louise’s snowy activities. Try skiing or snowboarding at one of the many resorts in the area, including Lake Louise Ski Resort and Sunshine Village. You can also go snowshoeing, ice skating, or ride a horse-drawn sleigh through the snowy landscape.
2. Jasper National Park (Alberta)
Jasper National Park is another must-visit destination in Alberta. Located north of Banff and Lake Louise, it offers a quieter and more secluded experience than its famous counterparts.
March brings fewer crowds to Jasper National Park, making it an ideal time for nature lovers and hikers. The average temperature in March ranges from -4°C (25°F) to 2°C (36°F), with milder temperatures in the valley and cooler temperatures at higher elevations.
Spring skiing is also possible in Jasper National Park, with Marmot Basin being the main ski resort in the area. The resort offers 91 runs and boasts some of the best snow conditions in the Canadian Rockies.
March in Jasper National Park may still have some winter activities, but it also offers glimpses of spring. The season brings fewer crowds, milder temperatures, and a chance to witness nature awaken from its winter slumber – making it an ideal time to visit this stunning national park. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or looking for a peaceful escape, Jasper National Park in March has something for everyone.
You can visit Jasper from the capital city of Alberta, Edmonton, which 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).
3. Whistler (British Columbia)
British Columbia is full of amazing natural landscapes and cities in western Canada in the Pacific Northwest.
Like Alberta, you can go skiing in Whistler, Revelstoke, and many other places in BC (like Squamish, Mount Seymour, etc.)
Whistler is known for its fantastic ski resorts, making it the perfect destination for a winter vacation. While December and January are popular months, March is often overlooked. However, visiting Whistler in March has its advantages.
The average temperature in March ranges from -4°C (25°F) to 7°C (45°F), with highs of 9°C (48°F) and lows of -3°C (26°F). This milder weather means you can enjoy outdoor activities without being too bundled up. Plus, the longer daylight hours allow for more time on the slopes or exploring the town.
If skiing or snowboarding isn’t your thing, there are still plenty of activities to enjoy in Whistler. You can relax in the Scandinavian Spa or take a scenic helicopter ride over the snowy landscape. You can also visit the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre to learn about Indigenous cultures.
Overall, March is an excellent time to visit Whistler for a winter getaway. With milder temperatures, exciting events and activities, and fewer crowds compared to peak months, it’s the perfect opportunity to experience all this beautiful town offers.
You can visit Whistler on a short drive from Vancouver.
4. Victoria and Vancouver (British Columbia)
The capital city of Victoria is absolutely beautiful in March. It is not super cold in Victoria; you can wear comfortable shoes and walk along the promenade, enjoy the legislature grounds, or sit down for a lavish afternoon tea!
You can also visit Victoria on a day trip from Seattle, United States.
Vancouver is another must-visit in BC. This city also experiences milder temperatures, so wandering about downtown, by the waterfront, or gardens/parks (like Stanley Park, Granville Island, Sunyat Sen Gardens) in March is possible.
I love Victoria and Vancouver for a girl’s getaway or a romantic vacation. You can also keep Vancouver as a base and hop on a short ferry ride to Victoria or ride a seaplane to get there.
5. Sunshine Coast (British Columbia)
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.
6. Toronto and Niagara On the Lake (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.
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.
The wine town of Niagara-On-The-Lake is perfect for a girls’ or couples’ getaway! You can also book a day tour to check out the fantastic Niagara Falls in March.
7. Blue Mountains (Ontario)
Not into cities? Start with the Blue Mountains for a relaxing getaway, or go skiing if you are visiting in the early weeks of March.
During the day, you can also go hiking or cycling in the Muskoka or Kawartha Lakes regions.
8. Montreal and nearby (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 also kicks off in March in Quebec, so be sure to check out local listings to visit a farm.
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.
Film festivals and seasonal exhibits, such as the International Film Festival of Art and Les Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Québécois, also occur in Montreal.
9. Quebec City (Quebec)
You can plan a March break in the old city of Quebec and take in the beautiful architecture. It’s 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, head to one of the many museums showcasing the province’s past and how it has evolved over the years. Top picks include Musée de la civilization and the Plains of Abraham Museum in Quebec City.
10. New Brunswick
New Brunswick in eastern Canada has 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 to Sucrerie Chiasson or Sugar Bush La Causerie for a real treat!
For skiing and snow-related activities, visit Crabbe Mountain, known to have the best snowboarding and skiing terrain. There are over 30 km (18.6 miles) 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.
11. Nova Scotia
March break is a lot of fun in Nova Scotia, with many festivities and events, 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.
During spring break, kids will enjoy learning about technology and custom and vintage cards at the Museum of Industry.
Visit the many attractions in the capital city of Halifax, including museums, and wander the waterfront and downtown area.
Remember to check out some of Canada’s most famous attractions in March, like Peggy’s Cove or the Cabot Trail. This is a great time for road trips in Nova Scotia and 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, 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 most of the month; hence, expect winter-like weather. There will be many days of rain during March in Canada, about 15 to 20 days on average.
Is March a good time to visit Vancouver?
Vancouver is great in the spring. Plan for a late March visit when the weather is warmer (it is milder than the rest of Canada in terms of weather). You can also easily score awesome hotel deals this month!
Is Canada worth visiting in March?
Absolutely! March is a fantastic time to visit Canada, especially if you’re looking for a winter wonderland experience with a touch of spring. Plus, the off-peak season means you can enjoy these experiences without the usual tourist crowds, making it a great time to explore the Canadian Rockies.
So, if you’re considering a trip to Canada in March, don’t hesitate – it’s definitely worth it! With so much to see and do, you’ll never run out of things to explore and discover in this beautiful country.
Read some of our Canada travel guides:
- Lakes in Canada: Most Beautiful Lakes in Canada
- Sunsets in Canada: Most Gorgeous Sunsets in Canada
- Souvenirs from Canada: Best Souvenirs in Canada
- Canada Quotes: Quotes about Canada