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Canada in November: An underrated time to visit

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This may not be a popular time to visit Canada. The weather is too unpredictable, gloomy too, maybe. But Canada in November is a uniquely beautiful time to explore nature, and cities as Santa comes to town early, flights and accommodation are cheaper and crowds are far and few in between, making it a perfect getaway idea for couples, families, and solo travelers!

Canada in November: An underrated time to visit Canada in late fall

Canada in November travel tips

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What season is November in Canada? 

Technically, November is late fall. 

But in many popular places including Canadian national parks, you can clearly see early signs of winter – there is snow on the ground, some days are cloudy/gloomy, and there is a chill in the air (and in the bone – so you do need warm clothes and shoes for your Canada trip)!

November is clearly a transition month, with fall making way to winter – with shorter days, cold temperatures, and gearing up for the Christmas holidays! 

Fall-winter in Canada

November in Canada surely teases you about what’s to come in the epic winter months (it is also a prelude to winter temperatures – we can tell how cold January will be or how long winter will last!). 

When is fall in Canada? 

The months from September to November are the official fall season. 

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

Read: Experiencing Canada in fall

Canada in November weather and temperatures

The weather in November is definitely colder than the other two fall months of September and October.  You do need something warm, at all times of the day (and sometimes more layering due to the icy wind chill).

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

Canada in November weather

PlaceAverage
High
Average
Low
Average
Rainfall (days)
Toronto8 C
46.4 F
2 C
35.6 F
8
Ottawa5 C
41 F
– 2 C
28.4 F
9
Vancouver9 C
48.2 F
5 C
41 F
16
Edmonton1 C
33.8 F
– 8 C
17.6 F
3
Banff National
Park
1 C
33.8 F
– 8 C
17.6 F
5
Quebec City5 C
41 F
– 2 C
28.4 F
13
Montreal6 C
42.8 F
0 C
32 F
10
Saskatoon– 1 C
30.2 F
– 10 C
14 F
2
Halifax8 C
46.4 F
1 C
33.8 F
11
Charlottetown6 C
42.8 F
0 C
32 F
12
Weather data source: Weather.com

What to pack for a trip to Canada in November?

Although November is considered to be a fall month, in reality, you do need to pack like it’s winter. Your packing list for Canada will include a winter jacket or parka, winter accessories, boots, and layering clothing. 

Jasper in November
Girl in Sylvan Lake in Canada in November
Sylvan Lake in November

Although it’s cold, don’t expect a lot of snow in the valleys for skiing. Skiing season begins mid December, and it’s also likely that lakes won’t be frozen enough for ice skating in November. 

So, don’t bother with ski gear yet, and remember you can always rent them at a resort. Skating is possible indoors, but not at natural ice rinks (outdoors). (It might sound that November isn’t great, but bear with us and keep reading 🙂

Calgary in November

Pack the following items for visiting Canada in November, 

  • Long sleeve tops and T-shirts: Pack long sleeve tops and blouses to layer on. 
  • Sweater or knit dresses: Carry warm sweater dresses (add an LBD too, if you like).
  • Bottoms: Warm leggings are a must along with jeans.
  • Loungewear: For use in the hotel/resort
  • Parka or warm packet: Ensure the jacket’s outer material is waterproof or water repellent. Get this parka from the North Face.
  • Long johns: Pack 1-2 pairs of thermal tops and bottoms for the duration of your trip.
  • Cardigan: To layer in the winters, and also wear it indoors. Get this cardigan from Dynamite.
  • Walking shoes: Click to view my favorite one here.
  • Hiking boots and booties: Booties are my favorite in the fall months, and they will come in handy in November. Ensure they have a nice grip and are waterproof. Check out these boots from Sorrell. 
  • Warm socks
  • Warm accessories: Bring your colorful beanies or toques, scarves, and gloves to stay warm and toasty!
  • Travel documents: Pack all the travel documents like tourist visas, any permits, tour and hotel bookings, insurance, etc.

What can you expect to see in Canada in November?

November is an ‘underrated’ time to visit Canada. It is a weird time, yes, it is also unpredictable. 

Pocahontas Cabins in Jasper East
Pocahontas Cabins: Cozy staycations in Canada

It is fall, but you need winter clothing, but still can’t indulge in snowy activities. But you can,

  • Enjoy cozy staycations in luxurious resorts, cabins with firewood burning (and you and your loved one wrapped in a blanket).
  • You can save money on hotels, tours, flights, and other amenities
  • Visit attractions without crowds.
  • There are plenty of indoor attractions to warm up and explore in Canada. And you can also go about walking/sightseeing outdoors like wildlife tours, photography and northern lights tours, etc.
  • You can experience a snowy landscape, without extreme winter temperatures!
  • Winter sports are still a month or so away (no natural ice skating rinks or skiing), but hikes are possible on some trails.
  • There are festivals, oh yea – there are. There are also many cultural festivals and events taking place in November. 

Here are some of our favorites! 

Festivals in Canada in November 

Here is a list of popular festivals in November,

  • Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights: Get a teaser of the Canadian winters with the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights in Ontario. You can enjoy stunning light shows that include fireworks over the mighty falls!
  • Montreal Ska Fest: Enjoy ska bands from all over the world at the Montreal Ska Fest. 
  • Yellowknife International Film Festival: Enjoy movie screenings in Northwest Canada’s capital of filmmaking, Yellowknife! 
  • The Cavalcade of Lights: Enjoy a light show at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, Ontario!

Most Canadian cities and national parks host Christmas or Santa Parade in the third week of November. 

Planning the perfect Christmas in Banff
Planning the perfect Christmas in Banff

We personally enjoy parades – this is where we bundle up, bring out camping chairs and warm up with hot chocolate whilst enjoying the parade (they last about 1.50 to 2 hours, and are usually held on the main street of the place/town). 

Some of the Christmas markets will be set up in November. This is a great time to buy gifts and seasonal souvenirs to take back home. 

Banff Christmas Markets

Canada celebrates Remembrance Day every year, on November 11 (usually falls on a Monday or Friday, and it is a long weekend).  This is observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to honor armed forces members who have died in the line of duty. 

Best things to do in Canada in November: Where to travel in Canada in November

Here are some of the top things to do in Canada this November.

Visit Niagara Falls, Ontario

One of the most popular attractions in Canada, Niagara Falls is a sight to behold. The falls are located on the border between Canada and the United States, making it a convenient stop for visitors from both countries. 

Niagara Falls in November
Niagara Falls in early November

In November, the falls won’t be frozen, but it will be cold. This is a great time to get close to Niagara Falls, without crowds. However, be prepared for the wind and low temperatures.

Niagara Falls are open all year round, and some of the attractions like the Cave of the Winds might be closed towards the end of November due to icy/cold conditions. 

You can surely book an epic Niagara Falls suite to celebrate a weekend getaway in Ontario (for less)! 

Visit Canada’s National Parks – Canadian Rockies

Canada is home to some of the most beautiful national parks in the world, and all the parks are open in November. 

National Parks in the Canadian Rockies like the Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, and Yoho National Park will be open for visitors. 

Frozen lake louise winter
Frozen lake Louise in late November

It is a great time to score a nice hotel and enjoy seasonal menus and festivities on the mountaintop. 

When you compare prices for accommodation in November to December-January, November is definitely a better option. 

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to participate in snow/winter activities like skiing, but walks, winter hikes, and road trips are possible. 

Mountain views in Jasper
Mountain views in Jasper in November

You can also chase northern lights in places like Banff and Jasper in November!

So non-skiers and slow travelers will LOVE it!

Explore popular Canadian cities 

Canada’s cities are just as impressive as their natural landscapes. In November, many cities come alive with Christmas festivities, including decorations, Christmas markets, and special events. 

Some popular cities to explore in November include Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

So if you’re looking for an interesting and affordable travel destination this November, Canada should be at the top of your list!

Toronto: 

Early November is a good time to visit Toronto, both weather-wise and budget. This month, you will find fewer crowds, and accommodation rates are cheaper as compared to December or peak seasons.

Toronto Christmas Market in November
Things to do in Toronto Canada in November: Toronto Christmas Market

Many of the Christmas festivities are open from the second half of the month. All of the art galleries and museums will be operating, so you can definitely visit and check them out with ease. 

Vancouver:

Vancouver is another popular Canadian city that is perfect for November break. There are tons of things to do indoors in Vancouver when it is cold, or when it rains – because it will rain, and you do need to pack waterproof clothes and shoes (add an umbrella too). 

Without crowds, you can shop at ease at Robson Street, check out museums, walk or bike along the Seawall, or wander the downtown area. 

Vancouver Christmas Market

Towards the end of November, you can participate in festive light shows and Christmas markets! 

From Vancouver, you can make a trip to Whistler or Grouse Mountains for snow/ski-related activities.

Montreal:

Montreal makes for an amazing city break in November. If you are visiting in the early days you will see the orangey leaves, and slowly as the month progresses to the end of November, the season change is evident in the city’s decor and nature-scape!

You can enjoy walks and hikes in urban parks (including Mount Royal) and green spaces, and also go apple picking, and try out other harvest activities. 

Montreal Downtown View

When it is cold, you can get inside a museum or head to the Montréal Science Centre. 

Museums will be open in November and you can surely attend special exhibits. 

Shopping malls are decked up this month to ring in the sales season and the Christmas vibes! You can also view cultural events at the Place des Arts, Complexe Desjardins, and several other cultural venues.

Nature highlights: Chase the northern lights and see polar bears

November is perfect for sighting the green dancing lights in various parts of Canada, including the Rockies. 

Chasing Northern Lights is one of the things to do in Saskatchewan
Northern Lights in Saskatchewan

Late autumn aka October and November is also a good time to view polar bears in the Arctic areas (including Churchill, Manitoba).

However, you won’t see any grizzly bears in Canada in November. 

More Canada Travel Tips: Canada November Guide

Is November a good time to visit Canada?

November in Canada is worth a visit for fewer crowds and cheaper deals.
Although November is the tail end of fall, and it seems like a winter month, there are tons of things to do in various parts of Canada, as long as you dress warmly and don’t mind the little chill in the air

How cold is it in Canada in November?

In most popular Canadian cities, you can expect temperatures to hover around -1 degrees C or 30 F. 
The higher you go in elevation, expect temperatures to fall under -5 degrees C or 23 F. Expect snow showers and wind chill.

What is there to do in Canada in November?

November puts forward a perfect trailer for Christmas celebrations and the winter season, without a high price tag and crowds.
You can explore popular indoor attractions with ease, and also hit winter trails, shop sales, and more! 
One of the must-add activities is the Santa Claus Parade that takes place in November.

List of warm places to visit in Canada in November

The west coast of Canada is generally warmer than the rest of Canada. You can visit places like Victoria, Vancouver, and the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia, where the temperatures are warm for outdoor activities.

In the Maritimes, the capital of Nova Scotia, Halifax is comparatively warmer for city sightseeing!

So there you have it! 

Canada in November is not bad – surely the weather is unpredictable, but this month allows you to travel and explore popular places with ease and on a budget! 

Just remember to pack warm and waterproof clothes and shoes, and be ready to enjoy the wonderful crossover season.

There are several popular festivals taking place throughout the month, and you can also enjoy delicious food at Canada’s many popular restaurants (without crowds).

So what are you waiting for? Visit this beautiful country in North America!

Pin: Guide to visiting Canada in November

Canada in November guide

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