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Canada in October: Experience fall in Canada

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Canada is a beautiful country with diverse landscapes and plenty of things to do, no matter what time of year you visit. October is a great time to go because the weather is still mild and the fall colors are everywhere. There are plenty of festivals and events happening in Canada in October, so you’ll never be bored.

Complete guide to visiting Canada in October

Visiting Canada in October

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What season is October in Canada? 

In most of Canada, October is part of the fall season, which lasts from September to November. The leaves start to change color and the weather becomes cooler. This is a great time to visit Canada if you’re looking for mild temperatures and pretty landscapes. 

Canada is a huge country, so the weather can vary depending on where you are. If you’re visiting in the north, it will likely be colder than in the south.

When is fall in Canada? 

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

October in Canada: Fall colors in full swing
October in Canada: Fall colors in full swing

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

Read: Guide to Canada in the fall

What’s the weather in Canada in October?

The weather in Canada in October is generally mild, with temperatures ranging from low single digits to early double digits. So it can be a little chilly in the evening, and it’s a good idea to pack some warm clothes. 

The fall colors will be out in full swing, making it a good time to capture wonderful fall foliage on road trips or hikes. 

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

October in Canada Weather: 

PlaceAverage
High
Average
Low
Average
Rainfall (days)
Toronto15 C
59 F
8 C
46.4 F
8
Ottawa13 C
55.4 F
4 C
39.2 F
10
Vancouver14 C
57.2 F
8 C
46.4 F
12
Edmonton10 C
50 F
0 C
32 F
3
Banff National
Park
10 C
50 F
– 2 C
28.4 F
5
Quebec City11 C
51.8 F
4 C
39.2 F
12
Montreal13 C
55.4 F
6 C
42.8 F
10
Saskatoon10 C
50 F
– 2 C
28.4 F
3
Halifax13 C
55.4 F
6 C
42.8 F
9
Charlottetown12 C
53.6 F
5 C
41 F
11
Weather data source: Weather.com

What to pack for a trip to Canada in October and fall?

When visiting Canada in October, it’s important to pack appropriately for the weather. You’ll likely need a sweater, scarf, and gloves for the colder temperatures. 

Girl in Canada in October in Yoho National Park
Yoho National Park: Canada in October with travel and sightseeing tips!

Make sure to bring hiking boots if you plan on doing any outdoor activities, as the trails can be wet and muddy. 

It’s also a good idea to pack some sunscreen, as the sun can still be quite strong in October during the day.

Pack the following items for visiting Canada in October, 

  • Long sleeve tops and T-shirts: Carry long sleeve tops and shirts so that you remain comfortable all day long. Or layer on if needed. 
  • Sweaters: Canada can be cool in the evening, so make sure to pack a few sweaters. You’ll likely want at least one for layering. Here is my favorite one from SHEIN
  • Jeans: Canada is a casual country, so jeans are always a good choice. Pack a few different styles and colors so that you have options.
  • Long johns: Pack thermal base layers (top and bottom mix).
  • Comfortable walking shoes or boots: Make sure to pack both sneakers and boots to pair up with different outfits. Ensure they are waterproof! Here is a boot from Timbaland.
  • Warm cap: A baseball cap or beanie can help keep you warm on colder days.
  • Scarf: A scarf is a must-have for Canada in October, as the temperatures can be quite chilly.
  • Coat: Make sure to pack a coat for your trip.
  • Loungewear: For use in the hotel/resort or on the plane.
  • Moisture-wicking socks: Canada has a ton of moisture and you will want socks to keep your feet dry. Buy it here.
  • Toiletries: Sunscreen, insect repellent, lip balm with SPF, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, towel.
  • Medications: If you are on medication or have any allergies bring your medications with you just in case.
  • Entertainment: Bring an iPad or laptop if you want, Canada has free WIFI in a lot of places.
  • Camera: You will want a good camera to capture the beautiful moments in Canada. 
  • Travel documents: Ensure you have your tourist visa, tour and hotel bookings, insurance, etc. in place.

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 October?

Canada in October welcomes you to an autumny paradise! 

During this month, leaves will start to turn yellow, orange, and red, making for some beautiful scenery. 

View of Fairmont Frontenac Quebec
Beautiful architectural chateau building in Quebec City in October

The temperature ranges from a pleasant double digit to a crisp single digit in the evenings. But it is still nice weather for sightseeing and outdoor activities during the day. 

However, do not expect extreme summer activities or winter sports to take place in October in Canada.

In fact, it is too early for skiing or snowshoeing; you can enjoy fall hikes and walks. Camping is possible only on a few national parks sites (until mid October or Thanksgiving Day).

But there are plenty of pumpkin patches and corn mazes to explore.

Pumpkin patches in October in Canada
Pumpkin patches in October in Canada

During this month, expect fewer crowds than during the peak summer season, and better deals for hotels and excursions!

Canada is home to some amazing wildlife, including bears, moose, and elk. If you’re lucky, you might be able to see some of these animals in their natural habitat before they hibernate for the winter season. 

There are plenty of things to do in Canada in October. You can go hiking, biking, camping (until mid October), or fishing. 

If you’re looking for a more urban experience, Canada’s cities are full of great restaurants, theaters, and museums.

Victoria in October
Victoria in BC Canada in October

In addition to that, there are festivals and events happening throughout the country that you can participate in and enjoy. 

Festivals in Canada in October

Here are some of our favorite October festivals, 

  • Jasper Dark Sky Festival, AB: Jasper National Park in Alberta is a dark sky preserve and they celebrate the celestial bodies in an annual festival that takes place in October. In this fest, you’ll have better opportunities to spot stars and spend the night under the blanket of shining stars.
  • Okanagan Wine Festival, BC: This festival takes place in the British Columbia Okanagan area at the end of September and the beginning of October. You can enjoy tastings, cheeses, special dinners, etc. 
  • Oktoberfest, ON: Attend the world’s second-largest Oktoberfest held in the Kitchener-Waterloo region in Ontario. Just like the German tradition, this festival is all about beer drinking, dancing, and cultural appreciation.
  • Culture Days, MN: Manitoba celebrates 3 day Culture Days in October, where they showcase art through hands-on experiences, immersive learnings, exhibitions, and more. 
  • Nuit Blanche Toronto, ON: Nuit Blanche is all about art appreciation, at night. From sunset to sunrise, you can check out over 90 art projects across the city.
  • The Celtic Colours International Music Festival: This is a 9 day music festival held on Cape Breton Island every year in October. It is the largest festival of its kind in North America.

Other than these festivals, Canadian Thanksgiving takes place on the second Monday in October. It is observed as a statutory holiday in all provinces except New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island. 

Best places to visit in Canada in October 

Canada is a huge country, so be sure to research the areas you’re planning to visit ahead of time. Each region has its own unique attractions and activities in the fall months. 

Planning your trip ahead of time will help ensure you make the most of your time in Canada.

Alberta

Home to the Canadian Rocky Mountains, experience the best of the fall months in Alberta. 

In October, there is still time to enjoy outdoor activities from hiking, camping (until mid October on some campsites), biking, and even road trips! 

Lovely fall weather in Canmore in October
Lovely fall weather in Canmore Canada in October

You can visit various trails in Banff National Park to capture larches and pumpkin patches.  

Visit Jasper National Park for the Dark Sky Festival. 

In addition to the parks, you can also visit its cities – Calgary and Edmonton and explore its museums, Halloween events, and more. 

British Columbia

The west coast of Canada is much warmer than the rest. Vancouver makes for a nice city break, as long as you can tolerate a little rain. 

One of the best things to do in Vancouver is to take a walk around Stanley Park. The park is huge and has plenty of trails to explore, as well as a beautiful seawall. You can also hang out at the waterfront promenade. 

Vancouver Seawall in October

Do visit the Vancouver Aquarium or check out the totem poles in the park’s First Nations village.

British Columbia in October is definitely the place to be for wine lovers. There are a ton of wineries in the area, and many of them host wine tastings and tours. 

You can also visit some of the local vineyards or go on a wine-tasting road trip. Don’t miss out on the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival.

Ontario

Ontario is Canada’s most populous province and its capital, Toronto, is one of the world’s most multicultural cities. 

Toronto is home to many festivals in October, including fall events, sports, Halloween, farmer’s markets, and more. Check out the Toronto event guide for more details. 

Visit Niagara Falls on a day trip from Toronto. This is perfect to chase fall colors, and also go hiking, biking, and sightseeing during the day. 

Canoeing in the fall
Canoeing in the fall: Algonquin Provincial Park

You can go canoeing, hiking, or cycling in the Muskoka or Kawartha Lakes regions; these areas are also perfect for a romantic fall getaway. 

Ontario has a lot of provincial parks and areas where you can capture the fall vibes. They include Algonquin Park and the Bruce Peninsula.

Quebec 

Quebec is extra special in the fall. The leaves peep in a variety of shades of brown, orange, and other warm tones. 

It starts in the parks and forests in the northern part of the province, and by October almost all the popular destinations are covered in the fall fervor! 

Come to Montreal, a culturally-rich city that is home to some of the best restaurants in Canada. 

It’s also a great place to catch a show or go shopping in October. You can easily go on day trips to check out fall foliage in and around Montreal. 

Fall in Quebec
Fall in Mont Tremblant Quebec

Mont-Tremblant is a popular weekend getaway, worth visiting in October for colors. 

Located 2.50 hours from Montreal is the stunning La Mauricie National Park. This park is a fall paradise and in October you can still go kayaking!

Quebec City is another must-visit in the province of Quebec. This historic city is famous for its old-world charm. You can find autumn themed decorations, and markets along with popular restaurants, shops, and cultural attractions to enjoy, without the crowds!

Prince Edward Island

You can also visit Prince Edward Island (PEI) for an exceptional fall vacation in October. PEI has a ton of forests that come alive and vibrant with leaf-peeping. And with that, the moderate climate and temperatures make it easy for sightseeing.

We recommend going on a road trip to soak in all the views, especially when you drive from New Brunswick via Confederation Bridge to the island!

Nova Scotia

Speaking of road trips, head over to Nova Scotia and drive through the popular Cape Breton Highlands National Park, while enjoying the lovely fall landscape. 

Cape Breton in Autumn in Canada
Cape Breton in October

You can also enjoy the Celtic Colours International Festival in NS. It is held in mid-October every year. 

If you are flying to Nova Scotia, touch down in Halifax. And check out some of Canada’s most famous attractions, like Peggy’s Cove and hang out/eat in popular restaurants. 

New Brunswick

New Brunswick is also lovely in the fall month of October. The province has a coastal drive that is super scenic and beautiful.

Go on a road trip along the Bay of Fundy and admire the world’s highest tides. 

The Fundy Trail Parkway welcomes you to stunning views of the coastline. You can also go whale watching off the coast of St. Andrews (June to October). 

On a fall getaway, you will see colors in the first two weeks of October and beyond. 

In the capital city of NB, you can visit the New Brunswick Museum and learn about the province’s history and culture. 

Or the Kings Landing Historical Settlement (outdoor) to learn about Canada’s early history.

More Canada Travel Tips for October

If you’re looking to visit Canada in the near future, October is a great time to go. The weather is mild and the fall colors are beautiful. 

Edmonton Canada in the fall
Edmonton Canada in October

Here are some tips to make the most of your trip.

1. Dress in layers. The weather can be unpredictable in Canada, so it’s a good idea to dress in layers so you can adjust as needed.

2. Be prepared for all types of weather in October. Canada is known for its changing weather, so be prepared for rain, snow, and everything in between.

3. Check the forecast before you go. The weather can vary greatly from region to region in Canada, so be sure to check the forecast before you go to make sure you pack the right clothes.

4. Bring a raincoat. Even if the forecast doesn’t call for rain, it’s always a good idea to bring a raincoat or a waterproof light jacket, just in case (especially in the warmer west coast).

5. Enjoy the fall colors. The fall colors are some of the most beautiful in the world, so be sure to take some time to enjoy them.

6. Visit a national park. Canada is home to some of the most beautiful national parks in the world, so be sure to visit at least once while you’re there.

7. Sample the local cuisine. Canada is known for its delicious cuisine, so be sure to sample some of the local specialties while you’re there.

8. Visit a few cities. Canada is a large country with plenty of cities to explore. Be sure to visit at least a few while you’re there.

Is October a good time to go to Canada?

Yes, October is a great time to visit Canada. The weather is mild and the fall colors are beautiful. There are plenty of festivals and events happening in Canada in October, so you’ll never be bored!

How cold is October in Canada?

The average temperature in Canada in October is about 10 degrees Celsius or 50 F, but it can vary depending on the region. Canada is a huge country, so the weather can be quite different from one region to another.

If you’re planning to visit Canada in October, make sure to pack warm clothes, as it can get quite cold in some parts of the country.

Where is the warmest place in Canada in October?

In Canada, the warmest place in October tends to be along the west coast and some of the areas on the Atlantic Coast. 

British Columbia, parts of Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick are great for moderate climate and fall colors!

Places include: 

  • Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna (all in British Columbia)
  • Halifax, Cape Breton (Nova Scotia)
  • Bay of Fundy (New Brunswick) 

Pin: Guide to visiting Canada in October

Canada in October
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