With a beautiful location on the southwestern end of Lake Ontario, across the water from Rochester in New York State, Toronto is Canada’s most populous city and one of the most cosmopolitan and multicultural cities anywhere in the world. As a result, there are almost endless opportunities to enjoy art and culture, take in the provincial capital’s eclectic blend of architectural styles – dating back some 250 years – and of course, make the most of its proximity to one of North America’s five Great Lakes!
But to truly enjoy all this smorgasbord of a city has to offer you need to know the best times of the year to visit Toronto. What’s the weather like this far north from month to month? And what unmissable events might be taking place during these times? What is the best time of year to avoid the crowds, travel cheaply, or keep your hair dry?
In this Toronto visit guide, we are going to answer all of these questions for you – and a lot more besides. We’ll be providing you with all the specifics relating to what weather conditions you can expect and when, as well we giving you a breakdown of the top events taking place in Toronto month by month. So let’s get started, shall we?
The best time of year to visit Toronto is widely considered to be throughout the month of May, and also the period between mid-September and mid-October. Why is this the case? Well, not only is the weather generally fine during these times – and warm enough to be able to enjoy sipping a coffee or something a little stronger on an outdoor café terrace – but the crowds are thinner on the ground thanks to the fact most kids around the world are still at school, meaning it isn’t yet time for family holidays.
This is our INSIDER GUIDE for the best times to visit Toronto!
If you consider the school summer holiday months peak season in Toronto (with peak pricing to match), then you can consider May and the September/October period the best of the city’s shoulder periods, which stretch from February to May and mid-September to mid-November. This is when most things, from weather to price, fall into place for most Toronto visitors. For general sightseers, the low season runs from mid-November to January, providing cheaper prices for everything from flights to admission costs over the Christmas period.
Is Toronto safe?
While nowhere in the world is 100% safe, as long as you use your common sense, you’ll likely be fine in Toronto.
Having said that, you should NEVER travel without proper travel insurance. We’ve tested all of the best travel insurance providers, and World Nomads is our favorite! Fill out the form below to get a quote for your trip to Toronto so you can keep yourself (and your belongings!) covered and safe 🙂
What months are the best time to visit Toronto?
Given Toronto’s (and Canada’s) geographical location, you won’t be surprised to learn that the warmest and sunniest time to visit the city is between May and September – the northern hemisphere’s summer – with June and September boasting the most hours of sun. Contradictorily, the months of May and July are some of the wettest (but with a pesky 1-2.5 inches of rain), ensuring they are still an exciting time to visit one of Canada’s most important cities! If you’re looking for an adventure in the snow instead, you won’t have to look too hard between January and February of each year.
Read below for information about Toronto weather in January (Photo credit – 680news.com)
Toronto weather in January
Sat at the end of the low season, January has Toronto’s lowest temperatures, with daytime temperatures averaging just 32°F (0°C) and nighttime temperatures dropping to a staggering -4°F (or -20°C). You’ll certainly be glad of building insulation, with temperatures never reaching above 37°F (3°C). On the plus side, there’s very little rain, but a good dose of snow, hitting 2.75 inches in areas not cleared away regularly.
Toronto events in January
New Year’s Day
The start of the new year is a national holiday, making it a great time to experience Toronto in vacation mode. Given the outdoor temperatures, you’ll want to stay snug inside, with the shopping malls, Ontario Science Center, the Royal Ontario Museum, and Ripley’s Aquarium all popular attractions.
Beginning in late January and stretching on into February this is a city-wide festival with performances and events both inside and outside. It’s centered around Nathan Phillips Square but incorporates many of the city’s attractions.
Robbie Burns’ Day
Taking place on January 25 each year, Robbie Burns’ Day is a celebration of Scottish culture, and in particular the works of this most Scottish of poets. Many restaurants turn their menu over to highland specialties for the night, alongside traditional music and dance.
Read below for information about Toronto weather in February (Photo credit – theglobeandmail.com)
Toronto weather in February
Temperatures in February are almost identical to those in Toronto in January, and levels of snowfall is pretty similar too, meaning you’ll find snow cover of between 0.5 and 2 inches for most of the month.
Toronto events in February
An Ontario institution that takes place on the second Monday in February, Family Day is – not surprisingly – focused on the family unit, with a whole host of family-friendly events and discounted entry for children into many of the city’s top attractions.
Part of Canada’s Black History Month, this festival takes place at the Harborfront Center and seeks to highlight contemporary and historical race issues through a packed series of events, from comedy to photography.
Named after the Toronto district where you can find it, IceFest invites people to admire the 70,000 lbs of ice sculptures carved by artists from right around the globe. The sculptures are particularly fine after dark, when they are lit magnificently.
Read below for information about Toronto weather in March (Photo credit – livabl.com)
Toronto weather in March
March sees the temperatures in Toronto start to head upward, with highs of 41°F (5°C) and average daily temperatures of a degree or two above freezing. The amount of sunshine the city experiences shoots up to six hours a day, with a fairly rapid melting of the snow (and very little new precipitation) in response.
Toronto events in March
Held at the indoor Enercare Center, Canada Blooms is one of the country’s largest flower and garden shows, with show gardens, floral arrangements, and plenty to buy, so if you’re in any way green fingered make sure you check it out!
Like Comic Con events the world over, Toronto Comicon is the place to get a little geeky, with celebrity guests, screenings, and an amazing array of collectables on offer at the Metro Toronto Convention Center in mid-March.
Toronto Storytelling Festival
One of the largest and oldest urban storytelling festivals in the world, Toronto Storytelling Festival is a way of sharing stories from across the globe. Events take place across March, with festival week itself towards the end of March.
Read below for information about Toronto weather in April (Photo credit – thestar.com)
Toronto weather in April
If you see any new snowfall at all in April it won’t be more than 1.5 inches or so strung out across half the days of the month, and it’s unlikely to hang around for very long due to the increase in temperatures, with an average of around 46°F (8°C) and highs of 54°F (12°C).
Toronto events in April
Fashion Art Toronto
Combining the very best of new season fashions and contemporary art, this celebration of creativity features 200 Canadian and international designers and artists in events that go beyond the standard fashion week to take in performance art, film, and photography as well.
Also known as Khalsa Day, this is a celebration of the Sikh New Year and Canada’s Sikh community, who have formed an integral part of Toronto since 1699. Running along Lakeshore Boulevard from the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) Grounds to City Hall, the day’s highlight is a parade, which finishes in the mid-afternoon.
Hot Docs International Documentary Festival
Now well into its third decade, the Hot Docs film festival is proud to be the largest documentary film festival in North America. Screening more than 200 different films over a 10-day period from the end of April, it is dedicated to outstanding features whether in the world they may originate.
Read below for information about Toronto weather in (Photo credit – Viator)
Toronto weather in May
May is epitomized by traditional northern hemisphere spring weather – slightly chilly mornings, warm afternoons, and cooler evenings. You’ll see averages of 63°F (17°C) and highs a couple of degrees above this, and while known as one of the rainier months, you won’t see more than around 1.2 inches. You also get to enjoy up to nine hours of sunshine each day.
Toronto events in May
Doors Open Toronto
Following in the wake of similar schemes around the world, the Doors Open Toronto weekend sees buildings that are normally closed off to the public open their doors for free, including some of the city’s most historic and important sites, such as First Nations House and Toronto’s first post office!
Generally taking place at the very beginning of May, the Toronto Marathon is one of Canada’s most popular mass-participation running events. Though it acts as the official qualifier for the Boston Marathon you certainly don’t have to be a professional athlete to enjoy the day, either as a runner or as a spectator cheering on this incredible human achievement of running 26.2 miles.
A federal national holiday that celebrates the birthday of Britain and Canada’s Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years from 1837 until 1901. Held in the third week of May, Canada is the only nation to honor the queen in this way, with parades and firework displays the major events for the day.
Read below for information about Toronto weather in June (Photo credit – weather-ca.com)
Toronto weather in June
Given Canada’s chilly reputation it might shock you to learn that temperatures reach an average of 72°F (22°C) during June, and never fall below 59°F (15°C) by day and 50°F (10°C) by night. Ten hours of sunlight mean its light well into the evening, while rain remains not much of an issue.
Toronto events in June
One of the city’s biggest annual parties, Pride is a family- (and straight-) friendly celebration of LGBT life and culture. With events running across 10 days, the culmination is a parade that has developed into the largest in North America.
This celebration of the theater arts in all their forms starts at the end of June and runs for close to two full weeks that sees the city’s performance spaces booked up from morning until night. With the line-up picked by lottery rather than a selection community, what you can be sure about is that you can’t be sure what to expect!
Craft Beer Festival
This laid-back event always promises the presence of the most intriguing craft beers Canada has to offer – from both the largest and the smallest of breweries. In addition to the huge range of beers to sample, there’s also food and music to keep you entertained throughout the festival’s long weekend.
Read below for information about Toronto weather in July (Photo credit – toronto-travel-guide.com)
Toronto weather in July
In July the sunshine and higher temperatures meet rain to create humidity levels that can reach 70%. Despite this, you’ll only ever see a monthly rainfall average of 2.4 inches, while temperatures can hit 81°F (27°C) during 11 hours of sunshine.
Toronto events in July
The country’s birthday, marking the constitution act of 1867, Canada Day is a national holiday that takes place on July 1 each year. Expect outdoor concerts, parades, firework displays and even airshows, alongside plenty of maple leaf flags!
Taste of Toronto
At the beginning of July, Taste of Toronto considers itself the world’s greatest restaurant festival. What can you expect – 70 of the city’s finest producers and restaurateurs showing off their skill. There’s plenty of samples on offer, while its location within the historic Fort York site makes for a further reason to visit.
Taking place at the end of July or the very beginning of August depending on when the weekend falls in the month, Caribana is a street festival that attracts somewhere in the region of 1 million people onto the streets for a carnival of Caribbean culture.
Read below for information about Toronto weather in August (Photo credit – nationalpost.com)
Toronto weather in August
The weather in August is broadly similar to that experienced over July, although temperatures are beginning to drop, with highs of 75°F (24°C) and daily averages just a few degrees lower. There are still 10 hours of sunshine, however, humidity levels can reach an uncomfortable 90%.
Toronto events in August
Canadian National Exhibition
The Ex, as it’s known to pretty much everyone, is a little bit of everything. There’s an example working farm and kids’ world for children, a casino for the adults, exhibitions ranging from photography to butter sculpture, and not one but two music stages.
Taking the freedom of the Fringe to even greater heights, Buskerfest is a festival where you can catch all manner of street performers doing their thing all in one place. A charity fundraising event, you can be sure your laughs and applause is doing good for epilepsy sufferers too!
Read below for information about Toronto weather in September (Photo credit – toronto-travel-guide.com)
Toronto weather in September
Entering September, you’ll still manage to feel temperature highs of 73°F (23°C), thanks to those continued long hours of sunshine. The other good news is that humidity levels have plummeted compared to their August highs, and you’ll see rain only six days in the month.
Toronto events in September
This blues and jazz festival in Port Credit Memorial Park has been getting folks’ feet tapping for more than 20 years. There are four stages in total, with two paid and the other two free to the public, so even if you’re not the world’s greatest jazz fan its worth heading in the park’s direction for an hour or two.
Toronto International Film Festival
One of the highlights of the year for many, the Toronto International Film Festival screens more than 300 films to close to half a million people each year. In addition to small independently-made films, you’ll also find premiers and the latest Hollywood releases, meaning there’s something for everyone.
Read below for information about Toronto weather in October (Photo credit – tripsavvy.com)
Toronto weather in October
October means two things: amazing fall foliage, and falling temperatures. This month’s average temperature drops to 57°F (14°C), while you’ll experience maximum lows of 46°F (8°C). Shorter daylight hours mean sunshine limited to six hours, though rainfall remains low at an average of 1.5 inches for the month.
Toronto events in October
No, we haven’t gone crazy, Canada’s version of the thanksgiving festival is celebrated on the second or third Monday of October, rather than the end of November. It has its origins in harvest festivals but has evolved into a day to spend with family and friends, with restaurants creating traditional menus of roast turkey and pumpkin pie just like south across the border.
Despite not being in French-speaking Quebec, Toronto’s White Night – when museums and galleries stay open throughout the night – sticks by its Francophone name. Beyond the museums, many of Toronto’s public spaces are turned over to hundreds of artists for one-night-only arts events.
Toronto Chocolate Festival
If you’ve got a sweet tooth October is the month in Toronto for you! Running from the first to the thirty-first of the month, this is no simple chocolate convention, but a full-on city-wide series of events from a chocolate ball to chocolate-themed dinners (savory and sweet) and beer and chocolate pairing courses.
Read below for information about Toronto weather in November (Photo credit – tripsavvy.com)
Toronto weather in November
October’s maximum low temperature becomes November’s maximum high, with lows hovering around freezing. As the days head towards Christmas rain tends to turn to snow, making the 2.75-inch monthly average all the more charming, while sunshine hours are reduced to five hours per day.
Toronto events in November
Toronto Christmas Market opens its doors in mid-November, combining the magic of Europe’s traditional markets with lots of locally-made food and handicrafts. Taking place on the third Sunday of the month, the Santa Claus Parade has been running for more than 100 years, while the last Saturday in November sees the city’s official Christmas lights turn on in Nathan Phillips Square.
Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
This indoor agriculture and horse show goes beyond your average county fair. The dog and horse shows are particular attractions for many, while this 10-day spectacular features more than 5000 animals from all manner of species, together with great food, wine, and beer.
Read below for information about Toronto weather in December (Photo credit – toronto.ctvnews.ca)
Toronto weather in December
In December even peak daytime temperatures sit about freezing, and hours of sunlight are limited to just three hours per day. However, almost no snowfall, together with the fun of Christmas means you shouldn’t rule December out completely.
Toronto events in December
Casa Loma at Christmas
Toronto’s Gothic revival stately home is like something out of a fairytale at any time of year but is simply unmissable in December when the castle is decked out with lights and impressive Christmas trees dressed by renowned designers, and Santa can be visited in his workshop.
New Year’s Eve
While almost every nightspot in the city will be celebrating the end of the year and the coming of the new one with some sort of event, the city’s hottest ticket is probably the comedy extravaganza at Massey Hall. Failing that, wrap up and join the crowds in Nathan Phillips Square for the impressive fireworks display when the clocks strike midnight.
What is the best time to visit Toronto weather wise?
In many ways, Toronto is a city that can be visited in any month. So long as you consider the cold bracing rather than hateful November through to March, the traditional low season is actually a great time to visit, with wonderful winter landscapes, especially around the Christmas period.
The warmest and sunniest weather can be found from June until September, when you can experience up to ten or 11 hours of sunshine a day, see very little rain, and be able to walk around for most of the day in only a T-shirt or with a light jumper.
These facts certainly make these summer months the best time to visit Toronto for outdoor activities such as hiking or sailing on Lake Ontario.
Final thoughts on the best time of year to visit Toronto
With weather conditions that surprise many – who would have thought somewhere in Canada could ever see temperatures of over eighty Fahrenheit – and a huge events list that runs across every month of the year, there really are reasons to explore Toronto during any month of the year, whether it’s the height of summer or the depths of winter with the bright lights of Christmas.
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Gin lover. Coffee addict. Nicola has traveled the world for 7 years and is a staff writer for Hotel Jules. Born in London, Nicola first got the taste of travel studying abroad in Barcelona. Since then she's been hooked - traveling the world non-stop. Passionate about green travel and vegan lifestyle, Nicola spends more of her free time staring at maps wondering where she will head to next!