Being a multicultural country, Canada is home to individuals with roots spanning worldwide. There is no preference given to individuals based on their ethnic or racial background. Similarly, there is zero discrimination based on religious values. This main attraction makes Canada the top choice for people to immigrate and start life anew.
However, Canada is a very big country with a very low total population that opens doors of endless opportunities for a brighter future. Many people who migrate to Canada prefer landing in Toronto because it is bustling with business and job opportunities. Toronto offers great job opportunities, excellent schools and top-class healthcare services. However, it is also the coldest city in Canada.
When planning to move to Toronto, the first thing to do is, prepare for the weather. With record cold temperatures and snowstorms, Canada is one of the coldest countries in the world. However, it also makes it an extremely beautiful region, where residents experience all four seasons in their full glory.
This article will talk about the climate and weather in Toronto. Being a developed city, it is not surprising that it is well equipped for extreme climatic conditions. Nevertheless, it is best to be prepared before stepping into your new life in Canada.
Overview of the climate and weather in Canada
Let us start with an overview of the country’s overall weather and climate. Since Canada is geographically located at a great latitudinal extent, it experiences a variety of climates. Due to this location, the weather is determined by the ocean currents. The warm waters from the Atlantic and currents from the Pacific greatly affect the climate and weather of Canada.
The province of British Columbia experiences heavy rainfall from the air currents blowing from the West with moderate temperatures in the summer and winter. Additionally, southern Ontario and Quebec have similar weather throughout the year because of the Great Lakes inland.
On the other hand, the eastern coast of Canada has frequent fog and cold air in Newfoundland and Labrador. The west coast of Canada experiences below-freezing winters, and snowstorms are very common. This is also the climate of Toronto.
Climate and weather in Canada
Cities that are located near open waters are the coldest in Canada. In 1947, −81 °F (−63 °C) was the lowest temperature ever recorded in the city of Snag in Yukon. The summers are usually mild with cool nights, but the warmest cities are far from the oceans and lakes.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Canada was 113 °F (45 °C) in 1937. This was the temperature in Yellow Grass, and Midale, which are situated in Saskatchewan. This is why; Vancouver experiences an average temperature of 37 °F (3 °C) in January and 64 °F (18 °C) in July. Most coastal locations have a lower range of temperatures throughout the year.
The four seasons in Toronto
Toronto is located in the state of Ontario, which is a very large province. Therefore, the average temperatures differs in most cities, but have all the four seasons. Toronto experiences all four seasons with its beauty for the residents to enjoy. January is normally the coldest month in Toronto, and July is the warmest. However, the northern parts of Ontario experience colder winters compared to the southern parts. The winters in those regions also last longer.
Spring starts on March 20 and lasts until June 20. The weather in Toronto is usually wet during spring, so keeping an umbrella or a raincoat handy is a good idea. The average temperature during the day is 8 °C in March and slowly goes up as the months go by. The nights, however, are cooler.
Summer in Toronto starts on June 21 and lasts up to September 21. The months of July and August are humid with high temperatures. The southern parts of Toronto have an average temperature of 20 °C to 30 °C during the day. Since the weather in Toronto may be sunnier and warmer, wearing sunscreen is necessary because the sun rays in the summer are very harmful.
The autumn season is the most favourite season of every Canadian. Toronto and the rest of Canada turns into beautiful shades of reds, browns, and oranges. Commonly known as the fall season, it starts on September 22 and lasts until December 20. The weather in Toronto gets cooler, the temperatures start to fall, and nights become longer.
Every leaf on the trees in Toronto will change colours and fall to the ground, hence the name ‘Fall’. Usually, many parts of Ontario are rainy when autumn starts, with a few northern parts getting snow as early as October. Carrying an umbrella and wearing warmer clothes becomes important to stay safe from the cold weather.
Canada is famous for turning into a winter wonderland in December. Winters begin in Toronto on December 21 and ends somewhere on March 19. Depending on your location in Ontario, you may experience heavy snowfall and snowstorms. Toronto, however, receives heavy snow every year.
Commonly, the weather in Toronto feels colder as the temperature stays below 0°C during the day and night. Moreover, the temperatures can drop below -30°C, becoming dangerous if one is not prepared. It is possible to survive in Canada when dressed up in layers with the appropriate temperature-rated clothes. Everything from shoes, socks, gloves, coats, hats, and jackets has a tag with a temperature reading. Make sure you read those before making a purchase.
How to adapt to the climate and weather in Toronto
Adapting to the extreme cold conditions of Toronto can be challenging, especially the first time. Nevertheless, we at Moovaz have created a list of essentials that will help you adapt to the winters in Toronto as suggested by the locals.
Put on layers
Layers are the answer to having a comfortable winter in Toronto. The locals in Toronto advise new immigrants and tourists to wear layers before heading outside. Start with thermal leggings and wear snow pants on top. Similarly, wear a thermal shirt, followed by a fleece shirt and a warm coat. Wearing layers is a great way to trap the body heat to stay warm. If you feel warm, you can drop one layer and put another if you are not warm enough.
Cover yourself well
This means covering your entire body, including your face, hands, head and neck. There are plenty of options available that can help cover your face. Wearing leather gloves, a beanie or a warm hat, a scarf and something to cover your face. An inch of exposed skin can result in frostbite within 30 seconds. However, this does not mean that you will need to wear ski goggles when heading into town. Nevertheless, be prepared to experience freezing eyelashes. But, do not worry; it does not look as bad as it sounds.
Educate yourself for Winters
You should know what can happen to you or your loved ones when exposed to extreme winter conditions. Moreover, you must also know what you need to do if anything happens. Exposure to extreme winter can result in hypothermia and frostbite.
In frostbite, the skin turns into a pale grey or white colour with a waxy texture. If you experience frostbite, avoid rubbing the affected area and never expose it to direct heat. That can result in making the condition worse. Frostbite is usually followed by blistering, swelling, pain and numbness. Use your body temperature to warm the affected area.
On the other hand, hypothermia can be identified with shivers, confusion and weakness. If you notice this in yourself or a loved one, it is best to go indoors and gradually raise the body temperature. Again, direct exposure to a heat source can be harmful.
Avoid staying outdoors for too long
It is as simple as it sounds – limit all activities that require you or a loved one to stay outside. When the temperatures are as low as -40°C, it is hazardous. The temperatures in Toronto can go that low, so it is best to use your judgement when planning an outdoor activity.
Outdoor winter activities are a lot of fun all over Canada but that requires individuals to stay outside for long hours. However, wearing the right gear can turn any outdoor activity into fun. When skiing, snowshoeing, ice-skating or hiking, you keep moving wearing warm clothes. These activities release sweat, and you stay warm all the time. Outdoor activities in winters are a lot of fun if you go prepared and follow all guidelines.
Always check the Toronto weather forecast
Living in Toronto means that you always keep one eye on the weather forecast. In cases when the temperatures are expected to get extreme, the government issues warnings and advices everyone to stay inside. Whenever you plan to go for a walk or any other outdoor activity, make sure you check the weather forecast before heading out.
Invest in the right gear
As mentioned earlier, Canada is well equipped for extreme weather conditions. Every store stocks winter gear like coats, hats, boots and gloves. Make sure you invest in good quality ones, that are durable and right for all kinds of activities.
Enjoy the climate and weather in Toronto
You only need to be prepared for the extreme winters in Toronto since the other three seasons are pleasant and similar to other countries. The summers are hot and bright, and you will see many activities throughout the city. In spring, the trees turn green with blooming flowers everywhere you see. Cherry blossoms are a very common sight around Toronto.
In fall, the trees turn golden with amazing shades of browns and reds. Fall is a popular time for hiking in the wilderness because the temperatures are pleasant, and the crunching sound of walking over fallen leaves is always a delight.
People enjoy winters with the many winter activities offered around the city. Around Christmas and New Year’s Eve, you will see colourful festivals and carnivals that look like a winter wonderland. You can have an amazing winter with lots of outdoor activities with the right gear and accessories.