Summertime in Canada brings an explosion of activity in the wilderness and urban centers.
July features long, warm days and refreshingly cool nights. The weather is pleasant, with light showers and some humidity.
You can expect to find both urban and rural attractions in Canada, and summertime brings a wealth of activity and cultural events throughout the country. Packing clothes for all weather is important, especially if going to high altitude or northern destinations in Canada. More clothing tips later.
In this article we cover everything you should know before visiting in July:
- What to Wear/What to Pack
- Best Things to Do (From a Local)
The most important thing to remember is to plan ahead and book your accommodations and tours well in advance.
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The Best Tours in July
Is July a Good Time?
July is one of the best times to visit Canada. There’s warm weather throughout the country, with the central prairies being the warmest, reaching 75°F (23°C) or more), and the coastal and northern regions average highs of 65°F (19°C).
Don’t let Canada’s harsh winters fool you: Summer temperatures get quite warm, and preparing for long days in the sun is necessary.
The weather throughout Canada in July is pleasant with average highs from 68°F (20°C ) to 79°F (26°C). The warmest temperatures are in the southeast, while the north rarely exceeds 68°F (20°C). Typically, it doesn’t rain extensively with averages from 0.7 to 2.8 inches (17-72 mm).
The warmest city year-round in Canada is Victoria, B.C. I have found coastal British Columbia to be the most temperate region overall in Canada, but cities in Ontario have the highest summer temperatures.
If you’re looking for a hot summer retreat, Vancouver Island is known for having Mediterranean-like summer weather. The island even has popular beaches and a thriving surfer scene in Tofino. However, this makes it an attractive tourist destination, so July gets busy. Temperatures average between 66 – 77°F (19 – 25°C).
Interesting fact: There is a place where it’s even warmer than in Vancouver Island. Windsor, Ontario is technically the hottest city, with average highs hovering around 82°F (28f°C) in July.
Comparatively, St. John’s, Newfoundland, has the coolest July weather, ranging between 48 – 66°F (9 – 19°C). Northern cities like Whitehorse in the Yukon are cooler than most of the south but still a bit warmer at 68 – 69°F (20 – 21°C). For a cooler vacation, St. John’s has a vibrant nightlife, beautiful historic sites, and breathtaking seaside scenery.
Please keep in mind that the average high temperature range for a larger area like Yukon varies more, of course. For example, in the whole Yukon territory, it is 57-69°F (14-20°C).
The following list shows the average high temperatures in various Canadian cities between early and late July.
- Whitehorse (Yukon): 68-69°F (20-21°C)
- Vancouver: 69-73°F (21-23°C)
- Banff: 68-72°F (20-22°C)
- Toronto: 76-78°F (24-25°C)
- Montréal: 78-79°F (25-26°C)
- Québec City: 76-78°F (24-25°C)
- Halifax: 70-74°F (21-23°C)
Canada in July is teeming with activity due to hours of sunshine and warm weather. That’s why camping during this month is one of my favorite ways to experience the Canadian summer.
We usually camp in Cathedral Lakes Provincial Park, which has two gorgeous backcountry camping sites and several rental cabins. The average temperature in July is warm but not sweltering hot. It averages around 64 – 73°F (18 – 23°C) during the day and 28 – 39°F (-2 – 4°C) at night.
On average, the rainfall in July in Canada ranges from 0.7 to 2.8 inches (17-72 mm). The coastal regions receive more rain than the central prairies. Typically, many regions in Canada have less rain during July compared to most other months.
However, the rainfall varies between provinces, of course. Please find below the average monthly precipitation for selected cities in Canada:
For reference, the wettest province in Canada is British Columbia (BC), and the driest is Saskatchewan. Be prepared for showers if you’re traveling near the coastline. Although the prairies get less rain, they do get humid. So bring loose clothing to prepare for that.
BC (the wettest) and Saskatchewan (the driest) have these average rainfalls:
- BC: 27 – 40 mm (1 – 1.5 in)
- Saskatchewan: 9 – 16 mm (0.3 – 0.6 in)
In Canada, there are typically only about 10-15 rainy days all month in July. So, if you’re going for a week, you could luck out and miss those days.
Sunshine (Daylight Hours)
The average amount of daylight hours in July is 15.5 hours. In the Yukon, you can experience 24 hours of daylight from June to September. The days will be a mix of cloudy, rainy, and sunny, depending on the altitude.
Mountainous regions tend to experience more cloud cover, while the plains have sunnier days.
💡 Having endless hours of daylight may sound appealing, but in my experience, it can be hard to sleep if you aren’t used to it. I highly recommend bringing a dependable sleep mask or staying in hotels with blackout curtains.
That said, the long days make July in Canada a great time to explore the outdoors and squeeze in as many fun activities as possible.
What To Wear | What To Pack
The clothing requirements in Canada during July vary by province and time of day. Pack a light jacket and some sweaters if you are traveling to a cooler region. For hot summer days, make sure you have shorts, t-shirts, sunscreen, and a hat.
Early July is the advent of summer and maybe a few degrees cooler than the latter part of the month. Keep this in mind when packing for your trip.
💡 Be aware that regions with cold winters may not have cooler summers. For example, Winnipeg has both extremely cold winters and extremely hot summers. Check your destination’s summer temperature, not just the overall average temperature.
When visiting the northernmost regions of Canada, you need to wear cool-weather clothes. Long pants and light jackets over T-shirts or long sleeves are recommended.
No matter where you are in Canada, the temperature will drop at night, so be sure to bring a warm sweater and jacket.
Rain: You’ll also likely encounter rain during your trip, so it’s important to bring a light rain jacket that’s easy to carry around with you. Having a light rain jacket that can be layered over warm clothing is a great idea.
It’s a good idea to pack both warm and cool clothes in most parts of Canada.
When I went on a road trip between Manitoba and Alberta last summer, the temperature varied drastically. I put on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt when I left, but packed shorts and a tank top to change into. I’m glad I did this because I needed it!
Furthermore, the high amount of daylight means more sun exposure than you may be used to, so I recommend bringing sunscreen and a good hat to protect your skin.
You need to pack the following for Canada in July:
- Cotton T-shirts
- Long sleeve shirts (sweat-wicking if possible)
- Shorts or skorts
- Long pants that can get wet
- Hiking pants or leggings
- Socks, including warm wool socks
- Light rain Jacket
- Heavy sweater
- Warm jacket
- Sturdy walking shoes (ideally waterproof)
- Sleep mask
Crowds / How Busy?
July is the busiest month for tourism in Canada. You can expect major parks and attractions to be crowded. It is important to book your trip ahead of time, especially if you are visiting well-known destinations like Banff Park, Niagara Falls, or Quebec.
Avoiding Summer Crowds
There are many festivals and events in July throughout Canada, so if you wish to avoid crowds, research when events are happening in your destination and go a different week.
Another tactic is to stay in a quieter town near a major attraction. This can save you money as well, as hotels and restaurants right next to popular tourist spots will be more expensive. For example, if you’re visiting Niagara Falls, consider staying in Niagara-On-The-Lake, a small town within driving distance of the Falls.
If you want to seriously avoid the crowds, consider going to a lesser-known rural destination. Typically these places are more rustic, but the wilderness will be largely unspoiled, and the crowds will significantly diminish.
Here are a few of our favorite out-of-the-way destinations in Canada:
- The central coast of British Columbia
- The Hudson Bay Area
- Churchill, Manitoba (the polar bear capital of the world)
- The Yukon
- Destinations along the Al-Can highway
- Gaspe (on the French River in Quebec)
- Lunenburg, Nova Scotia (a UNESCO Heritage site)
Things To Do / Places To Visit
Nothing beats high summer in Canada. The wildlife tends to be active, the locals are enjoying their summer, and travelers from around the world flock to soak in all Canada has to offer.
Canadian Rockies / Banff & Jasper National Park
The parks along the Canadian Rockies are truly mind-blowing. There are endless activities for the avid lover of the outdoors, including hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and fishing spots galore. July is peak season in the parks, with warm temperatures and seemingly endless days creating the perfect conditions for exploring the wilderness.
Banff and Jasper National Parks are extremely accessible. Due to the well-paved roads throughout the park, anyone can get amazing views and visit interesting locations no matter their level of mobility.
There are numerous day hikes off the main road and several provincial campgrounds in the parks. You must book campsites ahead of time, especially in the summer months.
If you enjoy avoiding crowds, my favorite campground in this area is Wabasso Campground in Jasper. It’s a quieter park with gorgeous views and campsites nestled along the stunning Athabasca River.
Vancouver is a charming seaside city with a modern feel. Located in a banana belt region in Canada, it’s a great destination in July if you wish to avoid humidity and don’t mind a little rain.
The mountains meet the sea in Vancouver, and there are many picturesque places to walk and enjoy the view. A few of my favorite spots to explore are Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, and Kitsilano Beach.
If urban attractions are more your style, Vancouver has much to offer. July is a happening month in this city, so book tickets ahead of time and be prepared to wait in lines occasionally.
Vancouver attractions that you’ll love include:
- The Vancouver Aquarium
- The Museum of Anthropology
- English Bay
- The Museum of Vancouver
- Van Dusen Botanical Garden
Vancouver also serves as a base for outdoor adventures. You can hike Grouse Mountain, home to Grouse Grind, known as “Mother Nature’s StairMaster,” or explore the sea on a whale-watching trip. Visitors also love to walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge, a walkway that spans a 229 ft. (70 m) river canyon.
Canada may be famous for its beautiful landscapes, but Montreal is a cultural treasure that should not be missed. July brings an explosion of festivals, concerts, circuses, and excellent cuisine to the second-largest city in Canada.
Foodies will feel at home in Montreal, known worldwide for its eclectic gastronomical offerings. Be sure to check out The Expérience Peel MTL Foodies festival. This exciting collaboration between eight of the city’s top restaurants offers outdoor canopied dining all summer long.
Montreal features exciting and entertaining festivals during the summer months. In July, you can attend the Montreal Jazz Festival, Montreal Cirque Festival, or the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival.
Montreal has a distinctly European feel, so much so that I call it the “poor man’s Europe” in the sense that for Americans, it’s much more affordable to visit than hopping across the pond. It offers an abundance of art and cultural sites to explore and is surrounded by gorgeous countryside ripe for picture taking.
Bay of Fundy
Known for its extreme tide changes, the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia is a gorgeous retreat for solo adventurers and families alike. Summertime is the best time to visit, as you’ll have access to all the exciting outdoor activities this area offers.
Burntcoat Head park is a must-see spot, with the tides rushing in and out over 160 billion tons of water twice a day. At low tide, you can walk on the ocean floor, where you might see tidepools, fossils, or caves to explore.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can try Tidal Bore Rafting — a great activity for the warm month of July, as you are certain to get wet. Another popular summer adventure is kayaking along the coast near Cape Chignecto Provincial Park.
Families will love taking a geological tour along the rock cliffs to dig for dinosaurs and step back in time to when the Bay of Fundy was a lush rainforest.
July gives the best chance of seeing Niagara Falls gleam in the bright sunshine. Temperatures can reach as high as 80°F (27°C) during the summer months. July is a popular month to visit the falls, but as long as you plan and book your trip several months in advance, you won’t have to deal with steep prices or miss out on your chosen excursions.
Taking a day tour of the Falls is the best way to avoid long lines and get the most out of your time there. It can be as simple as going all out with a wine and helicopter tour of the falls.
Some of the best ways to experience the falls are a Maid in the Mist Tour, a Whirlpool Aero Car, or visiting Goat Island to see both the U.S. and Canadian sides of the falls.
Just east of Toronto lies a region of picturesque countryside and luxury attractions with a quaint, timeless feel. Summer in Northumberland gives you access to the local agriculture, spas, and breathtaking hikes available to explore.
If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway, consider St. Anne’s Spa, a resort located in a country castle replete with hot spring pools and flower gardens that are sure to be in full bloom this time of year. The spa offers rooms or cottages for overnight guests and day passes to the pools for day-trippers.
The Northumberland County Forest features 5,000 acres (20.23 sq. km) of protected wilderness to explore. It features a 73-mile (118 km) trail network, so you’re unlikely to run out of places to discover.