Why you should visit Canada in the autumn

Why You Should Visit Canada In Autumn


Autumn is one of the most picturesque times of the year to visit Canada. Not only are the leaves changing colours to bright vibrant reds, crimson oranges and golden hues, the wildlife is also more active before their winter hibernation, providing prime viewing opportunities.
If you’re planning a holiday to Canada, here are six great reasons why you should consider visiting between September and early November.

1. Weather

Visit Canada during the autumn months of September to early November when the weather is still mild but beginning to cool down. September is usually warm, but can get chilly in the evenings so it’s best to bring a jacket and layers, including a hat, gloves and scarf. If you visit nearer the end of October and early November, you might even see snow.

With less tourists around, you can enjoy the breathtaking landscapes with fewer people in the way of your fabulous photos.
Enjoy the mild Canada weather during autumn

2. Autumn blooms and foliage

Another of the main reasons to visit Canada in autumn is the spectacular changing colours of the leaves. 

Known as “leaf-peeping” season, every year the country is ablaze with fabulous autumnal colours, particularly in Eastern Canada and Quebec. Head to some of the urban parks in Québec City such as Plains of Abraham and Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge for dazzling displays of colour. Alternatively, travel further afield to Parc National de la Jacques Cartier for prime hiking and photography.
 
Whilst in Quebec, take in the stunning sights on foot or by a horse and carriage ride through the old town, designated a UNESCO World Heritage listed site. Head here in the early morning for stunning light or early evening to catch the last glow of the setting sun. Canada’s capital Ottawa, is also highly regarded for its autumn foliage. Visit Gatineau Park for its beautiful oaks, birch, sugar maples, spruce and firs.
 
In Western Canada, the Rocky Mountains are a spectacular sight with the rustic reds and golden yellows of larches and aspen trees. Take a hike through Banff National Park to admire the colours up close, or better still, ride the Rocky Mountaineer train through the breathtaking Rockies. A drive along the Icefields Parkway is also not to be missed, where you will be rewarded with bright aspens and birches lining the highway, set against rugged mountain landscapes.

Even though the Butchart Gardens is alive with beautiful blooming flowers throughout the year, autumn is a very special time to visit. Here you can see the beautiful autumn foliage from the Japanese Maples within the Japanese Garden, whilst other autumn favourites include Beautyberry, chrysanthemum and coneflower.
Visit the beautiful Japanese Garden in the Butchart Gardens, Canada

3. Hiking

Autumn is also a fabulous time of the year to go hiking. With temperatures cooler and dazzling displays of colour to admire, you can enjoy the crisp fresh air within some of the country’s most spectacular national parks.

In Lake Louise, hike up to Lake Agnes Teahouse through a lush forest of spruce and fir trees and enjoy a warm cup of tea and slice of cake on arrival. For a more challenging route, continue on to the top of the Big Beehive, for jaw dropping views of the Bow Valley over the aqua blue waters of Lake Louise. For an easier hike, walk around the shoreline of Moraine Lake, a glacial fed lake in Banff National Park. 
Admire the turquoise colours of Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Canada

4. Wildlife Viewing

Autumn is a brilliant time of the year for wildlife viewing in Canada. With incredible national parks, there’s plenty of opportunities for wildlife encounters, particularly in Western Canada. Head to breathtaking Banff National Park for bears, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, caribou and mountain goats, particularly in the early evening.
 
For a unique wildlife encounter, visit Knight Inlet to watch the grizzly bears take to the salmon-filled rivers to gorge on the salmon as they stack up in the river. You can also go whale watching, with the chance to see orcas, humpack and minke whales alongside porpoises, seals, sea lions and white-sided dolphins.
 
October and November is also the best time to view Polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba, regarded as the Polar bear capital of the world. Witness these magnificent mammals up close in their natural environment, on board a purpose-built Tundra Buggy. A naturalist guide will be on hand to provide insights into the environment and the array of wildlife you’re likely to see, including Arctic hares, snow ptarmigans and gyrfalcons.
 
View Polar bears and grizzlies during the 9 day Grizzly & Polar Bear Adventure
Admire Polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba in Canada

5. Festivals

Autumn in Canada also marks their festival season. In October head to the breathtaking Okanagan Valley for the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, which has celebrated the grape harvest since 1980. In Toronto, the city joins in with the Nuit Blanche tradition featuring cultural events from dusk until dawn.

In Quebec, the five week Mount Sutton Fall festival focuses on outdoor activities including hiking trips and nature walks, whilst the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival typically runs late October to November and showcases some of the best mountain culture films, photography and books. 
Visit Toronto in Canada

6. Northern Lights

The northern parts of Canada is one of the best places in the world to view the incredible northern lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis. Journey to Whitehorse, the capital of Canada’s Yukon from September to gaze at this amazing phenomenon and watch as this natural wonder of light dances across the sky.
 
Experience the mystical Aurora Borealis during the 6 day Northern Lights Spectacular tour departing between September and April. Call for more information.
Witness the spectacular Northern Lights in the Yukon

Autumn not quite the right season for you? You might enjoy reading When is the best time to travel to Canada.

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