When is the Best Time to Visit Toronto?
Recently, the folks here at Landsby have tried to shine a light on all the best places to see and visit in Ontario. We wrote a guide to the 10 best outdoor activities in Ontario and another about 7 gems in Ontario you may not know about, and we’re going to keep writing about this fantastic province until we run out of things to say… which admittedly might take a very long time… It’s our passion and our purpose to champion the very best of Canada, and we would like nothing better than to inspire people to visit the best parts of our country. Today, we’re focusing on Ontario once more, but looking even more specifically at Toronto, helping you decide the best time to visit this unique city. If anything we say inspires you, take a look at our Ontario Experiences and our Ontario Accommodation to start planning your next adventure.
The “Best” Time to Visit Toronto is Subjective
The first topic we need to cover is important as it is the framework for the rest of this guide. There simply is no objective “best” time to visit Toronto that applies to everyone reading this guide. This is because people are weird, wonderful, and entirely unique, so what works for someone might not work for another. Instead of giving you the one and only answer to this question, we’ll be outlining the best time to visit Toronto depending on your passions and interests.
Visiting Toronto in Summer (June to August)
Just like anywhere in the world with pronounced seasons, Toronto tends to jump wholeheartedly into each season, ready for the new experiences on offer. And this seasonality makes summer so much more special as locals seize the warmer weather and head outside for parades, festivals, and other outdoor events.
First off, it’s important to say that Toronto has some excellent ice cream parlours, so we highly recommend loading up on ice cream wherever possible! This is perhaps the best time of the year for people who want to see as much of the city as possible. Not only will there be no snow to contend with, the weather is nice enough to even necessitate sunscreen (sometimes). Walk around the city, or rent a bike and cycle instead, snapping up photogenic memories as you go. You can also take a water taxi to Toronto Island. This name is misleading as it’s really a cluster of 15 interconnected islands, joined by bridges and paths. Here, you can swim on the beautiful beaches, as well as rent kayaks and bikes.
The only negative aspect of visiting Toronto in the summer is that it is very busy, with people from surrounding Ontario and beyond flocking to one of Canada’s most vibrant cities. But large crowds of people are only a negative for some people. For others, this bustling atmosphere makes a summer visit to Toronto even better! And if you like the open road just as much as you like the city, you may enjoy our RV Road Trip Experience Through Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal — see three of Canada’s most iconic cities and travel at your own pace.
Visiting Toronto in Spring (April to May)
While not as warm as the summer, and with a little snow left over from winter, spring in Toronto is still warm enough to be considered comfortable, but only if you wrap up warm when there’s a cool wind from the north. The main advantage of visiting Toronto during springtime is that you avoid the snow and you also avoid the larger crowds of people in the summer.
This is a great time to visit Kensington Market, enjoying the bounty of vintage clothes stalls, and just soaking in the atmosphere. Another incredible event in Toronto that can only occur in spring is the cherry blossoms in High Park. If you’d love to take in the enchanting displays of white and pink petals dancing across the air, then visit Toronto between late April and early May.
Spring is also perhaps the best time to visit Toronto Zoo as many of the animals will have given birth. This means there will be plenty of chicks, pups, cubs, kittens, and calves to admire.
Visiting Toronto in Fall (September to October)
Similar to spring, fall is a good time to visit Toronto for people who mostly want access to everything Toronto has to offer but would prefer to avoid the crowds and to enjoy the more affordable hotel and accommodation prices. There are some specific fall festivals, such as the Toronto International Film Festival, that might attract you at this time, but many of the reasons why you might visit during springtime also apply here.
Visiting Toronto in the Winter (November to March)
Winter in Toronto is cold. But it’s not that cold in comparison to many other places in Canada. As long as you have the right footwear and a warm coat, it’s rarely so cold to present visitors with any real danger. And the locals are hardy folk who certainly don’t hibernate at home over the winter; they get out and enjoy the snow and the pageantry around Christmas. And the biggest advantage for visitors who aren’t afraid of the cold is that hotel and accommodation prices are significantly cheaper at this time.
Winter is the best time to enjoy Toronto’s rich and diverse cultural offering. Museums, galleries, and inside attractions are all open and they are a nice excuse to get out of the cold for a few hours. The Royal Ontario Museum is perfect for history buffs as it is the largest museum in Canada dedicated to human history and natural history. The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is a must for art lovers; with 95,000 works of art, there is something for everyone here. With Canadian art, indigenous art, European art, and African art, the AGO is one of the most special places in the city!
We also highly recommend visiting the Aga Khan Museum and the Gardiner Museum. The Aga Khan Museum explores and presents the art and history from Muslim Civilizations around the world, drawing inspiration from the wider Islamic diaspora. Exploring history and art from Spain all the way to East Asia, this museum has a truly staggering array of artifacts. The Gardiner Museum specializes in everything related to clay and ceramics. There’s something for everyone here, with diverse collections of art and artifacts from the very best Canadian artists.
If you want to fully embrace wintertime in Toronto, then you might like to go skating on an outdoor ice rink. The locals love to skate, so it’s a great way to meet the locals and enjoy the buzzing, happy atmosphere. Winter is also a great time to take an excursion from Toronto to Niagara to get your fill of the world’s most famous waterfall. If this interests you, Landsby offers a range of different Niagara Falls Tours and Experiences, so take a look and start imagining your winter wonderland escapades!
We’ve only brushed the surface of Toronto and what you can see and do here over the course of a year. This is a city with enough substance and spirit that it’s always worth visiting, but we hope we’ve helped you pinpoint the perfect time for your next visit. If you have any questions about the tours and activities mentioned, please feel free to reach out. The folks at Landsby are always happy to help!