Adapting to the climate in Canada

Hello everyone,

Adjusting to new climatic conditions is key in any expatriation process. Moving to Canada is no exception.

What are the climate characteristics of Canada?

How does the local weather impact your daily life, mood or health?

What are the pros and cons of the climate in Canada?

Share you advice and help people adapt quickly to their new weather environment.

Thanks in advance,


Canada is a huge country (geographically) with many different climates that have there own benefits and challenges. I know everyone thinks it's cold almost all of the time, but that's actually quite far from the truth. Most of Canada gets snow in the winter, but temperatures vary wildly from -3 Celsius to -45/50 (maybe even colder up in the Territories) and summers can be mild to hot. (20 Celsius to over 40 Celsius with humidity). I would recommend that you research your chosen area and be prepared to have at least two wardrobes: winter and summer. (Okay, in Vancouver/Victoria summer/autumn)

Canadians are obsessed with weather and it is often the topic of conversation. We're almost never perfectly happy with the conditions: too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, but it's more in a fun loving way than being actually unhappy.

Things to know -25 Celsius and sunny with little wind is WAY more pleasant that 3 Celsius, rainy and windy. Many people find the South West coast of Canada too dreary through the winter, with lots of cloud cover and rain...rain...rain. If you hate shoveling snow, you definitely don't want to live in the prairies or back East (really anywhere outside the south of British Columbia) If you are looking at living somewhere that truly experiences the winter that Canada is famous for, buy winter clothes in Canada. They have temperature guarantees and are designed to block out wind, snow and other unpleasant aspects of the cold. Be prepared to miss work for something called a "snow day" where the weather is so terrible that it's not safe to go out on the roads. (Note this never/rarely happens in Vancouver/Victoria and environs.) Whatever the weather, there are clothes for it and it's worth the investment.

In short, we have desert, rain forest, arctic tundra, coastal climates and everything in between. We're only missing true tropics.

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