Immigrating to Canada: Seasons in the (sometimes minimal) sun!

Weather is known to be one of the top reasons why many people consider immigrating to Canada; others being better work-life balance, quality of life, happiness index, etc. It was the same for me too! If I had to think back about what was the first reason I fell in love with Canada, it has to be the weather.

Read: One of my earlier blogs “How it all began” explores my first impressions of setting foot in Vancouver, Canada way back in 2014. 

After I moved to Canada, friends and family in India often asked me how I was coping with the cold, making it one of the most popular questions in my list of top five. I think many people are unaware of the different seasons that Canada has to offer, especially when we consider the vast landscape and mountainous topography. Temperatures and seasons can widely vary from province to province at any given time of the year. 

In this third blog of the “Immigrating to Canada” series, let’s talk about the weather — which is always a huge topic of discussion in Canada, often working as a conversation starter! Since I am based in Toronto, I will focus on writing about my experience living in the province of Ontario. To be honest, for someone who has lived most of their life in a tropical climate like that of India, even the summer in Toronto feels like winter in Bombay! 

With that said, it is true that Canada is cold for most part of the year. However, once you get acclimated to the weather here, you’ll notice that there is indeed a difference in the temperatures in all the seasons and it’s NOT always “cold.”

From tropical climate to ‘the great white north’

I moved to Toronto during early spring (beginning of March). Spring is a beautiful time to be in Canada! I love seeing the cherry blossoms. While it does rain on and off, the rains are nothing like what you would have experienced in India! Of course, it’s better to have an umbrella or a rain jacket with you but here, you’ll be fine even if you step out without one. It also doesn’t rain continuously for long; you just have to wait for a few minutes for the rain to stop. Generally speaking, it is cold in spring (temperatures can range from minus 7 degree celsius to approx. 10-12 degrees) so you still need the layers to keep you warm.   

Personally, I think I’ve had enough sunshine during phase one of my life in India so I’m not a ‘fan’ of the summer. You know summer’s here when everyone starts shedding off the layers of clothing! Toronto truly comes alive during the summers (June to August) with a variety of events, concerts, and festivals happening throughout the city during weekends as well as during the week. I find summers in Toronto to be comparable to Bombay, just a bit more pleasant, lively, and enjoyable! 🙂   

As I write this blog, we are two weekends away from Fall/Autumn — my favourite season. I absolutely love the Fall colours. Fall temperatures range between 3 to 20 degree celsius; that’s the sweet spot for me! If you’re into nature photography, this is the best time to capture some of those amazing landscape pictures!   

As we near December, it’s time for white winters! Temperatures drop to as low as minus 25-30 degree celsius and with the wind chill, it can seem like minus 40 or 45 degree celsius. It’s common for people to take a ‘snow day’ when there’s a snowstorm — this is similar to when a holiday is declared due to heavy rains in Bombay. My description of Canadian winter is always met with a lot of “oooohhs” and “aaahhhhs” from my family and friends in India. Such low temperatures might seem scary but if you have the right winter gear, you’ll be fine. Trust me, I’ve lived through it and so have 37 million others! Christmas time and the holiday season is magical in Canada, there are cute Christmas markets all over, and the atmosphere is similar to what we see in movies 🙂 

To ‘summer’-ize

India has 3 seasons — monsoon, winter, and summer but if you live in a city like Bombay, thanks to global warming, you experience only summer and summer with rain (between June to September). Thankfully, that’s not the case with Canada. In my opinion, good weather and clean air are contributing factors to the Canadian happiness index! 

So, to answer the popular question about Canadian weather — no, it’s not always cold in Canada. We have a variety of seasons and seasonal temperatures that allows us to enjoy the outdoors! I promise you’ll notice the difference the moment you set foot out of the airport anywhere in Canada, in any season! 

Stay tuned for my next blog in this series by signing up for email updates!    

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