Warmest Canadian Cities in Winter

For warm winter weather, no major city east of the Rocky Mountains comes close to the balmy climate enjoyed by the three large cities in southwestern British Columbia: Victoria, Vancouver and Abbotsford.

They always fill the top three spots on the lists for mildest winter days and nights, fewest frosty days and fewest nights with chilly temperatures. BC's other large city, Kelowna lands at a distant fourth in winter warmth.

Elsewhere in Canada, the warmest cities for winter weather are in Ontario and the Maritime Provinces. Among these, the Ontario cities of Toronto, Windsor and St. Catharines stand out as having a consistently warmer winter climate than the rest.

Victoria, BC is the unchallenged leader among Canada's large cities for winter heat. It ranks several degrees and days ahead of the others for warm weather. Victoria is the only large Canadian city to not normally drop down to -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) during winter.

The tables below list the major Canadian cities that in winter have the highest maximum and minimum temperature averages, the fewest freezing days and the lowest number of really cold nights.

The cities included in these rankings are Canada's largest metropolitan areas. These are the 33 urban regions that had over 100,000 people according to the 2011 census by Statistics Canada. The temperature data are averages of weather measurements made from 1981 to 2010.

Hottest Winter Climates

The mildest winter days are found at these ten cities. They are the only major Canadian cities with an average daily high temperature during winter that's above freezing.

Average daily maximum temperature for December, January and February
City High °F High °C
Victoria, British Columbia 48 8.8
Abbotsford, British Columbia 45 7.2
Vancouver, British Columbia 45 7.1
Kelowna, British Columbia 37 2.6
St. Catharines, Ontario 34 1.1
Halifax, Nova Scotia 34 1.0
Windsor, Ontario 34 0.9
Toronto, Ontario 33 0.6
Hamilton, Ontario 33 0.4
Oshawa, Ontario 33 0.4

These dozen cities have the warmest winter nights. They all average a low temperature for winter that's above -8 °C. Only three Canadian cities have winter minimums that are mainly above freezing.

Average daily minimum temperature in December, January and February
City Low °F Low °C
Victoria, British Columbia 38 3.5
Vancouver, British Columbia 34 1.3
Abbotsford, British Columbia 33 0.5
Kelowna, British Columbia 26 -3.5
Toronto, Ontario 23 -5.1
Windsor, Ontario 21 -6.0
St. Catharines, Ontario 21 -6.1
Halifax, Nova Scotia 20 -6.7
Oshawa, Ontario 20 -6.7
Hamilton, Ontario 19 -7.0
St. John's, Newfoundland 19 -7.2
London, Ontario 18 -7.9

Fewest Frozen Days

Many Canadian cities remain below freezing for most of winter. Just these nine cities usually have fewer than 40 days when the thermometer never rises above freezing.

Average number of days per year that the temperature stays at 0 °C (32 °F) or below.
City Days
Victoria, British Columbia 1
Vancouver, British Columbia 3
Abbotsford, British Columbia 5
Kelowna, British Columbia 28
Toronto, Ontario 38
St. Catharines, Ontario 38
Halifax, Nova Scotia 38
Calgary, Alberta 38
Windsor, Ontario 39

Fewest Nights with Chilly Temperatures

Just eight Canadian cities typically have no more than 25 nights a winter when the temperature drops to -10 °C.

Average number of days in winter when the temperature drops below -10 °C (14 °F).
City Days
Victoria, British Columbia 0
Vancouver, British Columbia 1
Abbotsford, British Columbia 2
Kelowna, British Columbia 16
Toronto, Ontario 19
Windsor, Ontario 22
St. Catharines, Ontario 23
Oshawa, Ontario 25

Environment Canada. Meteorological Service of Canada. Canadian Climate Normals. 1981-2010 Climate Normals & Averages.

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