Canadian Cities With Most Uncomfortable Temperatures

One large Canadian city stands out from the rest for its frequent nasty temperatures.

Here you'll find temperature data and rankings for the major cities in Canada that least often have mild temperatures. These cities endure the greatest number of days with temperatures that are unpleasantly cold or uncomfortably hot.

There are also lists here of Canadian cities that put up with the most cold nights and the shortest frost-free season. (You can also see rankings for Canada's cities with the mildest temperatures.)

Among the top ten cities for all three measures of harsh weather are Regina, Saskatchewan; Saguenay, Quebec; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Thunder Bay, Ontario; and Winnipeg, Manitoba. But just one city ranks consistently among the top three for unpleasant temperatures: Thunder Bay.

Thunder Bay has more nights than any large Canadian city when the temperature drops below 2 °C (35.6 °F). It also ties for the shortest period between the last frost of spring and the first frost of fall, at 111 days. Plus it comes in third for the most days a year when the highest temperature is outside the comfortable range of 10 to 30 degrees Celsius (50 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit).

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.

Most Days With Unpleasant Temperatures

From the east coast to the Rocky Mountains are Canadian cities where at least half the days have high temperatures that fall outside the mild zone of 10 to 30 °C. Their days often are either too hot for comfort, or more likely, are anything from brisk to freezing.

Total days a year on average with a maximum temperature below 10 °C (50 °F) or above 30 °C (86 °F)
City Days a Year
Saguenay, Quebec 200
St. John's, Newfoundland 200
Thunder Bay, Ontario 195
Winnipeg, Manitoba 194
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 194
Regina, Saskatchewan 193
Sudbury, Ontario 191
Québec City, Quebec 187
Trois-Rivières, Quebec 184
Edmonton, Alberta 181

Most Cold Nights

Night-time lows below 2 °C are more common than not for Canada's large cities with the least comfortable temperatures. The top ten all have more than 200 nights a year when it's that chilly.

Average number of days annually when the minimum temperature is below 2 °C (35.6 °F)
City Days a Year
Thunder Bay, Ontario 227
Calgary, Alberta 221
Regina, Saskatchewan 220
Saguenay, Quebec 214
Winnipeg, Manitoba 212
Sherbrooke, Quebec 208
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 205
Edmonton, Alberta 204
St. John's, Newfoundland 202
Sudbury, Ontario 202

Shortest Frost-Free Season

The frost free growing season is usually over in less than four months at some Canadian cities. These ten have the shortest period between their last spring frost and the first fall frost.

Average length of frost-free season plus mean dates of when the no-frost period begins and ends
City Days Last Frost First Frost
Sherbrooke, Quebec 111 May 28 Sep 17
Thunder Bay, Ontario 111 May 30 Sep 19
Regina, Saskatchewan 115 May 20 Sep 12
Calgary, Alberta 117 May 21 Sep 16
Winnipeg, Manitoba 121 May 23 Sep 22
Saguenay, Quebec 123 May 22 Sep 23
Guelph, Ontario 125 May 18 Sep 22
Moncton, New Brunswick 131 May 23 Oct 2
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 131 May 11 Sep 20
Trois-Rivières, Quebec 132 May 17 Sep 27

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

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