Springtime in Canada: the best activities to do & when to go

Coast Mountains, BC | Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane
Coast Mountains, BC | Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane

If you're planning to travel to Canada between March and June, choosing a spring adventure can offer you more daylight hours to explore pristine parks and trails – just as they reopen and before the summer crowds arrive.

A springtime visit also means witnessing nature’s awesome annual displays, however, the welcome signs of the wildlife pop in Canada occurs at different places at different times.

Spring season in Canada

You might witness flowers in bloom as early as February along the west coast, but it may be late June before their alpine cousins appear in the mountain regions and in the territories, after the snow melts. 

Rising temperatures and the re-appearance of plant life also mean the return of migrating birds and marine life and the reawakening of hibernating animals who can be found actively searching for food to refuel after a long winter.

Whereas in Newfoundland and Labrador, the spring season shows its face in the form of ice giants creeping into view along the watery-blue horizon. 

Make a splash

On the west coast, a water-based adventure, which start as early as May 1st, offers a quiet paddle in the pristine wilderness of Clayoquot Sound, off of Vancouver Island; or Desolation Sound, off of mainland British Columbia

As May is considered ‘shoulder’ season, you can enjoy the popular tourist town of Tofino before the summer vacationers arrive, and as wildlife appears along the nutrient-rich intertidal shores.  

Iceberg season 

Jumping all the way across the country to the Atlantic Coast, spring is the time to watch for icebergs. The warming temperatures of April and May mean the arrival of ice from the north along Newfoundland and Labrador’s famous Iceberg Alley

Paddling through 'Iceberg Alley' off the coast of Newfoundland |  <i>Tourism Newfoundland and Labrador</i>

For the best chances of catching a glimpse of these giants (and also for spotting whales), head to the northern tip of Newfoundland and spend your nights in a lighthouse and your days exploring an uninhabited island in this Vikings Whales & Icebergs experience. For a more active adventure with possible migrating bergs (and birds) as your backdrop, lace up your hiking boots and check out the East Coast Trail in early June. 

Botanical beauties: add a spring to your step

With 44 species of orchids and a great diversity of other plant life, Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula is a botanist’s dream in the spring. Blooming season dates vary from year to year, but you can expect to see Lady Slippers and the like during your spring hike on the peninsula’s Bruce Trail. There is even a festival in honour of the orchid, taking place in Tobermory in late May/early June each year.  

Prince Edward Island's rural landscape coloured by pink and purple wild lupins |  <i>Tourism PEI / John Sylvester</i>

Late June/early July means springtime in the alpine meadows of British Columbia’s interior. Greet waking blooms while moving from west to east through the mountains of Western Canada, narrowing your focus on the flowers with a hike through nature’s colourful canvas. 

The first flowers to show their petals are typically yellow Glacier Lilies and white Spring Beauties. The only thing that competes with spring flora is the fauna. Home to grizzly and black bear, moose, deer, coyotes, wolves, and hundreds of species of birds; the chance of spotting wildlife in BC’s parks is highest at the beginning of the season, just after the winter melt. 

The country's most active season is just around the corner, and it’s time to start making plans so you don’t miss out on the best adventures in Canada.

Browse a range of active hiking and cycling experiences across Canada >

Canada, Spring season in Canada, May adventures in Canada, migration season in Canada

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