July is midsummer in Canada and the warmest month of the year. It's also one of the wettest months, so be prepared for showers. It can be pretty humid when it's not raining, especially in central and eastern Canada. These central and eastern areas also tend to be hottest—don't let Canada's harsh winters trick you into thinking the summers aren't hot! In general, temperatures are warmer in southern parts of Canada, where most travelers spend most of their time. Northern areas, which are also more remote and less accessible, remain cooler in July.
For example, Québec City in eastern Canada, not far inland, has an average minimum temperature in July of 61°F (16°C) and a maximum of 77°F (25°C). A bit further inland, Toronto has a minimum of 63°F (17°C) and a maximum of 77°F (25°C). On the other side of Canada, inland Calgary is colder overnight with a minimum of 52°F (11°C) but is similarly warm at its peak, with a maximum of 73°F (23°C). Coastal Vancouver is also mild, with a minimum of 57°F (14°C) and a maximum of 72°F (22°C).
Crowds & Costs
July is the peak season for travel to Canada, with locals taking summer vacation and foreign travelers arriving. With pleasant weather across Canada's vibrant cities and beautiful parks, many parts of Canada are busy this month, but southern areas are much more popular. Book travel and accommodation in advance if you're headed to popular sites such as the Rocky Mountains. Prices are high in resort towns like Banff and Whistler. To avoid the highest prices and biggest crowds, visit more remote parts of Canada—there are plenty of them!
Where to Go
Many visitors to Alberta's Banff and Jasper national parks pass through Calgary along the way, and there's one major reason to linger in Calgary in July: the Calgary Stampede. Celebrating the ranching culture and history of this part of the country, the event lasts for 10 days and includes rodeo shows, parades, stage shows and concerts, fairground rides, and First Nations art exhibits. While in the Calgary area, check out some seriously ancient history at the Drumheller Hoodoos and Badlands, stopping at the Royal Tyrrell Museum for all things dinosaurs.
Meanwhile, eastern Nova Scotia is lovely this month, with mild temperatures that are great for exploring the coastline. Base yourself in Halifax and take day trips from there. Drive the stunning Cabot Trail road, learn about Nova Scotian history in UNESCO-listed Lunenburg, kayak in the Bay of Fundy, enjoy the sea views from Peggy's Cove Lighthouse, hike the Cape Breton Highlands, and more.
Traveling to popular British Columbia but want to avoid busy Vancouver and Vancouver Island? Head further north to the more remote Haida Gwaii Archipelago (Queen Charlotte Islands) and Great Bear Rainforest. These nature reserves with unique ecosystems and active wildlife are spectacular in the summer and relatively quiet. You can also learn about First Nations peoples and their culture and history: there are more than 5,000 archeological sites in the Haida Gwaii islands.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
Wherever you go in Canada in July, there will be opportunities for outdoor experiences, including camping, hiking, boating/kayaking, and swimming. You might like to consider surfing in the chilly waters off Vancouver Island, whitewater rafting in Jasper National Park, horseback riding in the Rocky Mountains, climbing the via ferrata at Mount Norquay near Banff, mountain biking in Whistler, canoeing on the Yukon River, or swimming in one of Ontario or Québec's many lakes. For gentler outdoor activities, soak in a hot spring in the mountains of western Canada.
If you have plenty of time and money and like to get off the beaten track, consider taking a two-day train or short flight from Winnipeg to Churchill in Manitoba (there aren't any roads here!). The town on the western side of Hudson Bay is often called the polar bear capital of Canada, but in summer, it could also be called the beluga whale capital. Around 60,000 beluga whales visit the area around Churchill between mid-June and mid-August. Kayak or take a zodiac boat tour for a close-up experience of the mammals.
Events in July
Canada Day, nationwide. Canada's national birthday celebration is held on July 1 with fireworks and fun events across the country. Expect many holiday accommodations to be booked, particularly if the date provides a long weekend for residents.
Winnipeg Folk Festival, Winnipeg. Birds Hill Provincial Park hosts the annual folk music festival, often said to be one of the best in the world, for a few days in mid-July. Many local, Canadian, and international musicians attend.
Calgary Stampede, Calgary. The Calgary Stampede hosts rodeos, evening shows, live music, and food for millions of visitors each year. Grab your cowboy boots and hat and stomp on down to this lively festival.
Crankworx, Whistler. Mountain biking competition and festival on the slopes of Whistler ski resort. Not only fun to watch some of the world's best mountain bikers but an opportunity to try some of Whistler's trails for yourself.
Traveling to Canada in July? Check out these great itineraries
Active Summer Adventure in the Yukon - 5 Days. Explore Canada's spectacular far north during optimal daylight hours for a unique summertime adventure with few crowds. You'll enjoy hiking, canoeing, wildlife viewing, hot springs, and a seaplane ride for aerial views of Canada's highest peaks in less than a week.
Mount Edziza Traverse in Northern British Columbia - 10 Days. Located in the remote wilderness of northwestern British Columbia, this is one of Canada's most beautiful and rewarding treks. A sacred landscape for the Tahltan First Nation, visiting this plateau was both a rite of passage and a journey of purification. Accessible only by floatplane, hike for five days across the alpine tundra against the backdrop of cinder cones, glaciers, and the mighty Coastal Range.