June is the start of summer in Canada. As an enormous country with many different climatic zones, summer weather differs throughout the nation. In general, temperatures are warm to hot, with inland and eastern parts of Canada being the hottest and most humid. Don't let images of a freezing Canadian winter fool you—summers can be scorching! June can also be quite wet, especially in and around Toronto, so be prepared for showers.
Although some of Canada's major cities have very different temperatures at other times of the year, they're more similar in early summer and are quite uniformly mild-to-warm. For example, Québec City in eastern Canada, not far inland, has an average minimum temperature in June of 55°F (13°C) and a maximum of 73°F (23°C). Toronto, a bit further inland, has a minimum temperature of 57°F (14°C) and a maximum of 71°F (22°C). On the other side of the country, inland Calgary has an average minimum of 48°F (9°C) and a maximum of 68°F (20°C). Even coastal Vancouver is similar, with a minimum of 53°F (12°C) and a maximum of 68°F (20°C).
Crowds & Costs
June is shoulder season for travel to Canada and a good time to come if you want to experience pleasant weather, lower prices, and fewer other travelers. Many areas that offer snow sports in the winter and spring remain popular in summer for other activities like hiking and mountain biking, so they don't have an off-season. June is an excellent month to visit places like Banff National Park, which gets very busy when Canadian and international schools are out for summer.
With mild-to-warm temperatures, you'll see a few other tourists around Canada's towns and cities, especially in places like Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver, where plenty of indoor and outdoor activities are available throughout the year.
Where to Go
Alberta's Banff and Jasper national parks are popular summer destinations, but June is a great time to come before the crowds arrive. Many people like to base themselves in Banff or Canmore and take day trips around the two parks or road trips along the Icefields Parkway that connects the two national parks. There are many places to stop en route and enjoy the views of lakes, waterfalls, and glaciers.
Active travelers will enjoy canoeing or kayaking on Banff's Bow River or Moraine Lake. Canoes can be rented at lakes (for quite a hefty fee), but more experienced paddlers can rent a vessel in Banff town, pack a picnic, and venture down the Bow River. For a less active but no less spectacular adventure, take a scenic helicopter flight over the Rocky Mountains.
If you have a generous budget and are up for a unique adventure, head to Churchill, Manitoba. The remote town on the western side of Hudson Bay is often called the polar bear capital of Canada, but in summer, it could justifiably be called the beluga whale capital. Around 60,000 of the sea mammals visit the area around Churchill between mid-June and mid-August. Take a kayak or zodiac boat tour for a close-up experience. Churchill can only be reached by rail or air from Winnipeg and a few other towns within the province.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
June is a lovely time to go road-tripping through Canada, or at least part of the vast country. As well as short options like the Icefields Parkway mentioned above, you can set your sights on longer adventures. A journey through northern British Columbia, parallel to southern Alaska, will take you through backcountry full of pine forests, mountains, and lakes. The highway network through remote British Columbia is limited. Still, one option is to start at Dawson Creek, in the east of the province, and follow the Alaska Highway northwest, traveling west from Fort Nelson.
Staying in a lakeside cottage (vacation home) is a quintessential summer activity in eastern Canada, around the Great Lakes, or the many thousands of smaller water bodies across Ontario and Québec. Rent a cottage in June before every second person from Toronto or Ottawa arrives. The Thousand Islands archipelago in the St. Lawrence River is a popular destination for adventure sports and has some grand 19th-centuries mansions. Georgian Bay, on the eastern shore of Lake Huron, is also easily accessible from Toronto and has excellent provincial, national, and marine parks to explore.
Events in June
Montréal International Jazz Festival, Montréal. Ten days of vibrant sounds and performances paint Montréal every June. With over 2 million visitors, this is the world's largest jazz festival.
Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Vancouver. One of the world's biggest and best jazz fests, with more than a half-million people attending hundreds of performances over two weeks in Vancouver.
Dragon Boat Festival, Vancouver. Watch dozens of teams compete paddling colorful dragon boats in regattas in the waters of Vancouver in the biggest festival of its kind outside of Hong Kong. The festival also celebrates the heritage of the large Chinese community in the city.
Traveling to Canada in June? Check out these great itineraries
Canadian Rockies Road Trip: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper & Canmore - 9 Days. Basing yourself in a few locations, you'll spend your days on beautiful alpine trails covering the best of the Canadian Rockies.
Kootenay Rockies: Hot Springs Circle Route - 13 Days. Starting and ending in Calgary, this loop covers the entire Kootenay Rockies, which combines dramatic mountain landscapes with lakeshore communities and plenty of hot springs.