March is late winter in Canada, meaning snow and cold temperatures linger in some parts of the enormous country, but tentative spring-like conditions can be found. If you want to ski, snowboard, or enjoy other snow sports, this is still possible in the Rocky Mountains and elsewhere. However, coastal British Columbia is a good option to take advantage of thawing conditions and milder temperatures. From skiing to iceberg viewing, here's what to see and do in Canada in March.


March is late winter in Canada. While temperatures will be cold and snow will remain on the ground in many places, the lengthening days make March feel like spring in some parts of the country. As Canada is vast and geographically diverse, there's a lot of variation in climate countrywide.

For example, Québec City in eastern Canada, not far inland, has an average minimum March temperature of 19°F (-7°C) and a maximum of 34°F (1°C). Toronto, which is further east, but on one of the Great Lakes, has a minimum average temperature of 26°F (-3°C) and a maximum of 39°F (4°C). On the other side of Canada, inland Calgary is similar, with a minimum of 23°F (-5°C) and a maximum of 34°F (5°C). Meanwhile, coastal Vancouver is a little warmer in March, with an average minimum of 39°F (4°C) and a maximum of 50°F (10°C).

Note that all of these cities are relatively far south in Canada. The further north you go, the colder (and darker) things will still be in March.

Crowds & Costs

March is still peak season for skiing and other snow sports in resort towns in the Vancouver area and the Rocky Mountains of Alberta and British Columbia. In popular resorts—such as Whistler, Revelstoke, Kicking Horse, and Banff—it's essential to book accommodation in advance. Many Canadians from the east travel to the west for ski season. Expect to pay high prices for accommodation and transport to such areas.

Outside of ski resorts, March is the low season for travel in Canada. Your first choice of accommodation is likely to be available, and at a lower price in the major cities and towns. Note that smaller inland towns and cities away from ski resorts may still be quiet in March, with few tourist facilities open. You're more likely to find a good deal on accommodation and decent winter conditions on the coast.

Where to Go

Head to Labrador this month for an unusual sight: icebergs floating down the coast. This sparsely populated area is part of Canada's easternmost province, Newfoundland and Labrador, and iceberg viewing is possible from March (and a couple of months later in Newfoundland). While you can see the icebergs on boat tours, these may not always be running in March because of sea ice. However, you can watch them directly from land along Iceberg Alley, stretching from Labrador to the southeast coast of the island of Newfoundland. 

Coastal British Columbia is a great place to visit in March as the climate there is milder than in some other areas. Consider getting outdoors to enjoy forests and other natural landscapes the province is known for if accessible. Head to Great Bear Rainforest, the largest coastal temperate rainforest in the world, northwest of Vancouver. The enormous moss-covered pine forest is home to trees that are up to 1,000 years old and, true to its name, bears, specifically the elusive white Kermode bear. Bella Coola town is a good base for exploring, with facilities and tours into the rainforest. 

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What to Do

Winter sports season continues in Canada until April. British Columbia and Alberta's mountain ski fields offer plenty of opportunities to ski, snowboard, or enjoy other activities like snowshoeing, sledding, and tubing. The Rocky Mountains are within easy reach of Vancouver or Calgary. Whistler, Grouse Mountain, and Cypress Mountain are some of the most popular ski resorts, with reliable conditions and plenty of accommodation and facilities. 

To get away from the crowds, head to the Kootenay Rockies. The Powder Highway that circles the Kootenay and Selkirk Mountains provides access to resorts (including Revelstoke, Fernie, and Kicking Horse) and heli-ski adventures for experienced, adventurous travelers. 

If you're traveling to eastern Canada, you can still join in the snowy fun. Although the mountains here aren't as big or dramatic as the Rockies, there are still great places to ski in eastern Canada. Québec's Laurentian Mountains have a few popular ski resorts, including Mont-Tremblant, Sommet Saint-Sauveur, and Mont Blanc. Plus, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are good options in flatter areas. 

Events in March

Easter, nationwide. Good Friday and Easter Sunday are public holidays throughout Canada, so expect business closures. While Easter Monday isn't an official holiday, many people take this day off, and businesses remain closed. Easter can fall in March or April.

Victoria Beer Week, Victoria. British Columbia is well known for its tasty and varied array of local microbrews, so this festival in the quaint town of Victoria is a fun way to sample the offerings of more than fifty BC craft brewers.

Traveling to Canada in March? Check out these great itineraries

Northern Lights, Wildlife & Hot Springs - 4 Days. Spend four days in Canada's north, starting from Whitehorse. You'll see endless mountains, view Arctic animals in a wildlife preserve, soak in hot springs, and explore the mountainous landscape by dog sled. In the evenings, you'll head out of doors to watch the northern lights from the comfort of a roaring fire.

Vancouver to Calgary: Whistler, Wells Gray & the Canadian Rockies - 13 Days. Discover Vancouver and the Pacific Coast before heading east to explore the Canadian Rockies—from hiking trails, lakes, and viewpoints in some of Canada's most spectacular mountain landscapes.

More Helpful Information

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