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Planning a Trip

Photo ©Carolyn B. Heller

Why Move to Canada ?

What’s dri­ving your move to Cana­da ? Are you consi­de­ring a job offer ? Loo­king for a second home, invest­ment pro­per­ty, or reti­re­ment des­ti­na­tion ? Plan­ning to go to uni­ver­si­ty ? Or are you sim­ply scou­ting out a poten­tial place to relo­cate ? Your objec­tive for your relo­ca­tion will deter­mine the type of fact-fin­ding trip that you plan.

Where to Go in Canada ?

If you’re consi­de­ring a job in Cana­da, you’ll most like­ly visit the city or region where you’d even­tual­ly live.

If your plans are more open-ended and you haven’t set­tled on the loca­tion that’s best for you, you’ll need to give more thought to orga­ni­zing your trip. Do you want to explore the coun­try’s big­gest cities, or are you loo­king for a smal­ler town ? Do you want to live by the ocean, in the moun­tains, or on a lake ? Is school for the kids impor­tant, or are you loo­king for a place to retire ?

Ans­wers to these ques­tions will help nar­row down your search before you embark on your fact-fin­ding trip. After all, Cana­da’s a big coun­try.

When to Visit Canada ?

In plan­ning your fact-fin­ding visit to Cana­da, you can take one of two stra­te­gies : Go when the wea­ther is nicest to see your poten­tial new home in its best light, or go in the worst of win­ter to pre­pare for what you’re get­ting into.

Sum­mer is high sea­son for tra­vel in Onta­rio and Que­bec. Expect hot, humid wea­ther, plen­ty of tou­rists, and peak lod­ging prices. Late spring and ear­ly fall have the best wea­ther. Autumn is busy with foliage tou­rists, but if you’re visi­ting cities, rather than the coun­try­side, you can avoid the leaf-pee­ping crowds. The second Mon­day in October–Columbus Day wee­kend in the Uni­ted States–is Cana­da’s Thanks­gi­ving holi­day, when busi­nesses and ser­vices may be closed.

In Alber­ta, you’ll find the best wea­ther during the warm, dry sum­mers–from June through August. In the Cana­dian Rockies, that’s when you’ll also find the region inun­da­ted with tou­rists. Late spring (May – June) or ear­ly fall (Sep­tem­ber – Octo­ber) usual­ly have plea­sant wea­ther and fewer visi­tors. Snow can begin to fall in Octo­ber or Novem­ber and remain on the ground till at least April.

In Bri­tish Colum­bia, the nicest time to visit is in the sun­ny, mild sum­mers, but that’s when lod­ging rates are highest. Spring (March – May) in Van­cou­ver, Vic­to­ria, and the Gulf Islands means mode­rate lod­ging prices and lots of day­light, des­pite frequent drizz­ly days. In the cool damp win­ters, accom­mo­da­tions can cost half what they do in mid-summer.

If you’re plan­ning to live or work in a ski des­ti­na­tion such as Whist­ler, Banff, or the Lau­ren­tians, ear­ly fall is the prime time to visit. You won’t find snow, but you will find dis­coun­ted accom­mo­da­tions ; that’s also when many ski areas hire for the upco­ming win­ter season.

Canadian Travel and Tourism Information :

Read more posts about tra­vel in Canada.

– Excerp­ted (in part) from the book, Living Abroad in Cana­da. To read more, buy the book.
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Pho­to ©Carolyn B. Heller