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Does it Snow in Toronto? A Local’s First-hand Experience


Does it Snow in Toronto?

If you’ve ever wondered “Does it snow in Toronto?”, you’re in the right place.

Born and raised in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), our family is very familiar with the amount of snow that Toronto gets during the winter. And yes… Toronto gets plenty of snow!

And while Toronto is best known for its diverse culture, vibrant city life, and stunning waterfront, it also has its share of winter weather quirks.

So whether you are looking for that quintessential “Canadian” winter experience, or you want to avoid the snow at all costs, our post will give you the lowdown on Toronto’s winter wonderland!

❄️ Does it Snow in Toronto?

Yes, it does snow in Toronto. Toronto experiences a typical Canadian winter with snowfall during the colder months.

From December through March, you can expect to see the city covered in a white blanket of snow.

While the amount of snowfall can vary from year to year, Torontonians are no strangers to shovelling their driveways and sidewalks, bundling up in warm coats, and enjoying some winter activities.

According to weather data, the average snowfall during winter is 121.5 cm (47.83 in) at the weather station in Downtown Toronto and 108.5 cm (42.72 in) at Toronto Pearson International Airport

However, I would like to debunk a few Canadian climate related myths. Torontonians (as well as Canadians in general) do NOT live in Igloos. And unless you are living in Churchill, Manitoba, we do NOT have polar bears parading through the streets!

Yes… I have been asked those questions… sigh.

Back to Toronto! If you’re planning a visit or moving to the city, be prepared for some snowy days in the winter months!

Toronto in December - icy Skyline

❄️ Does it Snow in Downtown Toronto?

Snowfall is a common occurrence in downtown Toronto as well.

When winter arrives, downtown Toronto gets its fair share of snow, much like the rest of the city.

The streets, sidewalks, and iconic landmarks of downtown Toronto all see a dusting of snow during the colder months.

While the urban environment may lead to slightly faster melting compared to suburban areas, you can still expect to experience the winter charm of snow in the heart of the city.

❄️ For How Many Months Does It Snow in Toronto?

In Toronto, snowfall typically occurs for about four months of the year.

The snowy season generally begins in December and continues through March.

During these months, you can expect to see snow on the ground and experience winter temperatures.

Of course, you can also have fun in the snow by hitting the ski slopes, going tobogganing, heading out for a winter hike, or enjoying one of Toronto’s many iconic skating rinks.

While the exact timing and amount of snow can vary from year to year, these four months make up the core of Toronto’s winter season.

kids-tobogganing

❄️ Does it Snow in Toronto in October?

Snowfall in Toronto during October is relatively rare but not impossible.

While it’s not common for significant snowfall to occur in October, occasional flurries or light dustings of snow can happen, especially toward the end of the month when temperatures begin to drop.

In fact, I have a few memories of taking the kids out Trick-or-Treating during a light snowfall!

However, these early snowfalls typically don’t accumulate significantly and tend to melt quickly.

So, while October is generally more about the changing colours of autumn leaves than snow, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the weather forecast as Toronto’s weather can be quite unpredictable at times.

❄️ Does it Snow in Toronto in November?

Yes, snowfall in Toronto during November is quite possible.

As winter approaches, temperatures in November can dip low enough to bring about the first notable snowfalls of the season.

While heavy snow is not as common in November as it is in December and the following months, you can expect occasional snow showers or flurries.

We have November birthdays in our family, and for the past few years, we have experienced significant snow when celebrating.

However, for the most part, these early snowfalls may or may not accumulate significantly. The snow often melts relatively quickly, especially if the ground is not yet frozen.

So, if you’re in Toronto in November, it’s a good idea to be prepared for some snowfall and colder weather as winter sets in.

Toronto-skyline-from-island

❄️ Does it Always Snow in Toronto in December?

While December is generally the start of the winter season in Toronto, it doesn’t always guarantee that it will snow without exception.

Snowfall in December is common, and the city often experiences its first significant snowfall during this month.

However, the amount of snow can vary from year to year.

Some Decembers may bring heavy snow, while others may see milder conditions with minimal or no snowfall.

In other words, Toronto’s weather can be somewhat unpredictable.

❄️ Is Toronto Snowy at Christmas?

Toronto often has a snowy and festive atmosphere around Christmas, but the actual weather can vary from year to year.

While there’s no absolute certainty of a white Christmas, the chances of snow on or around December 25th are relatively good in Toronto.

The city typically experiences its first significant snowfalls in December, and the ground is often covered in snow during the holiday season.

Many people associate Toronto with a picturesque winter landscape during Christmas, and it’s a great time to enjoy seasonal activities like ice skating at Nathan Phillips Square or exploring the holiday markets.

So, while it’s not guaranteed, Toronto often lives up to the snowy and charming Christmas image.

Snow-in-Toronto-Nathan-Phillips-Square

❄️ Does it Snow in Toronto in March?

Yes, it does snow in Toronto in March.

March is still very much a part of the winter season in Toronto, and snowfall is common during this month.

While the snowfall may not be as heavy or frequent as in the earlier months of winter, you can expect to see snow on the ground and experience colder temperatures.

And while we are usually pretty fed up with winter and snow by March, unfortunately, we have learned to expect it to continue just a little longer.

March is often characterized by a transition from winter to spring, so you might encounter a mix of snowy days and milder, sunnier days as the city gradually warms up.

So, if you’re in Toronto in March, don’t be surprised if you encounter some lingering winter weather and the occasional snowfall.

❄️ Which Months Does It Snow in Toronto?

Snowfall in Toronto is most common during the winter months.

The months when it typically snows in Toronto are December, January, February, and March.

These four months make up the core of the winter season in the city, with the highest chances of significant snowfall and cold temperatures.

While occasional snowflakes or flurries can occur in November and April, the bulk of the snowfall and winter weather occurs during these central months of winter.

In fact, I can remember quite a few Easters with fresh snow on the ground. The egg hunts tend to be a lot more messy during those years!

Snow-in-Toronto-Girl-making-snow-angels-during-storm

❄️ What is the Snowiest Month in Toronto?

The snowiest month in Toronto is typically January. It also tends to be the coldest month.

During January, Toronto experiences some of the heaviest and most consistent snowfall of the winter season.

Cold temperatures combined with frequent winter storms contribute to significant snow accumulation during this month.

It’s not uncommon for Toronto to receive the highest snowfall totals in January compared to other winter months.

In fact, back in January of 1999, Toronto made headlines (and NOT in a good way) when then-mayor Mel Lastman decided to call on the military to help the city dig out. 🙄

After several back-to-back snowfalls, Toronto was buried under a metre of snow, causing commuter chaos in the downtown core.

Mel Lastman was absolutely roasted by the media for this decision, and I often hear people still laughing about this 20 years later! 🤷🏻‍♀️

Snow-in-Toronto-Pearson-Airport-during-winter-snow

❄️ Does It Snow Every Day in Toronto?

No, it does not snow every day in Toronto.

Toronto experiences a range of weather conditions throughout the year, and snowfall is most common during the winter months, particularly from December to March.

Contrary to popular belief, even during these months, snowfall does not occur every day.

Snowfall in Toronto is typically associated with winter storms, which may come and go, resulting in periods of snowy weather followed by periods of clearer skies.

And just to reiterate, during the other months of the year, Toronto generally experiences milder and snow-free weather conditions.

So, while snow is a regular occurrence in the winter, it does not happen every single day in the city.

❄️ How Much Does It Snow in Toronto?

Toronto receives an average of approximately 133 centimetres (about 52 inches) of snowfall annually.

The majority of snowfall occurs during the winter months from December to March.

Snowfall amounts can vary from year to year and within the same winter season. And it’s usually just a few significant snowfalls that contribute to the seasonal accumulation.

While Toronto is not as snow-prone as some other Canadian cities, it does experience periods of snowy weather.

Trust me, we are all too familiar with the need to clear snow from driveways and sidewalks during the colder months.

Snow-in-Toronto-Boy-shovelling-out-of-snowbank

❄️ Why Doesn’t Toronto Get a lot of Snow?

Toronto doesn’t get as much snow as some other Canadian cities because of its proximity to Lake Ontario.

The lake has a moderating effect on temperatures, causing the city to experience less extreme cold compared to more northern locations.

The lake also tends to reduce the amount of cold, dry air that reaches Toronto, which is necessary for significant snowfall.

However, as we have mentioned, Toronto still receives a decent amount of snow in the winter.

But it’s generally less frequent and less intense compared to parts of the province that are further inland or to the north.

❄️ Can You Drive in the Snow in Toronto?

Yes, you can drive in the snow in Toronto, but it’s important to be prepared and take it slow.

Because Toronto experiences winter weather, including snowfall, local authorities are more than equipped to manage the roads in these conditions.

We tend to shake our heads when we see cities south of the border shut down after a light dusting of snow. Yes, we know that they are not equipped. But as Canadians, we just don’t get it! 🤣🤣

But if you are planning to drive in Toronto, just make sure that your vehicle is properly equipped with snow tires, make sure that you have good visibility with functioning headlights and taillights, and keep a safe following distance.

And we can’t say it enough: make sure that you drive at a reduced speed and be cautious on slippery roads.

Another thing to keep in mind is that while Toronto’s road maintenance and snow plowing services work to keep major roads clear, some residential areas may take longer to be cleared of snow.

I know that my street is a great example of this. For some reason, we usually are one of the last streets plowed in our neighbourhood (sometimes up to 2 days later), which is extremely annoying.

❄️ Does Toronto Get Cold in Winter?

Yes, Toronto does get cold in the winter.

Average winter temperatures in Toronto typically range from -1°C (30°F) to -6°C (21°F) in December and January, with occasional colder spells.

That said, there are usually a few colder periods where temperatures remain below −10 °C (14 °F) or less frequently, below −20 °C (−4 °F) at night.

And let’s not forget the infamous Canadian wind chill factor, which can make it feel like −30 °C (−22 °F)!

Toronto-in-December-Princes-Gates

So, while Toronto’s winters are generally milder compared to many other Canadian cities further north, it still experiences cold weather, especially during the peak of winter.

It’s pretty important to dress warmly and be prepared for cold conditions when spending time in Toronto during the winter.

❄️ Is Toronto Colder Than Vancouver?

Yes, Toronto is generally colder than Vancouver.

Toronto experiences a more continental climate, characterized by hot summers and cold winters, with temperatures often dropping below freezing in the winter months.

Vancouver, on the other hand, has a milder maritime climate due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean.

Winters in Vancouver are much milder, with temperatures rarely dropping below freezing, and the city receiving relatively little snowfall compared to Toronto.

In general, Toronto experiences more extreme temperature variations between seasons, while Vancouver enjoys a more temperate and moderate climate throughout the year.

Snow in Toronto - Colourful Muskoka chairs with snowy Toronto Skyline

❄️ Which City is Colder Toronto or New York?

Toronto is typically colder than New York City during the winter months.

Both cities experience cold winters, but Toronto’s climate is influenced by its more northern location and its proximity to the Great Lakes.

This tends to bring colder air masses and more snowfall to Toronto.

New York City, while still experiencing cold temperatures in winter, tends to have milder winters compared to Toronto.

However, because the weather can vary from year to year, it’s not unheard of for both cities to occasionally experience extreme cold snaps during the winter months.

❄️ Is Toronto Fun in the Winter?

Yes, Toronto can be a lot of fun in the winter!

Despite the cold weather, the city offers a variety of activities and events to enjoy during the winter months.

Some popular winter attractions and activities in Toronto include ice skating at Nathan Phillips Square, exploring winter festivals and markets, visiting art galleries and museums, and attending hockey games (of course!) and concerts.

You can also take part in winter sports like skiing and snowboarding at nearby resorts or go for scenic winter hikes in one of the many awesome parks in the city.

Toronto’s diverse culinary scene is perfect for warming up with delicious comfort food, and cozy cafes are great for sipping hot beverages while watching the snowfall.

So, while winter in Toronto can be chilly, it’s also filled with opportunities for fun and entertainment.

kids-in-winter-gear

❄️ Is Toronto Nice in Winter?

Toronto can be quite nice in the winter, depending on your preferences and how you make the most of the season.

The city has a unique charm during the winter months with its festive decorations, holiday events, and opportunities for outdoor activities.

And if you enjoy winter sports, Toronto can definitely be a wonderful place to visit.

For Hubby who loves to ski, he can’t wait for winter’s arrival. And while I like to ice skate, and love the way freshly fallen snow looks, I’m not a fan of winter.

I much prefer to enjoy cozy cafes, warm comfort food, and indoor attractions like museums and theatres, to spending the day out in the cold.

Ultimately, whether you find Toronto nice in the winter really depends on your preferences.

If cold and snowy weather is not your cup of tea, then definitely plan to visit Toronto during the summer!

❄️ How Do You Survive Winter in Toronto?

To survive a winter visit to Toronto, bundle up with warm clothing, make sure that you have winter tires if you drive, and stay informed about the weather.

If you are thinking of moving to Toronto, you may need a little more advanced planning (depending on where you are coming from).

Keep snow removal tools on hand, consider public transit, stay active, maintain a healthy lifestyle, socialize, and have an emergency kit ready for your car, are things we would recommend.

These steps will help you stay comfortable and safe during the cold season.

TTC in snow

❄️ Do You Need a Winter Jacket in Toronto?

Yes, you will definitely need a winter jacket in Toronto during the colder months, especially from December to March.

Winter temperatures in Toronto can drop below freezing, and the city often experiences snowfall during this period.

A good quality winter jacket will help keep you warm and protected from the cold and snow, making it a practical and essential item for the season.

I actually have a couple of winter jackets that get rotated depending on how cold it gets.

One jacket is a basic winter coat good for average temperatures. The second is my Canada Goose Parka that I use for when it gets super cold, or when I know that I will be spending a lot of time outside.

Winter boots, snowpants, scarf, hat (or Toque as we Canadians call it), mittens/gloves, or even a balaclava are all great items to have if you are planning on being outside on a cold Toronto day.

❄️ Can You Walk Outside in Toronto in Winter?

Yes, you can definitely walk outside in Toronto during the winter.

While the city experiences cold temperatures and occasional snowfall, many Torontonians and visitors continue to walk outdoors throughout the winter months.

Just be sure to dress warmly, wear appropriate footwear for snowy or icy conditions, and be more careful when sidewalks or paths are slippery.

Many parks and outdoor spaces in Toronto remain accessible during the winter, providing opportunities for winter walks and enjoying the city’s winter scenery.

Winter-Hiking-Crawford-Lake-with-kids

❄️ How Long Does Winter Last in Toronto?

As we mentioned above, winter in Toronto typically lasts for about four months, from December through March.

During these months, the city experiences cold temperatures, snowfall, and icy conditions.

While December officially marks the beginning of the winter season, March often sees the transition from winter to spring, with milder temperatures and longer daylight hours.

However, the exact timing of winter’s arrival and departure can vary from year to year, and occasional cold spells and snowfall can extend into April or arrive as early as November.

Overall, the core of winter in Toronto is from December to March, lasting approximately four months.

❄️ What to Do in Toronto When it’s Cold?

When it’s cold in Toronto, your best bet is to embrace the city’s vibrant indoor scene.

Visit museums and art galleries like the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario, catch a live performance at one of the theatres, explore cozy neighbourhoods like the Distillery District, or indulge in spa treatments to stay warm and relaxed.

You could also shop at indoor markets, enjoy ice skating at indoor rinks or try some new cuisine in a cool Toronto restaurant.

Toronto’s indoor attractions offer plenty of options to keep your whole family entertained and comfortable during the chilly months.

girl-and-snowman

❄️ Does it Snow in Toronto Canada – Final Thoughts

So, does it snow in Toronto? The answer is a resounding “yes” – Toronto does indeed experience snowfall during the winter months.

From December to March, the city transforms into a winter wonderland, offering a range of activities and a unique charm that comes with the cold season.

Whether you’re a snow lover or just looking to experience a white winter, Toronto’s snowy days can bring joy and adventure to your visit.

So, whether you’re bundling up for a walk in the snow or sipping hot cocoa by a cozy fireplace, Toronto’s winter has its own special allure waiting for you to explore.

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