Cold Weather in Canada

Coldest Canadian Cities in Winter

Winnipeg, Manitoba has the coldest winter weather of any major Canadian city. It ranks first for the lowest average temperatures. Winnipeg also is Canada's city that most often drops to -30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit) or below and it is least likely to have a day above freezing during winter.

Other Prairie cities along with several in Ontario and Quebec round out the lists of Canada's coldest in winter.

The tables below list the major Canadian cities that rank for the lowest maximum and minimum temperature averages, the fewest freezing days and the most days of really cold weather.

The cities included in these rankings are Canada's largest metropolitan areas. These are the 33 urban regions that had over 100,000 people according to the 2011 census by Statistics Canada. The temperature data are averages of weather measurements made from 1981 to 2010.

Coldest Winter Climates

Daytime highs at Canada's coldest cities average less than -4 degrees Celsius (25 degrees Fahrenheit) during winter.

Average daily maximum temperature for December, January and February
City High °F High °C
Winnipeg, Manitoba 15 -9.3
Saguenay, Quebec 18 -7.7
Regina, Saskatchewan 18 -7.6
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 19 -7.3
Thunder Bay, Ontario 21 -6.2
Sudbury, Ontario 21 -6.0
Québec City, Quebec 21 -5.9
Trois-Rivières, Quebec 23 -4.9
Edmonton, Alberta 24 -4.4

At ten Canadian cities the nighttime lows average less than -13 °C (8.4 °F) throughout winter.

Average daily minimum temperature in December, January and February
City Low °F Low °C
Winnipeg, Manitoba -2 -19.2
Saguenay, Quebec -1 -18.3
Regina, Saskatchewan -1 -18.2
Thunder Bay, Ontario -1 -18.1
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan  2 -16.5
Sudbury, Ontario  4 -15.5
Sherbrooke, Quebec  4 -15.4
Québec City, Quebec  4 -15.4
Trois-Rivières, Quebec  6 -14.5
Edmonton, Alberta  8 -13.4

Lowest Temperatures

Eleven of Canada's cities can expect at least one night of -30 °C weather each winter.

Average number of days in winter when the temperature drops below -30 °C (-22 °F).
City Days
Winnipeg, Manitoba 12
Regina, Saskatchewan 11
Thunder Bay, Ontario   7
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan   7
Saguenay, Quebec   7
Sherbrooke, Quebec   5
Calgary, Alberta   3
Sudbury, Ontario   3
Edmonton, Alberta   3
Trois-Rivières, Quebec   3
Québec City, Quebec   1

Fewest Winter Thaws

These Canadian cities have fewer than 30 days a winter when the temperature gets warm enough to melt ice and snow.

Average number of days when the temperature rises above 0 °C (32 °F) in December, January and February.
City Days
Winnipeg, Manitoba 13
Saguenay, Quebec 15
Sudbury, Ontario 19
Regina, Saskatchewan 21
Québec City, Quebec 21
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 21
Thunder Bay, Ontario 22
Trois-Rivières, Quebec 23
Reference

Environment Canada. Meteorological Service of Canada. Canadian Climate Normals. 1981-2010 Climate Normals & Averages.

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