Cold Weather in Canada

Coldest Canadian Cities

The title of Canadian city with the coldest weather can be claimed by Saguenay, Quebec; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Sherbrooke, Quebec and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Each city excels in its own way at being really cold.

Saguenay has the coldest days. Its average of 8.2 degrees Celsius (46.8 degrees Fahrenheit) gives it the lowest daily maximum temperature among all of Canada's major cities.

Thunder Bay claims the title for Canada's city having the lowest daily minimum temperature with its annual average of just -3.4 °C (25.9 °F).

Winnipeg boasts the most days when the temperture never rises above freezing. It typically has 113 frosty days each year.

Sherbrooke and Thunder Bay share the title for shortest frost-free season, both averaging just 111 days.

Rounding out the top three in most categories is Regina, Saskatchewan. It ranks second for coldest nights and third for both measures of freezing weather.

The tables below list the major Canadian cities ranked for the lowest maximum and minimum temperature averages, the most freezing days and the shortest frost-free period.

The cities included in these rankings are all of Canada's large 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 Climate

Canada's cities with the coldest daytime temperatures have an average high temperature that's below 10 degrees Celsius (50 ° Fahrenheit).

Average daily maximum temperature annually
City High °F High °C
Saguenay, Quebec 47 8.2
Winnipeg, Manitoba 48 8.7
Thunder Bay, Ontario 48 8.7
St. John's, Newfoundland 48 9.0
Sudbury, Ontario 49 9.2
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 49 9.2
Québec City, Quebec 49 9.2
Edmonton, Alberta 49 9.3
Regina, Saskatchewan 49 9.3

Canadian cities with the chilliest nights have an average low temperature that's below freezing. Ten of the country's large cities make this list.

Average daily minimum temperature annually
City Low °F Low °C
Thunder Bay, Ontario 26 -3.4
Regina, Saskatchewan 26 -3.2
Winnipeg, Manitoba 27 -2.7
Saguenay, Quebec 27 -2.6
Calgary, Alberta 29 -1.9
Sherbrooke, Quebec 29 -1.6
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 29 -1.5
Sudbury, Ontario 30 -1.0
Edmonton, Alberta 30 -1.0
Québec City, Quebec 31 -0.8

Most Freezing Weather

Canada's coldest cities have more than 80 days a year when the temperature never rises above freezing for the entire day.

Average number of days per year that the temperature stays below 0 °C (32 °F).
City Days
Winnipeg, Manitoba 113
Saguenay, Quebec 105
Regina, Saskatchewan 103
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 103
Sudbury, Ontario 100
Thunder Bay, Ontario   96
Québec City, Quebec   89
Trois-Rivières, Quebec   88
Edmonton, Alberta   83

The growing season is the shortest at these major Canadian cities. They all have a frost free season that usually spans less than 130 days.

Length of frost-free season – average number of days
City Days
Sherbrooke, Quebec 111
Thunder Bay, Ontario 111
Regina, Saskatchewan 115
Calgary, Alberta 117
Winnipeg, Manitoba 121
Saguenay, Quebec 123
Guelph, Ontario 125
Reference

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

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