Snowy Weather in Canada

Canadian Cities with the Least Snow


The lower elevations of British Columbia's southwest corner avoid the long, snowy winters found elsewhere in Canada. No other large Canadian city comes close in comparison to how little snow Victoria, Vancouver and Abbotsford get. British Columbia's other major city, Kelowna, ranks as the fourth least snowy in the country.

No matter how you look at it, Victoria, BC on the southern tip of Vancouver Island has less snow than any other city in Canada. It has an annual average snowfall of 33 centimeters landing over seven days. And what little snow Victoria receives melts rapidly. The snowpack amounts to a centimetre or more for just five days a year.

Outside of BC, a city that stands out as seeing less snow than the rest is Oshawa, Ontario. It makes the top ten lists for all the measures ranked here: annual snowfall, days with fresh snow, and days with snow on the ground. Hamilton, Ontario also sits on all three lists, but that city is snowier than Oshawa.

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

Lowest Amount of Snow

Ten of Canada's large cities receive an average of less than 120 cm of snow each year.

Annual average snowfall a year.
City Inches Centimetres
Victoria, British Columbia 13.1   33.4
Vancouver, British Columbia 17.5   44.6
Abbotsford, British Columbia 21.7   55.2
Kelowna, British Columbia 25.0   63.5
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 28.9   73.4
Brantford, Ontario 38.7   98.4
Regina, Saskatchewan 39.4 100.2
Oshawa, Ontario 41.6 105.8
Winnipeg, Manitoba 44.8 113.7
Hamilton, Ontario 46.5 118.1

Cities Where it Snows Least Often

Snow lands in southwest BC cities on a dozen or fewer days a year. The rest of Canada's cities see at least 20 days a year of fresh snow.

Average number of days a year with at least 0.2 centimetres (0.08 inches) of new snow
City Days
Victoria, British Columbia   7
Vancouver, British Columbia   9
Abbotsford, British Columbia 12
Kelowna, British Columbia 21
Brantford, Ontario 24
Halifax, Nova Scotia 25
Oshawa, Ontario 27
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 28
Peterborough, Ontario 34
Hamilton, Ontario 36

Fewest Days with Snow Cover

Where southwestern BC cities really differ from the rest of the pack is in how long the snow lingers after a snowfall. The rest of Canada's large cities average 50 or more days a year when snow cover amounts to a centimeter or more. But in Victoria, Vancouver and Abbotsford, snow that deep sticks around for at most 13 days annually.

Average number of days a year when snow is over 1 centimetre (0.4 inches) or more deep.
City Days
Victoria, British Columbia   5
Vancouver, British Columbia   9
Abbotsford, British Columbia 13
Kelowna, British Columbia 50
Windsor, Ontario 53
Halifax, Nova Scotia 54
St. Catharines, Ontario 56
Oshawa, Ontario 63
Toronto, Ontario 65
Hamilton, Ontario 74
Reference

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

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