Sunniest Cities in Canada

Prairie cities lead the list of Canadian cities with the most sunshine. Calgary is the sunniest of Canada's large cities, enjoying an average of 2396 hours of bright sun each year, spread over 333 days. That amounts to just over half of Calgary's daylight hours.

The tables here rank Canada's largest cities for the most hours, days and percentage of sunshine they usually get a year, based on weather data collected from 1981 to 2010.

The large cities included in these rankings are the 33 Canadian metropolitan areas that had over 100,000 people according the 2011 census by Statistics Canada. Of these, only 26 have sunshine data collected by Environment Canada. Major cities missing from these sunshine ratings are Barrie, Kitchener - Waterloo, Oshawa and Windsor in Ontario along with Saguenay and Trois-Rivières in Quebec.

No matter how you look it — hours, days or percent — Calgary consistently leads the pack for most sunshine. Edmonton also appears in the top three cities for all measurements. But the cities that show up in the rest of the top ten varies a little among the weather measures.

Highest Hours of Sunshine

Calgary is the only major city in Canada to average nearly 2400 hours of sun a year. Winnipeg, Edmonton and Regina come close behind Calgary, all typically topping 2300 hours of sunshine annually.

Outside of the Prairie provinces, the sunniest of cities are scattered across Ontario, and on the south coast of British Columbia. These round out Canada's top ten major cities for total sunshine.

Average number of hours of bright sunshine a year in major Canadian cities.
City Hours
Calgary, Alberta 2396
Winnipeg, Manitoba 2353
Edmonton, Alberta 2345
Regina, Saskatchewan 2318
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 2268
Thunder Bay, Ontario 2121
Hamilton, Ontario 2111
Victoria, British Columbia 2109
Ottawa, Ontario 2084
Toronto, Ontario 2066

Most Sunny Days

Calgary also heads the list of Canadian cities for total days in a year when the sun is bright enough to be measured. Joining the country's top ten cities based on days with sunshine are Canada's two largest, Toronto and Montréal.

Average number of days annually with some bright sunshine.
City Days
Calgary, Alberta 333
Edmonton, Alberta 325
Regina, Saskatchewan 322
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 319
Winnipeg, Manitoba 316
Victoria, British Columbia 308
Montréal, Quebec 305
Toronto, Ontario 305
Thunder Bay, Ontario 305
Kelowna, British Columbia 304

Greatest Percentage of Sun

For the sunniest Canadian cities, the sun beams down during at least half of daylight hours. Again, Calgary enjoys the top place among the country's cities ranked for the proportion of daylight hours when the sun shines.

Percentage of daylight hours that are sunny
City % sunshine
Calgary, Alberta 52
Winnipeg, Manitoba 51
Edmonton, Alberta 50
Regina, Saskatchewan 50
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 49
Thunder Bay, Ontario 46
Hamilton, Ontario 45
Ottawa, Ontario 45
Toronto, Ontario 44
Montréal, Quebec 44

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

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