Your Complete Guide to Weather in Toronto Year-Round
Winter in Toronto is getting colder. Pack warm clothing and snow boots because temperatures could plummet even further. But this is the weather that some communities like snowmobilers in Ontario have been looking for to venture outdoors. Preparing appropriately for different seasons will help you enjoy every moment after moving to Toronto.
Toronto features a semi-continental climate that is characterized by cold winters and warm, humid summer. Unlike other regions such as Manitoba and Québec that report very low and harsh temperatures, Toronto’s climate is modified by the currents of Lake Ontario. The water of the lake ensure that winters are warmer and summers are cooler than in other regions.
The Toronto weather has four main seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. It is pretty similar to most cities in North America such as Chicago and New York but features minor changes. This post is a comprehensive guide to weather in Toronto year-round to help make your planning easy and for you to enjoy every moment while there.
Toronto Weather in Winter
In Toronto, the weather is generally milder compared to other cities in the country such as Québec. However, it is still very cold and snowy. The bulk of the snowfall starts from December and continues through to March in the subsequent year. You should expect an average snowfall of 52 inches.
In winter, snowstorms are intense and can take place suddenly, affecting traffic and air travel. As snow takes a toll on most sidewalks, it is recommended that you get proper footwear such as winter boots to walk with ease. You can join the locals enjoying skating in different city rinks for an extra thrill.
Here are the average temperatures to expect through winter in Ontario:
- December: 2.7 °C (36.86°F)
- January: -6 °C (21.2°F)
- February: -7 °C (44.6°F)
To enjoy the chilling temperatures, you need to stay warm by packing the right winter clothing. Make sure to get waterproof outfits and accessories such as mitts, an umbrella, sunglasses, and a scarf. If you target to venture into the snow for something like winter sports, make sure to also invest in quality winter pants.
Toronto Weather in Spring
Spring in Toronto is very unpredictable as the temperatures rise and bid goodbye to winter. You should expect to experience snowstorms and thunderstorms as temperatures and humidity change without giving major signals.
If you visit Toronto in spring, you should expect about 1/3 of April to be rainy. But most of the facilities will still be covered in snow until early May. As May advances, most facilities, including eateries and patios, will start emerging as people prepare to usher in summer.
Here are the average temperatures to expect in Toronto between March and May:
- March: 6°C (42.8°F)
- April: 12.7°C (54.86°F)
- May: 20°C (68°F)
As spring’s temperature goes up in Toronto, you should expect more showers. Therefore, you should get some waterproof jackets, an umbrella, and shoes because the weather can change unpredictably.
Toronto Weather in Summer
In Toronto, summers are hot and humid. This is the perfect time for visitors and residents alike to visit the parks, beaches, and even the enthralling Toronto Islands. Visitors also enjoy various summer festivals such as the Craft Beer Festival and Wine and Spirit Festival that is held between 22 and 24 June every year.
Like other regions in Canada experience very high temperatures, the cool breeze of Lake Ontario brings a cooling effect and some light showers. It is important to note that the temperatures climax in July and August before starting to decline from September and continue through to winter.
It is prudent to keenly follow the summer forecast because many weather-related disasters happen between spring and fall. For example, you should watch out for floods and tropical storms.
Here are the average temperatures to expect in Toronto between June and August:
- June: 25°C (77°F)
- July: 27.7°C (81.99°F)
- August: 26.6°C (79.88°F)
The high temperatures by Lake Ontario mean it is time to venture outdoors. Therefore, visitors coming to Toronto in summer should carry light clothing such as swimsuits, T-shirts, shorts, and sandals. Make sure to also carry sunglasses because of the excess brightness.
Toronto Weather in Fall (Autumn)
In fall, the temperatures rarely fall below 0°C (32°F). Like spring, the fall season can be unpredictable as temperatures swing within a wide range. Between September and November, the autumn weather can be very hot and later give in to snowstorms.
The fall weather is marked by impressive yellowish foliage as plants give in waiting the next harsh winter session. A lot of fall events such as the Royal Winter Fair and Nuit Blanche are also held in fall as winter beckons.
In autumn, the average temperatures to expect are as follows in Toronto are:
- September: 22.7°C (81.86)
- October: 15.5°C (60°F)
- November: 8.8°C (47.8°F)
The unpredictable weather of autumn requires users to be prepared with layered clothing and accessories such as an umbrella because showers can suddenly pound the city when least expected.
Weather Disasters in Toronto
Residents of Toronto are not strangers to natural disasters. Unlike other countries such as Australia that largely report most disasters occuring in summer, Toronto is different. Even though more disasters tend to happen around summer and spring, it is not surprising to see a major disaster such as flood or ice storm taking place in other seasons. One of the worst disasters to rock Toronto in recent times was the Toronto ice storm of 2013.
The Toronto Ice Storm of 2013
This was a huge storm that left more than 120,000 people in Québec and Ontario without power in December 2013. The disaster was a North American storm complex that brought all types of severe weather, including a crippling ice storm, winter storm, and a tornado that extended to parts of Canada.
The storm started in the southern part of the United States around 20 December 2013 and proceeded through the great plains towards the northern parts of the US and Canada and. By the time it hit the shores of Lake Ontario, it accumulated a lot of ice that caused a massive power outage. Now, think of a major city such as Toronto frozen in ice with no power. It was a catastrophe!
To try and keep people warm, the city of Toronto opened 13 community reception centers and police facilities that offered temporary warming and sleeping centers for the residents. About 1,000 people spent Christmas in the warming centers.
The Toronto Flood of 2013
The review of weather in Toronto year-round cannot be complete without looking at the flood of 2013. Before the Toronto ice storm of 2013, the residents of Toronto had just come from another major flood disaster in July. In the heart of the 2013 summer, a moist air mass rapidly gathered up above Ontario. There were little or no signs for the weather forecast to give residents a warning.
Note that a few days earlier the city had experienced some showers and the ground could not take sudden overflow. Therefore, torrential rainfall could easily result in major flooding. In about three hours of 8 July 2013, Ontario recorded a massive downpour of 126 mm that resulted in flooding on most parts of the city.
The roads, railway, and homes were flooded, making Toronto grind into a halt. The commuter train got stuck with hundreds of travelers; 500,000 homes were left without power while more than 3,000 homes were flooded for several days. It was another catastrophe!
Other Disasters that Rocked Toronto in Its History
- Hurricane Hazel: This was an infamous storm that ravaged Toronto and its neighborhoods in October 1954. The storm dumped over 300 million tons of rainfall in Toronto that washed away bridges and roads and tore homes from their foundations.
- The Snowstorm of 1999: This snowstorm was experienced in January 1999 when approximately 118.4 centimeters of rain fell in just a few weeks. Most downtown streets were clogged and a car parking ban was called by the Mayor.
To avoid getting caught unprepared by the extreme weather patterns and disasters, it is important to closely follow the Canadian and Ontario weather sites that provide insightful forecasts. Here is a list of resourceful sites to consider for reliable forecasts:
- Canadian Weather Network
- Weather Condition and Forecasts in Ontario
- Dressing for Winter
- Winter Road Conditions Reports
- Sun Safety
Though the Toronto weather is modified by its closeness to Lake Ontario, the temperatures are still considered extreme when compared to other regions, especially those away from the tropics. The ability to interpret the weather is crucial to understanding what to expect and packing the right clothing.
- The Toronto weather comprises four distinct and cyclic seasons that include summer, fall, winter, and spring.
- The weather in Toronto all year-round can be understood by following the average pattern that replicates year after year. However, fall and spring are not stable and temperatures can swing on a wide range.
- Unlike other cities outside of Canada that experience weather-related disasters in specific months of the year, Toronto’s catastrophes are spread throughout the year.
- As an immigrant, following the weather forecast can help you prepare before moving/traveling to Toronto and even after arriving in the city.