Québec City’s four seasons transform the scenery in an ever‑changing display that’s simply magical to behold. Here are some suggestions to help you get the most out of each month:
Average temperatures (high / low): -8oC (18oF) / -18 oC (0oF)
Average precipitations: 73 cm (snow), 25 mm (rain)
The year’s coldest month has days of breathtaking blue skies and perfect winter conditions. To experience the joys of winter, you simply have to bundle up! Winter driving is not for beginners, so opt for a shuttle or guided tour if you don’t have much experience. January generally brings a few serious snowstorms as well, with school closures and massive snow removal operations.
Check out the Ice Hotel, an architectural wonder and work of art unlike anything else in the Americas, head out on a snowmobile for a little excitement or choose from a wide range of fun winter activities in the area, including skating, tobogganing, tubing, snowshoeing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, dogsledding, Nordic baths, fatbiking, ice fishing, and more.
Average temperatures (high / low): -6oC (21oF) / -16 oC (3oF)
Average precipitations: 63 cm (snow), 13 mm (rain)
Yeah it’s still cold, but the beautiful sunny days add a touch of warmth to that wintery feeling. Keep sticking to the three-layer rule for outdoor play. You can expect a few more good old-fashioned snowstorms in February as well.
This month’s Québec Winter Carnival is the ultimate deep-freeze party. Bundle up for the parades and join the locals to celebrate the world’s biggest winter carnival. All the winter pastimes are still available—you can fatbike on the snow or hop onboard a dogsled and off you go! Cap it off with a session of Nordic baths for a fabulously relaxing finish.
Average temperatures (high / low): 0oC (32oF) / -9oC (16oF)
Average precipitations: 49 cm (snow), 39 mm (rain)
The winter cold is starting to loosen its grip. Sunrise and sunset set off in opposite directions, and with the time change the day seems to have had a growth spurt. The warmer temperatures let you ease into the winter experience at the shallow end. Snowstorms dump loads of heavy snow that melts away faster and faster.
Local kids love the first week of this month. It’s their March break and last hurrah for winter sports and pastimes before spring. It’s also last call for the Ice Hotel, which closes at the end of the month. Keep an eye out for the sugar shacks that start to pop up around the same time.
Average temperatures (high / low): 8oC (46oF) / -1 oC (30oF)
Average precipitations: 18 cm (snow), 59 mm (rain)
The snowy blanket over the city starts to dissolve. Spring isn’t kidding around this time. Temperatures are milder, though snow remains a possibility early in the month.
It’s the off-season, and that means enticing rates at local hotels. Skiers at Mont-Sainte-Anne and Le Massif de Charlevoix can take advantage of spring skiing as migrating Snow Geese blanket nearby Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area on their journey north. Sugaring time is at its peak, and here and there a bar or restaurant, giddy with spring fever, will open its patio on weekends. Meanwhile, the spring floodwaters going over Montmorency Falls are an incredible sight!
Average temperatures (high / low): 17oC (63oF) / 5 oC (41oF)
Average precipitations: 106 mm (rain)
Milder temperatures are coaxing buds to burst and trees to leaf. The month of May brings sunny periods that alternate with rain.
Beautiful days like these are a great time to explore Old Québec or visit gardens now in full bloom. There’s also Québec Exquis, a food festival with special prices at the city’s finest restaurants. At night there’s a collection of walkthrough theatre and performance art pieces called Où tu vas quand tu dors en marchant…? (“Where Do You Go When You Sleepwalk”). Ride on the bike paths or get out on the mountain bike trails that open this month. There are fabulous hiking trails too, and if you want to try rafting, the roaring rivers make for an exciting ride. The tulips generally come out near the end of May.
Average temperatures (high / low): 22oC (72oF) / 11 oC (52oF)
Average precipitations: 114 mm (rain)
This is the month of the summer solstice, and days are light till past nine. The high season hasn’t started yet, though local kids start their summer holidays three weeks in. Bug season is in high gear, so be sure to pack mosquito repellent if you venture into the woods.
This is a perfect time to explore Old Québec before the summer rush. June is also a month of celebration, with the National Day celabrations on the Plains of Abraham and the Wendake International Pow Wow. Strawberry lovers head out to Île d’Orléans at the end of the month for the year’s first pickings.
Average temperatures (high / low): 25oC (77oF) / 14 oC (57oF)
Average precipitations: 128 mm (rain)
July is often the hottest month in Québec. The mercury climbs into the high twenties with an extra 5 °C to 7 °C when factoring in the humidex. Nights are cooler and you’ll often want to have a backup sweater with you, except during actual heatwaves. Things are busiest during the last two weeks of the month, when most Quebecers take their vacations.
With its endless waterslides, Village Vacances Valcartier is always a blast. Enjoy water activities at the many pools, beaches, splash pads, and waterparks nearby. Take a trip on the St. Lawrence River for the refreshing breeze. Or get swept up in the festive atmosphere at special events like Festival d’été de Québec, Canada’s leading outdoor music festival.
Average temperatures (high / low): 24oC (75oF) / 13oC (55oF)
Average precipitations: 117 mm (rain)
The heat’s still on in August and high humidity can make if feel pretty hot, though it tends to cool off at night. Nearby Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier is a fantastic place to see the Perseid Meteor Shower against a starry sky in mid-August.
There are less bugs in the woods now, so the great outdoors is greater than ever. Check out the free circus at Place Jean-Béliveau. The corn is ripe at last, so it’s time to indulge in Neuville’s fresh corn-on-the-cob. The city boasts a steady stream of events such as the Festibière Beer Festival, Plein Art craft fair, Grands Feux Loto-Québec fireworks, and the New France Festival. So many ways to have fun!
Average temperatures (high / low): 18oC (64oF) /8 oC (46oF)
Average precipitations: 128 mm (rain)
September generally brings its share of beautiful days to close out the summer. Mornings and evenings are cooler, so dress accordingly. Fall starts this month too. The noticeably shorter days serve as the cue for the leaves to turn colour, starting in mid-September in the surrounding area and nearer the end of the month in town. It’s also cruise ship season at the Port of Québec.
Harvest time is approaching, and it’s prime time for farm tourism. The orchards of Île d’Orléans host bushels of pickers. Hikers, mountain-bikers, and other outdoorsy types will notice the trails are extra-beautiful at this time year. In town, the Grand Prix Cycliste is the highlight for many.
Average temperatures (high / low): 11oC ( 52oF)/ 2 oC (36oF)
Average precipitations: 2 cm (snow) 99 mm (rain)
Fall colours are at their peak early this month. Days are a little on the cool side but great for doing things outdoors.
The beginning of the month is in fact the best time of year for hiking. Check out the fabulous Halloween decorations on the Plains of Abraham or visit some of the artisans cooking up local flavours. The greater snow geese are back at Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area for a spectacular return engagement as they head south for the winter. There are moose safaris at Forêt Montmorency to introduce you to the largest of the deer family’s many members. Forêt Montmorency also has early‑season cross-country skiing on snow collected the previous winter and kept safe through the summer.
Average temperatures (high / low): 3oC (37oF) / -4oC (25oF)
Average precipitations: 33 cm (snow) 68 mm (rain)
Make the most of this month’s off-season rates and enjoy affordable accommodation. The days are colder and it’s not unusual for an early snowfall to transform the landscape and get everyone excited about winter.
Holiday season decorations start to appear late in the month in Old Québec. The local ski hills welcome their first customers through the magic of snow cannons. It’s also time for the German Christmas Market to spread the spirit of the season. The ice rink at Place D’Youville is ready to skate on around mid-November.
Average temperatures (high / low): -4oC (25oF) / -13oC (9oF)
Average precipitations: 78 cm (snow) 30 mm (rain)
Québec City slips under its snowy mantle just in time for the Holiday Season. Its festive magic takes over the streets of Old Québec as glittering lights transform everything you see. Winter clothing is now a requirement for anything happening outdoors.
The Holiday Season surrounds you in its sparkling embrace. Head down to Petit-Champlain to pick up a few gifts and enjoy the outdoor displays and performances. The German Christmas Market continues, and New Year’s celebrations gear up a few days before December 31. By December 20 there’s generally enough snow for you to try your hand at skating, tobogganing, snow tubing, cross-country skiing, dogsledding, snowshoeing, and other winter pastimes.