Canada is a large country, covering five time zones and stretching from the Pacific to Atlantic oceans. Weather in Canada varies depending on where you are. In general, there are four seasons in Canada: summer, fall, winter and spring.
Kingston weather is similar to Toronto. Lake Ontario provides Kingston with calmer weather conditions.
Summer is the nicest and hottest time of the year. You can enjoy warm days from mid-June to mid-September. The temperatures range from +15C (59F) to as high as +35C (95F). The climate is more humid, making the summer days feel much warmer.
When packing for a summer program at Queen’s, don’t forget to bring shorts, lots of t-shirts, skirts/dresses for girls, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Lake Ontario is a very popular place for relaxing and fun summer activities!
Fall is probably the most beautiful season in Canada with the trees turning orange, red, and yellow. The cooler days begin at the end of September. Temperatures range between -1C (30F) and +20C (69F). This is the ideal time to enjoy the famous Canadian maple trees turning red and looking like the Canadian flag!
In November, it is not unusual to see some snow, but it doesn’t stay for more than 1-2 days.
Scarves, hats, gloves, cozy sweaters and light jackets will keep you warm during this season. Also, don’t forget to bring warmer shoes (boots are ideal for the rainy days). The nights get colder as the temperatures drop below freezing, so don’t forget to bring warm pajamas. If you are staying with a homestay host or in the university residence, you will be provided with a warm blanket.
Winter is the coldest season of the year, but also a very exciting one. Colder temperatures begin at the end of December and you can expect to see snow as late as at the end of March. This is the season when Kingston and the Queen’s campus are covered in white fluffy snow, making everything look peaceful. The temepratures range between -15C (5F) and +2C (35F), but sometimes the temperatures can drop below -20C (-4F) for a few days.
There are always a lot of outdoor activities happening in winter: skating, skiing, building a snowman, playing or watching hockey. It is very important to dress warmly in winter. Warm winter coats, cozy sweaters, warm pants, boots (snow boots preferably), hats and mittens are main items to purchase when preparing for your trip to Kingston. We always suggest wearing a few layers for warmth (for example 1-2 shirts underneath your sweater). There are many stores available in Kingston where winter clothing can be purchased. If dressed warmly, winter is a fun season!
Spring is the blossoming season, with trees turning green again and the warmer days returning. The temperatures between the end of March and the end of June range between -6C (21F) and +22C (71F). As the snow begins to melt, rainy days begin. Purchasing rain boots will help you to keep your feet dry. A rain jacket and/or an umbrella will also be good to have when walking to class.
"Environment Canada, the federal government weather agency, has declared the City of Kingston a "Weather Winner". Weather Winners are cities that have a variety of weather conditions throughout the year and four distinct seasons: winter, spring, summer and fall. There are only 11 Weather Winners in Canada" (from Immigration Kingston).