Toronto is a city with four distinctive seasons. Autumn is a particularly good time to visit: The climate is brisk but temperate, the skies are sunny, the trees are a riot of color, and the cultural scene is in full swing. Another great time to see the city -- if you don't mind a dusting of snow -- is early winter in December, with holiday festivities for everyone. Spring is pretty, although rainy and cool days can make for a moody stay. Midsummer can be oppressive with heat, but there are plenty of parks and other places to cool down, like Ontario Place's busy water park and the Toronto Islands. Really, the only time the city can seem unwelcoming is on a windy February day when the temperature hits -22°F (-30°C). In fact, bone-chilling days are less frequent as the planet warms: You could call it a boost for Torontonians and the city's visitors -- at least, for now.
Never mind what the calendar says; these are Toronto's true seasons: Spring runs from late March to late May (though occasionally there's snow in Apr); summer, June to early September; fall, mid-September to mid-November; and winter, late November to sometime in March. The highest recorded temperature is 105°F (41°C); the lowest, -27°F (-33°C). The average date of first frost is October 29; the average date of last frost is April 20. The windblasts from Lake Ontario can be fierce, even in June. Even in summer, bring a light jacket.
Don't Forget the Sunscreen -- Because of Canada's image of a land of harsh winters, many travelers don't realize that summer can be scorching. "The UV index goes quite high, between 7 and 10, in Toronto," says Dr. Patricia Agin of the Coppertone Solar Research Center in Memphis. A UV index reading of 7 can mean sunburn, so don't forget to pack your sunscreen and a hat, especially if you're planning to enjoy Toronto's many parks and outdoor attractions.
Toronto celebrates the following holidays: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Family Day (third Mon of Feb), Good Friday and Easter Monday (Mar or Apr), Victoria Day (Mon following the third weekend in May), Canada Day (July 1), Simcoe Day (first Mon in Aug), Labour Day (first Mon in Sept), Thanksgiving (second Mon in Oct), Remembrance Day (Nov 11), Christmas Day (Dec 25), and Boxing Day (Dec 26).
On Good Friday and Easter Monday, schools and government offices close; most corporations close on one or the other, and a few close on both. Only banks and government offices close on Remembrance Day (Nov 11).