Move over Vermont and Maine — Canada offers some of the most spectacular fall foliage in the world! Canada in fall is filled with a myriad of oranges, reds, and yellows from the mountains down to the coast.
Canada is enormous, the second-biggest country in the world by geographic area, so predicting fall foliage timing can be challenging. Travelers can count on the eastern parts of Canada — Québec, Ontario, and the Maritime provinces — to be some of the best places to see a spectacle of bright colors.
5 Reasons to Visit Canada in Fall
There are more reasons for autumn in Canada to tempt travelers to visit in the fall. Some of the best festivals take place in Canada in the fall. This time of year is also a great time to go to avoid swarms of tourists in the summer. The weather is ideal for hiking and exploring the awe-inspiring rivers and lakes of Ontario and Québec.
Here are Road Scholar’s top five reasons to visit Canada in the fall:
1. The Festivals and Colors of Montréal
Fall is one of the best times to visit the southern Québec City of Montréal when the vibe is cozy and crisp, and the trees are turning glorious shades of yellow and orange beginning in mid-September.
Montréal in the fall is filled with wonderful parks on full display. Parks like Mount Royal, the Morgan Arboretum, and the Montréal Botanical Garden have a lot of splendor to offer.
Independent City Discoveries: A Taste of Montréal
Take a five-day Road Scholar tasting tour through Montréal in the fall to learn the story of this cosmopolitan city through its renowned cuisine, must-see cultural sites, grand architecture, and famed Notre-Dame Basilica.
Autumn in Canada is the perfect time to explore the city's rich history, culinary traditions, and European charm. Join local instructors who will lead you to out-of-the-way, favorite neighborhoods with great tips on areas to explore on your own, such as the grounds of McGill University and the Golden Square Mile.
2. Colorful Aspens of Alberta
In Alberta, Canada, experience some of the most beautiful mountain scenery, with the Rockies that are even more spectacular in the fall. Expect warmer, dryer weather in Alberta through September and October.
A favorite fall activity in Alberta is hiking the 13-mile-long Banff Legacy Trail, mountain biking, and overnight horseback riding excursions. Visitors especially appreciate Alberta’s golden larch trees that display bright hues of yellow in the fall.
Great American Get-Together in Banff
What better way to immerse yourself in the fall foliage of Canada than with an eight-day trip on Road Scholar’s tour through Banff? Join Road Scholar for a week in Banff National Park — Canada’s oldest national park. Get a close-up look into the geological history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
While you’re there, enjoy an exclusive screening and discussions with experts at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. Explore the geological history and glaciology around the famous Athabasca Glacier and visit Lake Louise.
3. The Rivers and Lakes of Ontario
Travel anywhere in Ontario in the fall from the end of September to mid-October, and your eyes will be delighted to see some of the most magnificent fall colors. Visitors shouldn’t miss some of the most famous Canada fall foliage viewing spots, including Algonquin Provincial Park, the Bruce Peninsula, and the Niagara region, where you will witness tamaracks, red oaks, and aspens in peak colors.
Canadian Odyssey: Québec City to Toronto
Take a fall tour of Toronto, Ontario, and Québec City to discover the distinctive architecture in its grand cathedrals, shop along the cobblestone streets, and visit world-class museums. On this magnificent 11-day Road Scholar tour, travelers will visit the magnificent Notre Dame Basilica, a masterpiece of Gothic revival architecture, discover upper and lower towns in Old Québec, and journey from Ottawa's Parliament Hill to Old Town Toronto and the historic St. Lawrence Market.
4. The Islands of Nova Scotia: Prince Edward and Cape Brenton Islands
Prince Edward Island explodes into a rainbow of apricot sugar maples, red cherry, and sumac trees. This is complemented by the yellow beech, birch, and poplar trees. These colors are at a peak from mid-September through late October. See the island made famous by the book Anne of Green Gables for its unparalleled beauty.
Cape Breton Island is home to one of the most scenic drives on the planet along Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail. When autumn in Canada arrives, fall enthusiasts are rewarded with the gorgeous hues that blanket the highlands: fire reds, oranges, crimsons, and golds peak the first or second week of October. Besides the spectacular colors, Cape Breton Island has a rich Celtic heritage celebrated through food and music.
The Best of Canadian Maritimes
Embrace the colorful history of the Canadian Maritime provinces on this journey to Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick on this Road Scholar 12-day journey.
On this tour, travelers will explore Cape Breton Highlands National Park, learn about maritime history at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, and discover the dynamic coastal dunes of Prince Edward Island. Tour travelers will also enjoy the local delicacies of the islands, such as lobster and mussels.
5. The Laurentian Mountains of Québec
In fall, the Laurentian Mountains of Québec offer unique flora that changes dramatically in the fall, from the golden birch trees to the sugar maples, at the end of September through mid-October. Outdoor enthusiasts love Québec for its breathtaking rolling hills, mountains, and lakes. This region offers a diverse cultural experience due to the Amerindians, French, Irish, and Scottish settlers.
Signature City Québec
Get an insider’s perspective on Québec City on this five-day Road Scholar tour. Taste regional cuisine, visit must-see icons, and go off the beaten path to discover Québec’s fall foliage.
Discover the best that Québec City has to offer, from its unique pedestrian streets and neighborhoods to museums and architecture. Explore the Plains of Abraham, the site of many clashes between the French and British Empires, and walk the cobblestone streets and well-preserved 17th-century architecture of Old Québec with local experts. Visit Montmorency Falls, one of the most beautiful natural jewels of Quebec.
Explore the Best Places to See Canada’s Fall Foliage With Road Scholar
If you’re looking for the best places to visit in Canada in October, Road Scholar has you covered. At Road Scholar, we have a wide range of experiential learning programs that can bring you throughout the Northeast to allow you to take in the stunning displays of fall foliage that line the landscapes. Through our guided tours, you’ll learn about history, geography, wildlife, and culture while discovering new areas with a like-minded cohort of learners.