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Vancouver in Spring

Spring is a glorious time of year all across Canada, but Vancouver definitely has the advantage with a season that starts as early as February.

The city’s coastal climate is always gentle compared to the Rest of Canada; in spring, things just get a little warmer and wetter. Be prepared for rain certainly, but remember your reward: snowdrops in January, daffodils in February and a frenzy of cherry blossoms in March.

Starting in February, the temperature rarely drops below freezing, and by mid-March the weather can suddenly turn so warm that locals start unpacking their summer wardrobe. Be prepared for fluctuations though; pack layers.

Vancouver's cherry blossoms: the blessings of an early spring

What to pack for a spring visit to Vancouver:

  • comfortable walking shoes, preferably waterproof
  • a lightweight fleece or sweater
  • a waterproof jacket
  • a collapsible umbrella
  • sunglasses

Spring highlights:

Come spring, Vancouver turns into one great big outdoor playground. Everyone hits the trails–or seawalls, bike lanes, tennis courts, golf courses and community gardens–with near-cultish enthusiasm.

To get the most from your spring visit, plan to include one or more of these activities in your itinerary:

  • Celebrate Chinese New Year in Chinatown in early February.
  • Rent a bike and explore Stanley Park. (Watch out for mating raccoons on the trails!)
  • Enjoy some spring skiing or snow-shoeing: when it’s raining in the city, it’s often snowing on the nearby mountains.
  • Hike the Grouse Grind–aka Nature’s Stairmaster–to the top of Grouse Mountain.

Good to know about springtime in Vancouver:

  • If you’re prone to allergies, pollen season starts as early as mid-February in Vancouver. Bring antihistamines.
  • If you can avoid travelling on the Victoria Day public holiday in May, do. Traffic is bad, border and airport security line-ups are long, hotel rooms are more expensive and the Spring Break crowd can be noisy.

Photo: iStock

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