What to Wear in Canada

Montreal in March

Montreal in March

Quebec City in July

Quebec City in July

Bow Lake and Glacier, Banff National Park, Alberta in July

Bow Lake and Glacier, Banff National Park, Alberta in July

Lake Louise in Summer

Lake Louise in Summer

Sunset in Toronto, Ontario in June

Sunset in Toronto, Ontario in June

Transport to the Columbia Icefields, July

Transport to the Columbia Icefields, July

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park in August

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park in August

Boarding the Rocky Mountaineer Train at Jasper in August

Boarding the Rocky Mountaineer Train at Jasper in August

Lake Moraine, August

Lake Moraine, August

Victoria, British Columbia in August

Victoria, British Columbia in August

Whistler village in August

Whistler village in August

Crossing the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, September

Crossing the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, September

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to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.

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General Style Tips

  • The conditions in Canada vary greatly through the year and in different parts of the country, so it's important to check the forecasts for the area you are going to.
  • If you are traveling long distances ensure you pack wisely for the different climate of each region.
  • Clever layering is the key to coping with any temperature changes.
  • light wool is a good choice to wear against your skin as it naturally helps to regulate your body temperature. It keeps you warm in the cold, wicks away moisture when it's hot, and doesn't retain odours - even after prolonged wear.
  • Jeans are always popular and will serve as a versatile base to your wardrobe. Wear them with light layers such as a t-shirt and cardigan for the summer, or warmer ones e.g. a long-sleeved shirt and thick sweater in the winter.

What Shoes To Pack

  • There really is loads to see and do and most of it is best done on foot, so make sure you take comfy footwear for daytime (for total comfort we love Hotter shoes, and they look great too).
  • Save your high heels for the evenings.

Clothing Tips for Women

  • A few well-chosen pieces of costume jewelry are a simple way to transform any outfit.
  • And a pashmina is a versatile piece that will dress up any outfit too, as well as keep you warm, cover from the sun, etc.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • If you're looking for versatile and stylish casual wear, try the Madda Fella range of shirts, shorts and polos.
  • For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.

Pack for the Weather

  • The Winter months - December, January, February and March - are absolutely freezing, so layer up. If you don't, you'll find that your skin really does shrivel up and fall off.
  • You are well advised to have a very thick warm coat. Gloves, cosy boots, scarf, a warm hat, and ear muffs are also a very good idea. Sunglasses are useful in the snow too, to protect against the reflected rays.
  • For extra warmth pack some long thermal underwear - you'll be grateful you did.
  • If visiting in winter have some versatile shoes with soft rubber tread to provide you with enough traction not to slip on the ice. It's important that you get soft rubber soles because even medium soles get really hard in the freezing cold. Make sure too that they have large spaces between the tracks, or the snow will get stuck in them and make them very slippery.
  • Conversely, summer (July, August and September) can be roasting, so breathable fabrics are best.
  • And also in the summer wear plenty of sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection), sunglasses and a sunhat.
  • We love the Weather+ app - it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too - a nice way to remember your trip :) Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Regions of Canada

  • If you're traveling across Canada by overnight train, be aware that you may not be able to take hard suitcases into the cabin with you (check with the train operator).  Ensure you have a soft canvas holdall or rucksack to hold your clothes and essentials for the journey, and pack this before you arrive at the station - otherwise you will be asked to transfer your clothes into plastic bags.
  • What to Wear in Montreal
  • What to Wear in Toronto

Other Things To Pack

  • Everything's easy to buy, so don't take up valuable packing space with regular cosmetics, medicines, books or the like. Buy them there.
  • A lightweight day sack will come in handy to carry your sightseeing essentials.
  • Although tap water is safe to drink, if you tend to buy bottled water consider carrying a Go! Filtered Water Bottle instead - fill up from any source and get clean, safe drinking water without wasting plastic bottles.
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step up voltage converter if your devices are not designed for the local voltage (120V).
  • Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee - it protects against loss, theft and damage.
  • If you're aiming to travel with just carry-on baggage, try the CabinMax soft-sided rucksack - it's light, roomy and has plenty of pockets to keep your stuff organized. You can use packing cubes to compress the volume too.
  • Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees - use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Maple syrup and related confectionery is a popular buy, just remember any liquids will need to be packed in your hold luggage when you fly home.

Last updated 16 December 2016.

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Pack Light

  • Less luggage to carry
  • Save time packing and unpacking
  • Save money on baggage fees

Pack Right

  • Respect local cultures
  • Feel comfortable and confident
  • Suitable outfits for all occasions

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing holiday. That's why I started WhatToWearOnHoliday.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.