Parc national de la Gaspésie © TQ/S. Deschênes

The seasons

See Québec from four different angles: summer, fall, winter and spring. Bask under the summer sun, feast your eyes on fall’s vivid hues, revel in a winter wonderland or get caught up in spring fever. Four spectacular seasons in which to fall in love with Québec!


Each year from November to March, Québecers embrace an invigorating season. And since snow doesn't last forever, better make the most of it while it’s around! Whether the weather is frosty, foggy, fabulously snowy or dazzlingly sunny, any time is the right time for fun and festivities. Discover the many exhilarating and imaginative ways Québecers make the most of winter!

Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean © TQ/J.-F. Hamelin
Québec City © TQ/J.-F. Hamelin

Staying warm

Starting in November, the temperature hovers around freezing and the chances of snowfall increase correspondingly. In this context, a warm coat, boots, a scarf and gloves are absolute musts. From mid-December to mid-March, the temperature ranges from -5 °C to -20 °C but can change without warning within a 24-hour period. If you’re going out to play, be sure to wrap up warmly: snow pants, puffer jackets, boots, hats, mittens and so on.



Average temperatures in ºC




Montréal -10 185
Québec -12 300
Gaspé -10 318
Kuujjuaq -24 255
Rouyn-Noranda -18 281
Saguenay -15 252
Collines Kékéko, Abitibi-Témiscamingue © TQ/M. Dupuis

Snowy season discoveries

Designed to maximize the joys of winter, the Village on ice in Roberval rises each winter on the frozen surface of Lac Saint-Jean.


Mid-March in Québec normally signals the first stirrings of spring—a moment of great excitement! The days get longer, the sun feels warmer and the snow begins to melt. Returning from their winter migration, the snow geese form immense white Vs against the azure skies. In the city, the ever-popular Bixis and food trucks set up for another season while the outdoor patios fill with happy patrons. Spring is a time of renewal when just about anything goes!

Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean © TQ/J.-F. Hamelin
Montréal © TQ/L. Turgeon

Rising sap

As freeze turns to thaw, the sap starts to rise in the maple trees. Following Amerindian custom, the first settlers learned to tap the sugar maple and boil its sweet water down to a thick syrup prized for its flavour, colour and clarity. This seasonal ritual is now at the basis of a thriving industry and flourishing cuisine.

Before it can be processed, the sap is collected drop by drop through spouts inserted into the trees. Syrup producers of old would hang pails from these spouts, emptying their contents regularly into horse-drawn barrels. Times have changed and today many sugar bushes use a network of tubes connected to a pump that carry the sap to an evaporator. It takes roughly 40 litres of sap to produce one litre of pure syrup!

Maple grove, Chaudière-Appalaches © TQ/M. Dupuis

Sugaring off

Each spring, Québec’s sugar shacks, most of which are close to the urban centres, lay on their annual feast—an experience popular among families and groups, not the least for its copious quantities of traditional home cooking. On the menu: baked beans, omelettes, ham, tourtière (meat and pork pie), oreilles de crisse (crisp salt fried pork) and a scrumptious selection of maple desserts, including the famous tire—hot taffy poured on snow and then pulled on a stick before it hardens. While you’re there, don’t pass up a sleigh ride through the underbrush! Some sugar shacks are open to the public year-round; maple products, in turn, can be purchased in food stores at any time.

What we love about spring

  • Catching the noisy return flight of the snow geese and Canada geese
  • Indulging in some serious pampering at a spa
  • Going white-water rafting with friends late in the season
  • Heading to the countryside to admire the flowering orchards
  • From the shore, hear the ice on the river crack

Québec is the world’s largest exporter of maple products. These are sold in close to 50 countries, with the United States, Germany and Japan leading the way.


Take advantage of summer to explore Québec along its country roads. Rediscover the joys of swimming, admire lush gardens or cast off on a cruise along the St. Lawrence. From June to September, it’s time to get out and play. City dwellers make the most of the warm weather with a seaside or lakeside holiday, a family trip to a theme park or an exhilarating day out on an adventure course.

Festival Juste pour rire, Montréal © TQ/J.-F. Hamelin
Corn roast, Laurentides © TQ/C. Savard

For Québecers, summer is time to kick back and cut loose. With festivals in every region celebrating music, dance, the circus arts, comedy or terroir products, there are endless possibilities for good times, from marvelling at fireworks and hot air balloons to taking part in sandcastle competitions!

Gaspésie © TQ/ C. Savard

Getting away from it all

Leave the city far behind as you head for the Côte-Nord, Gaspésie or the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, seaside destinations par excellence. Go further still with a trip to Abitibi-Témiscamingue, land of innumerable lakes and endless forests, or even Baie-James, a true wilderness area.

Summer is a time for . . .

  • Whale-watching in the St. Lawrence
  • Adventure excursions by canoe or kayak
  • Getting in touch with nature at a national park
  • A lengthy bike trip along the Route Verte
  • Observing the upstream migration of Atlantic salmon in the fishways

Montréal’s average July temperature is 21.3 oC, the highest in Québec. Though the humidity can make things feel somewhat hotter, Montréalers revel in their pleasant summers that turn the snow and cold into distant memories!


Fall in Québec sweeps in with a burst of colour, aroma and flavour. As September draws to a close, the forests don fiery hues as the leaves turn their characteristic reds, yellows and oranges. Vines and orchards are laden with fruit, while clouds of snow geese fill the skies in a spectacular pre-Christmas pageant. With its dry, crisp air and brilliant blue skies, fall is the perfect time for long rambles through the hills and leisurely bike rides along country roads.

Colourful Québec

The report below indicates the progress of the fall foliage in selected parts of southern Québec. Leaf colours will vary based on species and location—latitude in particular—as well as the amount of sunshine. Rain and wind can also strip the trees of their leaves quickly and unexpectedly, significantly altering the scenery, especially late in the season. The colours shown on the map are therefore indications to the best of our knowledge and cannot be guaranteed.

Last updated: November 3, 2016
The fall foliage season is ending, leaves cover the ground.


  • Beginning Soon
  • Early
  • Mid-Point
  • Near Peak
  • Peak
  • Past Peak
Place State
Parc national de Forillon Past Peak
Parc national de la Gaspésie Past Peak
Parc national d'Aiguebelle Past Peak
Témiscamingue Past Peak
Parc national des Monts-Valin Past Peak
Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay / Sainte-Rose-du-Nord Past Peak
Parc régional du Mont Morissette / Mont Sainte-Marie Past Peak
Parc de la Gatineau Past Peak
Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata Past Peak
Rivière-du-Loup / Littoral Past Peak
La Malbaie Past Peak
Parc national des Grands-Jardins Past Peak
Baie-Saint-Paul Past Peak
Mont Sainte-Anne Past Peak
Lac-Beauport / Stoneham Past Peak
Le littoral Past Peak
Saint-Georges / Thetford Mines Past Peak
Appalaches Past Peak
Lac et mont Mégantic Past Peak
Parc national de la Mauricie Past Peak
Trois-Rivières Past Peak
Bois-Francs Past Peak
Nicolet / Bécancour Past Peak
Parc national du Mont-Orford Past Peak
Sutton / Bromont Past Peak
Rougemont Past Peak
Mont-Saint-Hilaire Past Peak
Basses-Laurentides Past Peak
Mont Rigaud Past Peak
Centre de la nature Past Peak
Rawdon Past Peak
Saint-Côme Past Peak
Saint-Donat Past Peak
Coeur des Laurentides Past Peak
Hautes-Laurentides Past Peak
Portneuf Past Peak
Mont-Lac-Vert Past Peak
Montebello Past Peak
Baie-des-Chaleurs Past Peak
Eastern Townships © TQ/J.-F. Bergeron / Enviro Foto
Île d'Orléans, Québec © TQ/H. Wittenborn

Dazzling hues

The changing of the leaves each fall is due not so much to the cooler temperatures as to the decreased light resulting from shorter days. In the maple tree, the accumulation of sugar in the sap is what accounts for the brilliant red of the leaves, whose hue varies depending on the soil composition.

La Mauricie National Park © TQ/Bartlett, Jeff

Fall favourites

Indian summer, a term used to describe a string of uncommonly warm and sunny days in the fall, can occur anytime between early October and mid-November.