Canada may have a reputation for being cold, but let me reassure you, it is possible to garden in every province in the Great White North. But if you’re considering immigrating to Canada, you might wonder which locations will satisfy your green thumb. So – let’s look at which Canadian provinces are best for gardeners!
Canadian Climate Zones
There are ten provinces in Canada! Each provincial region is massive and measures more than 1,000 kilometers from north to south. Since it’s so vast, the climate can vary widely depending on where you settle. Canada also has three territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut) that make up the northernmost part of the country, but we won’t be focusing on those today.
This chart describes the climate zones that can get found in each province. If you’re new to reading climate zones, it’s simple! The lower the number, the colder the climate. The warmer the weather – the higher the number. Victoria, British Columbia, and St. Catherines, Ontario, are two of the Canadian zones with the warmest weather.
Province Climate Zones
|Canadian Province||Climate Zones|
|British Columbia||1b – 9a|
|Alberta||0b – 4b|
|Saskatchewan||0a – 4a|
|Manitoba||0a – 4a|
|Ontario||0b – 7a|
|Quebec||0a – 5b|
|Newfoundland||0a – 6a|
|New Brunswick||3a – 5b|
|Nova Scotia||5b – 6b|
|Prince Edward Island||5b|
Gardening In Canada
Let’s discuss the best provinces in Canada for gardeners in more detail.
Nestled along the Pacific Ocean, British Columbia has the most frost-free days, least snow, and fewer winter storms than the rest of the nation. For home gardeners, this means that it is easier to grow a wider variety of fruits and veggies without the help of a greenhouse.
One of the biggest perks of a longer growing season is that it is possible to grow crops with longer maturation dates. So, British Columbians eat fewer green tomatoes!
The Fraser Valley is a hub of farming activity where corn, berries, pumpkins, and various vegetables are grown. The Okanogan region of British Columbia is famous for its fruit. Orchards and vineyards are plentiful, and the highways get flanked by neatly trained grape vines and peach, pear, and apple trees.
British Columbia is one of the most expensive provinces to inhabit. Housing, food, and gas prices are notably higher compared to other locations. However, it is also home to Vancouver, one of Canada’s largest and most cosmopolitan cities.
Oh! There’s one vital benefit of living in the coastal areas. It’s possible to make it through most of the year without using your snow shovel. In Canada, that is a perk!
To learn more, read our article on gardening in British Columbia.
Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba form the Prairie provinces. They sometimes get called The Bread Basket of the World because fields of wheat, canola, corn, flax, barley, mustard, and quinoa dominate so much of this area. In mid-summer, the wheat fields get productive. That’s when the landscape looks like a beautiful patchwork quilt.
If you want farming and agriculture to be your livelihood, you’ll fit right in! Many farms have been passed from one generation to the next and span hundreds of acres.
Prairie gardeners are some of the savviest in Canada. They have many genius solutions for protecting plants from wind, snow, and drought.
Weather in the Prairies can be intense. Summers can go above 40°C (104°F), and winters can dip below -40°C (-40°F). And Prairie wind is no joke either! The climate is markedly dry, so keep your lotion and lip chap handy.
On the bright side, sunshine is never in short supply in the Prairies. Calgary, Alberta, happens to be the sunniest city in Canada, receiving 333 sunny days each year on average. The soil is also very fertile and tends to be relatively free from rocks.
The cost of living in the Prairies is relatively affordable compared to other provinces. Are city comforts vital to you? Then you’ll want to settle close to Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, or Winnipeg, all of which are major cities.
If you choose to settle in the Prairies, you’re signing up for views of the most spectacular sunsets in the nation.
Ontario & Quebec
Ontario and Quebec are home to some of Canada’s most important cities. Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal attract many people because of the wealth of job and education opportunities available in these cities.
Canada has two national languages: English and French. English gets more widely spoken throughout Canada. The exception is Quebec, the hub of French-Canadian culture. Most people in Quebec speak English as well. But a bit of French can be helpful.
Gardeners in these provinces will face some winter storms and wind, but the Greater Golden Horseshoe area is a site of some of the best soil in the country. And with careful planning, the summer months are long enough and hot enough for most vegetables to be grown here.
For more details, read up on Ontario gardening here.
This course teaches gardeners what to do year-round for a productive garden. Gardeners have so much to do – and time is of the essence! No worries – now you have a step-by-step plan. Instructor Mark Shorter shares what to do without skipping steps. It’s also easy to follow – the course lectures get broken into easy-to-digest chunks.
On the east coast of Canada, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick form the Maritime provinces. Geographically, these are some of the smallest regions in Canada. But they make up for this with their rich Atlantic culture.
Living along the Atlantic Ocean is stunningly beautiful, but it also has drawbacks, and gardeners should prepare for winter storms and rocky earth. In parts of the Maritimes, there is a relatively thin layer of topsoil. Due to the less-than-desirable soil – raised garden beds are popular in some parts of East Coast Canada.
While the Maritimes can get intense winters, these provinces are still warmer than the Prairies. Learn all about gardening in Nova Scotia in our guide.
Read More – 14 Best Zucchini Companions! And the 6 Worst!
What Can You Grow In Canada?
Don’t let Canada’s winter months deter you. Canadian gardeners are capable of growing a tremendous amount of food!
Here are just some of the vegetables that can be grown throughout Canada:
- Swiss chard
Fruits that can be grown in Canada include:
- Saskatoon berry
Interestingly, fruit trees like apples and pears require a certain amount of chill days to produce fruit. (We read an excellent guide from Penn State talking more about fruit tree chilling requirements. Check it out – it’s a good read!)
Read More – How to Harvest and Dry Elderberries!
Growing Community Connections
Throughout the country, Canadians are gardening more. The pandemic has spurred an influx of gardening across the nation. The gardening influx means that many of Canada’s cities and towns have impressive local gardening groups where tips and tricks are shared.
Facebook groups like Toronto Vegetable Gardening and Calgary Gardening are invaluable resources packed with location-specific knowledge about when to plant, how to manage pests, and where to source materials locally. You can also learn about local seed sale events and education opportunities in these groups.
Community gardens are becoming more popular in Canada. On a stroll through Vancouver, you’ll spot raised vegetable beds along the sidewalks in the river district.
The efforts of volunteers, neighborhood societies, and non-profit groups who build these community spaces ensure that urban living doesn’t mean giving up on gardening altogether.
You can live in an apartment and still grow some of your food!
Best Province to Live in Canada for Gardeners – FAQs
Have questions about moving to Canada? You’re not alone. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about moving to Canada as a gardener.
Life in Canada is full of opportunities for affordable education, career growth, and adventure. Canada’s population is tiny compared to the nation’s size. And that means there’s never a shortage of wild spaces to explore. Whether you dream of sandy beaches, snowy mountaintops, endless Prairie skies, or dense forests, Canada has it all.
And for all the gardeners out there? I promise that despite the winter months, life in Canada can include tremendous gardening opportunities too!
What about you?
Do you have any fun stories about the best provinces to live in Canada for gardeners?
Or – maybe you have success with growing crops in Canadian provinces?
If so – please share your experiences!
We love hearing from you.
Thanks again for reading.
Have a great day!