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Best Provinces to Live In Canada for Gardeners, Farmers, and Growers

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!

Sound good?

Let’s begin!

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 ProvinceClimate Zones
British Columbia1b – 9a
Alberta0b – 4b
Saskatchewan 0a – 4a
Manitoba0a – 4a
Ontario0b – 7a
Quebec0a – 5b
Newfoundland0a – 6a
New Brunswick3a – 5b
Nova Scotia5b – 6b
Prince Edward Island5b 
Canadian Provinces Climate and Hardiness Zones

Gardening In Canada

Let’s discuss the best provinces in Canada for gardeners in more detail.

Ready?

Let’s begin!

British Columbia

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.

colorful carrots fresh from the garden
Carrots are one of our favorite vegetables for growing in the Canadian provinces! They’re the perfect chilly-weather crop. They don’t mind temperatures in the 60s and 70s (Fahrenheit) – and they detest soil temperatures far exceeding 70 degrees. Perfect for Ontario gardens – and beyond.

Prairie Provinces

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. 

wheat fields with a lovely sunset
Behold! Beautiful fields of wheat as far as the eye can see! The Canadian Prarie Provinces are famous for supplying much of the world’s wheat crop. But – these lush prairies provide more than wheat! They also offer potash, natural gas, and petroleum

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.

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Maritimes

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.

spinach patch growing in the garden
Spinach is another crop perfect for Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and other chilly Canadian provinces along the Atlantic. Spinach withstands temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit – making it one of the best and most productive veggies for cold-weather climates. Maritime provinces included!

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:

Fruits that can be grown in Canada include:

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!)

fresh cabbage growing in backyard garden
Cabbage is one of our favorite crops for all Canadian provinces! Mature cabbage plants are super hardy and tolerate temperatures as low as 24 degrees Fahrenheit. While it didn’t make our official list of cash-saving crops, cabbage is tremendously versatile, delicious, and savory. Perfect for Canadian gardens – and cold-climate growers!

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!

sweet alyssum orange flowers blooming
Alyssum is a beautiful annual flower that’s perfect for many Canadian provinces. It tolerates temperatures as cold as 28 degrees Fahrenheit. Their colorful blooms are perfect for northern state and southern province gardeners who want to beautify their backyard. Without needing to rely on a fickle hothouse flower!

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.

rhubarb plant growing in the garden
Rhubarb is an underrated gem for Canadian gardeners! Rhubarb loves when summer temperatures stay below 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Rhubarb also withstands temperatures as low as 35 degrees weather without fuss. It also tastes delicious as a snack after working in the garden all day!

Read More – How to Plant a Plum Tree Guild! And What to Plant in Them!

Conclusion

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!

Author

  • Elle

    Jack of all trades, master of some. Wild garden grower. Loves creating stuff. From food forests and survival gardens to soap and yoghurt. A girl on a farm with two kids and one husband (yep, just one - although another one would be handy). Weirdly enjoys fixing fences and digging holes. Qualified permaculture teacher and garden go-to.

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