The Climate and Weather of Ottawa, Ontario

Average Daily Maximum Temperature – Minimum – Sunshine – Raindays – Snowdays – Snowdepth – Windspeed

Ottawa lies farther north than Toronto, resulting in significantly colder winters.

Unlike many of Ontario’s cities, Ottawa does not sit on the shores of Lake Ontario. This results in higher summer temperatures in Ottawa but increases the harshness of the winters.

Ottawa has a semi-continental climate, with a warm, humid summer and a very cold winter.

Winters in Ottawa are severe. Snow depths of greater than 1 cm are seen on about 120 days each year compared with about 65 days in Toronto. Much greater depths of snow are also found in Ottawa than Toronto.

Ottawa, like other cities in Ontario, enjoys a sunny climate. Summers usually have a generous number of warm or hot sunny days.

Winters are rather less sunny than in the prairie cities of Calgary and Winnipeg.

Ottawa suffers less smog than Toronto. Air quality can be classed as very good, good, moderate, poor or very poor. In 2012, Ottawa had 29 days of moderate air quality. The rest were good or very good.

Ottawa’s day-to day-weather can be changeable throughout the year.

Ottawa, Ontario


Av. Daily
Max. Temp.

Av. Daily
Temp. (°C)

Av. hours
(per day)

Av. Days

Av. Days

Av. Depth
Snow on
Ground (cm)

Av. Wind
(km per hr)

Jan. -6 -15 3.3 4 15 21 14
Feb. -4 -13 4.4 3 11 25 14
Mar. 2 -7 5.2 6 8 20 14
Apr. 11 1 6.3 11 3 2 14
May 19 8 7.4 13 0 0 12
Jun. 24 13 8.4 13 0 0 11
Jul. 26 15 8.9 12 0 0 10
Aug. 25 14 8.0 12 0 0 9
Sep. 20 10 5.7 14 0 0 10
Oct. 12 4 4.4 14 1 0 12
Nov. 5 -2 2.8 11 5 1 13
Dec. -3 -10 2.6 5 13 11 13

3 thoughts on “The Climate and Weather of Ottawa, Ontario”

  1. Ottawa summers are perfect for pool, beach and cottages. Being by the water with hot sunny humid days is second to none. Winters can be hard but it changes nearly every year. Winter 2020 was a breeze to go through. Mostly mild and enough snow to have tons of fun but it all disappeared by the beginning of April. Summer 2020 was amazing and would’nt of wanted to be locked down anywhere else. I anticipate summer 2021 to be similar. Things are good in Ottawa overall as city. Being surrounded by huge parks, mountains and beautiful air quality make a very likable and livable city.

  2. Ottawa has the worst weather year round. Winters are cold and harsh, Spring is rainy to the point of flooding, Summer is humid and miserable and Fall is more rain, damp and cold. It is accurate to say Ottawa has the worst weather of all cities in Canada.

  3. I’ve lived in Ottawa for 45 years and I’ve noted that no matter how dull and dreary days are for sometimes mes 7 days in a row but ever day at around 5-6pm, the sun comes out and then it’s gone? I have been curious about this forever so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask an expert because it has boggled my mind forever and wonder if there’s a reason why this happens
    2nd question is why is Ottawa humidity level mostly always high no matter if the suns out… it’s snowing or raining out or if it’s a clear day. The reason I ask is that I suffer from Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia and I really believe I suffer to death nearly everyday but because the humidex is always so high… does that play a part in my pain threshold? I was born and raised inNorth Bay, Ontario and did not suffer like I’ve suffered since moving to Ottawa 45 years ago. The older I get the worse it gets for me…..would the weather be playing a big part in why I suffer so severely?

    I want to Thankyou in advance for a response to these dilemmas and tell you how much I appreciate you looking into this problem for me

    Laurie L Collins

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