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There are many things you need to think about when moving to Canada. One often overlooked are the types of clothing you’ll need for Canada and the different seasons.  Many new immigrants often gloss over the fact that Canada has a unique climate, unlike any other country. It can snow in the spring or you can be wearing shorts in December. Canadian weather can be truly unpredictable. If you are not prepared, you could find yourself with a suitcase full of clothing that has you ill-prepared for the weather outside. And while Canada may be known for its cold winter, when you know the type of clothing to wear, winter can be a very enjoyable season, filled with fun outdoor activities. 

Types of Clothing You Need for Four Seasons in Canada

Canada is truly a nation of four seasons. So you’ll need to dress for different seasons. The weather can vary greatly based on where you live in the country. It can also change significantly from one day to the next. You can experience humidity and temperature close to 40 degrees Celsius in the summer and temperatures as low as -40-degrees Celsius with the wind chill in the winter. 

So, you really need to have the right types of clothing to keep yourself comfortable throughout the year in Canada. But we have you covered with the list below. 

A List of Clothing to Keep Yourself Comfortable Year Round

Depending on your country of origin, you may have some of these clothing items already. All basic clothing items are standard no matter where you live. But pay particular attention to the winter clothing items. If you are without these, you’ll want to get them as soon as possible. Because no matter where you live in Canada, you are going to need good, comfortable, and warm clothing. If you’re spending time doing anything in the snow such as skiing, snowmobiling, skating or even just building a snowman, you’ll need something beyond your average city-appropriate outerwear.

All clothing on the list below is readily available for purchase in stores across the country. You can also find these items online or used at local thrift stores. Here is a list of clothing you will need for each season:

Types of Clothing for Spring in Canada (March to May)

This is the start of patio season. Spring is a signal that winter is over, and the warmer weather is on the horizon. It can be an unpredictable season. The cold could linger, and you could find it to be unseasonably cool. Or it could be exceptionally warm. It’s a good idea to have some summer and fall items handy to be prepared for the unpredictable nature of this season:

  • Rain boots
  • Raincoat
  • A light jacket
  • Umbrella
  • Running shoes and sandals
  • T shirts
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Jeans, long pants, shorts
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Types of Clothing for Summer (June to August)

Canadian summers can be hot and humid. It can be just as warm as about anywhere else in the world. Expect a mix of sunshine and some rainy days. There will be lots of opportunities to enjoy parks, the lake and local beaches. It’s the time of the year when Canadians go on vacation, head to cottages, and enjoy the outdoors to the fullest. Here are some types of clothing items to have:

  • Bathing suit
  • Sunglasses
  • Baseball hat
  • Flip flops, sandals, and walking shoes
  • Shorts, dresses
  • T shirts and tank tops
  • Light hooded sweater
  • Sports attire

Types of Clothing for Fall (September to November)

Once fall comes around, you’ll notice the leaves starting to change colour on the trees and the weather starting to cool. It is pumpkin spice latte season. It’s time to break out your sweaters and celebrate Thanksgiving. Here is the clothing you will need for fall:

  • A light jacket
  • Sweaters and hoodies
  • Jeans, leggings, and long dresses
  • Long sleeve shirts and button up shirts
  • Light gloves
  • Scarf
  • Wool hat

Clothing You’ll Need for Winter (December to February)

We’re sure you’ve heard about Canadian winters. We are known for them. Fortunately, what most people don’t realize is that winter is only one season out for the year. But it is true, the frigid temperatures, snow and ice, and bone-chilling winds are very real. You’ll want to wear multiple layers, especially if you head outside to go tobogganing, skiing, or a good brisk walk. Here are some examples of the type of clothing you’ll need for a Canadian winter:

  • Winter coat (with hood)
  • Snow pants
  • Boots
  • Gloves, toque, scarf, earmuffs
  • Thermal pants
  • Long pants
  • Heavy sweaters
  • Hoodies and sweatpants
  • Thick socks

You can always get up-to-date information about the weather in Canada here.

4 Items for Your First Winter Season in Canada

The Four Seasons In Ottawa

Settle in Canada with Confidence and Ease

If you have most of these types of clothing for Canada, you’ll be comfortable year-round no matter what city you call home. As you can see from the above list, you will need a little bit of everything to ensure you are prepared for Canadian weather. It’s common for new immigrants to come to Canada without all the right types of clothing. But don’t worry, you will have no trouble getting the clothing you need once you arrive.

For more information, tools, and free webinars about living in Canada visit our Settling in Canada resource page. We’ll help you to settle in Canada successfully!