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How Long is Summer Break in Canada?  

Summer break is a time that students look forward to from the time school starts until the magical last day of school. Once school break begins, everyone watches the calendar. Parents may be anxious for school to begin again, while students hope the days pass as slowly as possible.

Summer break is a worldwide phenomenon, but the length of the break varies from country to country, and even different areas within the same country.

How long is summer break in Canada?

The average length of summer break in Canada is two months. It usually begins in late June and ends in early September. This gives students eight weeks of freedom before school begins.

Summer Break in Canada

The average summer break in Canada lasts for about eight weeks or two months. Like America, different areas have different summer vacation lengths.

Instead of states, Canada is split into provinces. Schools are divided into districts within the provinces, similar to the American system.

Generally, you can expect Canadian students to be out of school throughout the months of July and August. If you want to plan a vacation during summer break in Canada, these are the months to aim for.

School Start and End Dates by Province

Let’s take a look at when different provinces in Canada start and end their school year.

Nova Scotia

Schools in Nova Scotia must be open for 195 days a year. The current school year ends on June 30, and students will return on September 1. This gives them 63 days of summer vacation.


In Quebec, the last day of school is June 23. Students return to school on August 30, which allows them to enjoy 63 days of summer break.

British Columbia

Students in British Columbia typically get out of school near the 29th of June and return on the 6th September. They have 69 days of summer vacation.


Ontario schools close earlier than most, on May 24th. Students return to school on August 17th, which gives them a lengthy 85 days of summer vacation.


Manitoba schools end their session in late June and reopen in early September. In 2023, school ends on June 28 and starts on September 3. This provides a break of 67 days for students.

School Schedule and Breaks Throughout the Year

Schools in Canada are required to be in session for 194 days. This is a bit more than the U.S., where most states require 180 days. Similar to the U.S., Canadian schools have breaks throughout the year in addition to summer vacation.

Terms, Quarters, and Semesters

In Canada, the school year is divided into quarters, terms, and semesters. There are two systems that schools use.


Schools that use terms have three terms in elementary and junior high. The first term begins when school starts, and ends in November. The second term will end in March, and the third term ends on the last day of school.


High school, also known as secondary school, is a bit different. It consists of two semesters. The first begins when school starts, and is completed in January. The second semester is complete when school ends in June.


Schools that use quarters and semesters function a bit differently. These schools follow the same schedule for all schools, from elementary through high school.

The first quarter will begin when school starts, and ends in October. The second quarter will end in December, at the beginning of winter break. This is also the end of the first semester.

The third quarter ends in March. The last quarter ends when the school year is completed, and summer break begins. This is also the end of the second semester. Schools with this schedule usually end in late May.

School Breaks in Canada

Dates for breaks vary by region, with schools being universally closed for certain holidays.

Breaks for students include Thanksgiving break, Winter/Christmas Break, and Spring break. Breaks typically last for one to two weeks, depending on the school.

Generally, schools with a shorter summer break provide more days off throughout the year. Schools with longer summer breaks have shorter breaks during the year.

In addition to breaks, all schools are closed for some holidays, including:

  • Labour Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Heritage Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • Victoria Day

Some schools have spring break coinciding with the Easter holiday, while other schools have spring break earlier, and then close for Easter.

Should You Visit Canada During Summer Vacation?

Wondering if Canada is a good place to spend summer vacation? In short, yes.

Canada is generally seen as more child friendly than America. It’s considered safer, healthier, and public schools rank higher than schools in the United States.

They rank 5th on the happiness and well-being index, which is likely higher than Disneyland, “the happiest place on earth.”

While winters in Canada are brutal, summers are usually mild. You can expect temperatures in the 70s on the coasts, and upper 70s to upper 80s in interior regions. While the temperatures can soar past 100 degrees, this is rare.

If you are considering vacationing in Canada, these are a few reasons to go for it!

Canada Summer Vacation Activities

If you are planning to visit Canada during your kid’s summer break or are currently living in the country, there are many things for kids to do during the break. These are a few of my favorites.

Visit National or Provincial Parks

In Canada, summer is the time for outdoor activities. Actually, any time of year is considered time for outdoor recreation, but this is particularly true during warm weather.

Canada’s parks are something you shouldn’t miss. I’ll go into detail about a few in the next section. For now, you should know that you can go camping, hiking, or canoeing at most parks.

If you plan to camp, you’ll need to reserve a camping spot in advance. Campsites can become booked up fairly quickly.

Check out local parks or community centers

No matter where you stay in Canada, local parks and community centers will be nearby. These are a great place to take children.

Many offer activities or splash pads, so kids can enjoy themselves or cool down. You and your kids will likely make some new friends as well.

Make a Splash

Canada has many lakes and community pools, so you can enjoy taking a dip during the summer. Lakes often offer watersports, like fishing or canoeing.

Community pools are great for all ages and can allow you to relax while your children burn off some energy.

Go to Summer Camp

If you plan on an extended stay in Canada, you should consider enrolling your kids in summer camp. You’ll find a range of both public and private options, including day camps and sleepaway camps.

Spots tend to go quickly, so you’ll want to sign up early for these camps, usually in February or March.

Working or Volunteering

This is worth considering if you have an older child and plan to spend several weeks in Canada. In Canada, it’s very common for children to get a summer job, starting as young as 13.

Internships are also a part of the culture there. If your high schooler is interested in a particular field, they may be able to find an internship to get some real-world experience.

Places to Visit During Summer Vacation in Canada

You have decided to vacation in Canada, but where to go? Canada has a lot to offer, and there are many worthwhile destinations. Let’s discuss some of the best options for a summer family vacation.

Niagra Falls, Ontario

You don’t have to go to Canada to visit Niagara Falls. However, if you do travel across the Canadian Border, the famous falls are certainly worth a visit.

Many people think that Niagara Falls is the largest waterfall in the world. While this isn’t true, it’s arguably one of the most impressive.

You can take a behind-the-scenes tour with Journey Behind the Falls. You can also view the falls by helicopter or take one of the many local cruises.

In addition to spending time at the falls themselves, there’s a lot to do in Niagara. Children of all ages, including parents, can enjoy Clifton Hill, better known as “The Street of Fun.”

You’ll find a multitude of arcade games, including the 4-D Zombie Apocalypse Adventure. The Niagara Skywheel is a giant Ferris wheel that offers a unique view of the falls. You can also test your driving skills at Niagara Speedway.

Nature lovers will find lots to love in Niagara. You can visit the Bird Kingdom and the Butterfly Conservatory. There are also two theme parks. Safari Niagara offers a jungle adventure, and Marineland allows you to get up close with Sea Lions, Penguins, and more.

Stanley Park, Vancouver

Stanley Park is a must-see destination, particularly if you are traveling to Vancouver. It’s the first urban park in the province, and it’s also considered the most popular.

Vancouver is a very urban area, but you can get a break from the concrete jungle in Stanley Park. The park features 400 hectares, or nearly 1,000 acres, of west coast rainforest.

Check out the Seawall, and enjoy majestic views of mountains and the ocean. Get a civics or history lesson by visiting one of the park’s many landmarks, monuments, or sculptures.

You can also enjoy the park’s natural habitats and wildlife. You’ll find sea shores, boggy wetlands, and forests with majestic trees that have been there for centuries. Some of the famous residents of the park include beavers, bats, and bald eagles.

Enjoy a ride on the Stanley Park Train. You can also explore the park on a bicycle, walk, or ride a carriage.

Water lovers will find a water park, a heated outdoor pool, and two beaches, so you can beat the heat any way you choose!

Whistler, British Columbia

Whistler is known as “Summer’s Best Kept Secret,” but does it live up to this reputation? Yes, it does.

Whistler is well known for skiing during the winter months, but it also offers plenty of summer activities.

Summer is a great time to go on an alpine hiking tour, thanks to the moderate temperatures. You can explore the mountains on your own or participate in a hiking tour. Trails range from stroller and family-friendly options to harder hikes for adventure seekers.

Travel between mountain peaks and take in a breathtaking view on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola.

Enjoy the charming Whistler Village. You’ll find accommodation, museums, luxury spas, shopping, and nightlife in the village.

The city offers free concerts throughout the summer as well. The village provides everything you need to enjoy your stay, with most activities within walking distance of your hotel.

Kootenay National Park, British Columbia

Kootenay National Park is another great British Columbia vacation destination. The park is known as a land of ice and fire and offers stark but stunning contrasts.

You can enjoy family-friendly hikes and camp in the park.

You should keep an eye out for Burgess Shale fossils as well. The shale sites are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to their scientific and historical importance.

You should also visit the Radium Hot Springs. The springs are located at the base of Sinclair Canyon. The mineral-rich pool is believed by many to have health benefits in addition to being very relaxing.

When it’s time to cool down, simply jump into the nearby cool pool. The cool pool has a diving board and two slides.

The Radium Hot Springs Village is nearby and offers restaurants, shopping, and a motel.

Prince Edward Island

When you think of a beach vacation, Canada may not be the first destination that comes to mind. However, Prince Edward Island is a great destination for beachgoers.

The island features the warmest Atlantic waters north of the Carolinas and is surrounded by sandy beaches.

There are a number of beaches, but one of the most popular for families is Basin Head Day Park.

Visitors can enjoy the supervised beach and play area for children. This beach has white sands, which “sing” when you walk on the beach. The beach also has a museum and fishing areas.

You’ll also find a number of small towns, which offer a charming departure from city life. Victoria By the Sea is a personal favorite.

Enjoy a paddle board or kayaking tour, and visit the Victoria Seaport Museum. You’ll also find several restaurants with fresh seafood.

Montreal, Quebec

Montreal is a city in Quebec. The city is extremely child and family-friendly and offers something for everyone. If you visit in July, you’ll love the Just for Laughs Festival.

This comedy festival features live comedy shows, Broadway-style performances, and street theatre and brings spectators and performers from around the world.

You’ll find English and French speakers in Montreal. The city features an urban area, as well as European-style buildings and streets, including its own version of the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Children will love Pointe-à-Callière. It’s a huge ship where you can be a privateer or a pirate for a day.

You can also learn at the Science Center and the Planetarium. Voiles en Voiles is a pirate-themed park that’s fun for people of all ages. The park has two 18th-century replica ships, as well as a ropes course.

Banff National Park, Alberta

Banff National Park is the first national park in Canada, and still one of the most beautiful. It’s part of the Canadian Rockies and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Trails wind their way throughout the park. You can hike or bike these trails, which range in difficulty from easy and family-friendly to challenging. You can also take in the scenery by driving the parkways.

Lake Louise and Lake Morraine offer wilderness and plenty of water recreation activities. You will need to plan ahead because parking and shuttle passes go quickly during the summer.

You can go fishing, boating, and swimming at the lakes in the park. You can also scuba dive in Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake.

Of course, the park is also home to many plants and animals. Non-human residents include bears, lynx, bison, and more than 260 species of birds.

Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is a city in Alberta, near Banff Park. There are a ton of family-friendly activities in Calgary. The first place to visit is Calgary Tower.

Each night, the tower lights up the city. You can also purchase tickets to go to the top of the tower and get a great view of Calgary.

Visit the Calgary Zoo, and soak up the sun at Prince’s Island Park. You can learn more about the area at the Glenbow Museum and The Hangar Flight Museum.

You should also check out Win Sport. It’s a family-friendly not-for-profit organization. You can enjoy mountain biking, mini golf, and downhill karting.