Here’s two ways to check your Plant Hardiness Zone. (You may want to read our article about how the Plant Hardiness Zones of Canada are changing slowly.) Agricultural and Agri-Food Canada, which provides the interactive map below that shows the Plant Hardiness Zones of Canada, explains how the map is created:
The Plant Hardiness Zones map outlines the different zones in Canada where various types of trees, shrubs and flowers will most likely survive. It is based on the average climatic conditions of each area. The first such map for North America, released by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1960, was based only on minimum winter temperatures. In 1967, Agriculture Canada scientists created a plant hardiness map using Canadian plant survival data and a wider range of climatic variables, including minimum winter temperatures, length of the frost-free period, summer rainfall, maximum temperatures, snow cover, January rainfall and maximum wind speed.
Natural Resources Canada’s Canadian Forest Service scientists have now updated the plant hardiness zones using the same variables and more recent climate data (1961-90). They have used modern climate mapping techniques and incorporated the effect of elevation. The new map indicates that there have been changes in the hardiness zones that are generally consistent with what is known about climate change. These changes are most pronounced in western Canada.
The new hardiness map is divided into nine major zones: the harshest is 0 and the mildest is 8. Subzones (e.g., 4a or 4b, 5a or 5b) are also noted in the map legend. These subzones are most familiar to Canadian gardeners. Some significant local factors, such as micro-topography, amount of shelter and subtle local variations in snow cover, are too small to be captured on the map. Year-to-year variations in weather and gardening techniques can also have a significant impact on plant survival in any particular location.
Look up Plant Hardiness zones by community
You can look up plant hardiness zones by finding your community’s name in the at: http://www.planthardiness.gc.ca/?m=22&lang=en
Plant Hardiness Zones of Canada map
Use the search box at top right to type in the name of your town or city.
The legend at top left expands to show the colour codes.
If the map cannot be viewed below, here is direct link to the Geospatial Interactive map.