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Community and Q&A

Q&A map should show climate zones in Canada

jinmtvt | Posted in General Questions on

Please add a Canadian map in the Q&A section header.

[Editor’s note: Here is a link: Climate Zone Map Including Canada.]

i believe that there are enough Canadian users/members to which it would be useful.

i also look at the USA map often when reading stuff from US members to understand
their situation. Probably reverse happens also.

Show some respect! ( always wanted to type that ..ahhaahah )

Neway you guys down will probably want to know in which zone is the Stanley cup residing this year, next year and so on … :p

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  1. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #1

    The climate zone maps for the US & Canada are defined on somewhat different parameters, but sure.

    The vast majority of Canadians live in Zone B but the zone-A subset is still substantial has a dramatically different climate. But the range of conditions within any Canadian climate zone is greater than those found within most US climate zones.

    One reason to use the US zone map on this site is that US zones are referred to in prescriptive construction stackups/methods in the ICC/IRC codes, which takes some of the guesswork out of what is and isn't a good solution for some problems. SFAIK there isn't an equivalent set of prescriptions in Canadian building codes, with a lot left to the discretion of local designers, local code drafters, and local code inspectors regarding thermal & moisture handling issues.

    Most of Canadian zone-A could use IRC prescriptive measures for US zones 4C or 4A, but it will vary. Most of zone B could work with IRC prescriptions for US zone 6, but not all. Much of southern Ontario is closer to a US zone-5 climate.

    There's not much holy in the IRC, and there are many ways it can be violated or improved upon for specific applications, but it's at least a useful starting place in many of these discussions.

    I was more interested in the whereabouts of the Stanley Cup after the Bruins stole it in Vancouver and brought it home to US zone 5A (a bit down the road from my office) but if it's hanging on display the left-coast (US climate zone 3B) for now, that's fine- the playoffs are still ahead of us. ;-)

  2. jinmtvt | | #2

    Hey Dana, i have seen maps using same zones designation as USA for Canada,
    and it would probably be good to use it this way.

    here is the only one i found, but i've seen ones with much better resolutions and some cities on it...

    As for the cup, it is feeling a little bit colder this year ...might be going to zone 6-7
    GO HABS GO!! ( bruins = big bad )

  3. Oak_Orchard | | #3

    Don't you know, Canada is ice and polar bears north of the 49th. That only leaves some small areas (30 or 40 acres) for growing food and raising cattle in sourthern Ontario and the lower tip of Vancouver Island. Everything else should be treated like zone 8.

    Its even more frun to watch US news and weather. There are no other coutnires in the world beyond the American border.

    Did you see the Norhtern Lights last night. They were wafting over the CN Tower. Oh! I just saw a coyote run across Nathen Phillips Square with a poodle in its mouth.

  4. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #4

    I would argue that the zone designation comparison in that ASHRAE Canada map are too conservative. Only the COLDEST parts of Canadian zone A can be compared to US zone 5, and the warmer parts of Canadian zone-B are far more like US zone-5 than 6. Seriously, TorontoWindsor are VERY zone-5ish by almost every measure, and Vancouver/Nanaimo/Victoria is TOTALLY a US 4C type climate, whereas the climate in Kelowna/Pendiction is more like the warm edge of zone 6 by most measures.

    That said, designing to the colder-zone IRC prescriptive minimums as laid out in the ASHRAE map does indeed work, and adds considerable resilience/margin in the warmer parts of the Canadian zones. The correlations kinda-work, but using real local weather datasets can fine-tune it a bit.

  5. jinmtvt | | #5

    Dana i agree, but it is far simpler within the context on this website to use a extrapolation of the usa one. I haven't read too many discussion using canadian calculations here, and most design criterias for systes can be done with the extention of the usa zones .

    Oak: ok haha

  6. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #6

    I understand the frustrations of Canadian readers of GBA. But to answer your question: we didn't create the map. The map was created by the U.S. Department of Energy -- an agency that evidently doesn't care much about Canadians, unfortunately.

    I agree with the advice given by other commenters. Find a U.S. city with winter temperatures close to yours -- and then you'll know what zone you are in. I listen to weather reports from Montreal, and that city is usually a little warmer than my location in northeast Vermont. So traveling north doesn't necessarily mean that you are entering a colder zone.

  7. jinmtvt | | #7

    Martin : no frustration to understand ... ( well at least i don't feel any )

    I understand the map was created by the US gov, but is this website USA gov property ?
    Can't we just "add" the canadian map under the existing one as a link??

    Also, finding a city that "matches" ones own canadian city might be hard if someone doesn't have a clue as to the weather of USA cities.

  8. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #8

    Using data sets to verify climate comparisons to US cities you THINK , might be similar to your Canadian town location is quite useful. More than once I've been surprised, even for Canadian & US locations that I'm quite familiar with in a direct-experience sort of way.

    Using the WeatherSpark cursors to eyeball the mid-winter temperature averages is also a quick way to deal with more pencil & paper dew point calculations, rather than using prescriptive IRC zone norms. It's been an oft used reference for me since it first went into beta testing several months back.

    I'll second Jin's suggestion about adding the NRCan climate zone map to the web site, even if it's relevance to IRC prescriptions need an asterisk next to it. (I suppose it would be best to obtain copyright permission for that, but I doubt it would become an issue even without prior permission.)

  9. jinmtvt | | #9

    Dana : i'll makre sure to visit this website

    i also like this map i found for min temperatures :

  10. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #10

    Update: Jin Kazama eventually located the map he sought, and let GBA know about it.

    Here is a link to a new GBA page: Climate Zone Map Including Canada.

    Thanks, Jin.

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