Cool temperatures leading to vibrant fall colours in Ontario, experts say

Cars riding on Highway 60, inside Algonquin Park, Ont., on Oct. 10.Eduardo Lima/The Globe and Mail

Ontarians have been having fun with stunning orange, yellow and red fall colors this season and experts say the foliage is more vibrant than lately thanks largely to specific weather patterns.

Sean Thomas, a professor of forest ecology on the University of Toronto, says the autumn colors in Toronto this yr have been amongst the very best he’s seen in years, especially after what he called last yr’s “remarkably dull” fall.

He says lower temperatures but – not frost – combined with sufficient rainfall typically bring vibrant fall colors, whereas drier and warmer weather leads to dull colors.

Ben Rubin, an assistant professor of forest ecology at Western University, says the autumn colors this season have been vivid and delightful in his home city of London, Ont., as well.

He says leaves change colors based on three aspects – species, the length of a day, and the weather.

Rubin says that since weather is the factor that varies from yr to yr in the same provincewide pattern, a vibrant fall in a single a part of Ontario means similarly stunning colors might be expected in other parts too.


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