Winter in Canada is spectacular, full of adventure, and features some of our best and most unique activities. From the Rockies to the Rideau Canal, there’s a lot of magic in Canada’s winter. And as long as you dress for the season, an icy and epic adventure awaits. Here are Canadian winter experiences you can start dreaming about and planning in the lead-up to Christmas.
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Stay at an Ice Hotel
Is this at the top of the winter bucket list? As the only ice hotel in North America, Valcartier is the place to be for the sleeping experience of a lifetime where layers are definitely mandatory.
Snowboarding / Skiing
As you can probably guess, in Canada, we take our skiing and snowboarding very seriously. And we are proud to claim that Canada has some of the best places in the world to host these games. Whistler, Mont-Tremblant, Banff, Blue Mountains, Sun Peaks – the list is endless. Better try them yourself and see!
Winter Carnivals/Festivals & Markets
Winter in Canada can never be complete without a visit to some outdoor celebrations in the snow. Take your pick, and enjoy our Canadian take on the winter wonderland – from magical Christmas markets found in many cities across Canada to Ottawa’s famous Winterlude and Carnaval de Québec.
Dog sledding has been practiced in Canada by our indigenous population for over a thousand years and was seen as essential for hunting, traveling, and transporting supplies. You can drive your own sleigh with a pack of friendly and adorable sled dogs in many parts of the country.
See the Northern Lights
Depending on your travel plans, you can see the Northern Lights in many Canadian provinces or territories throughout the year. That said, you’ll have the best chance during the winter and in the more northern parts of the country. Banff and Jasper are two more southern cities that have seen the lights on clear nights. These are the perfect places to combine another bucket list activity with some skiing.
Chase the Frozen Waterfall
Many of our national and provincial parks offer a ton of waterfall viewing spots during the warmer months. Depending on how cold it is on a particular day, you may see the same waterfalls producing either frozen solid or snow in the winter. Visible.
Ice Wine Tasting
Winter in Canada creates the perfect atmosphere for this super sweet wine. It is made from grapes frozen on the vineyard, right before they are harvested and turned into ice-wine. You’ll only find it in British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario.
Eat all Maple Syrup
Winter in Canada wouldn’t be complete without a sugar shack experience and the chance to learn all about and sample some of our world-famous maple syrups. Here’s what you have to try to freeze snow in the form of maple toffee and go on a giant pile of pancakes the day before on the slopes.
Snowmobiles are more than just recreational vehicles in many parts of Canada – they are a legitimate means of transportation for many people. Still, they enjoy trying it no less whether it’s their first time or fiftieth time.
Relax in the Spa
Your muscles need a good rest after all those winter adventures. The contrast of pristine snow with the bright blue spa pool will put you in a wonderful winter mood every day. Favorites like Scandinave in Whistler always provide relaxed winter vibes.
It is a form of footwear that has been used throughout history by many of Canada’s indigenous communities. These genius shoes spread your weight over a large surface area, which enables you to walk on snow without sinking. They are perfect for taking a hike in the wintertime and enjoying the natural beauty of Canada’s great outdoors.