This year, outdoor activities are on the agenda more than ever! Here is our selection of great destinations to celebrate winter in Canada, where the cold season is a major asset for those who are not shy!
The best winter destinations in Canada
While the less adventurous prefer to cuddle up warm, Canadians rush to the great outdoors with enthusiasm to enjoy the extraordinary joys of this special season. If you are tempted by a trip to discover the winter beauties of the “Grand White Country”, follow us, without forgetting big scarves, gloves and parkas!
Skate on the Rideau Canal
Skating on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa is a rite of passage. Each winter, more than one million skaters make the scenic journey on the famous Rideau Canal Skateway (the Skateway), 7.8 km long – the largest in the world, and the equivalent of 90 Olympic tracks!
From January until the end of February or the beginning of March – weather permitting – you can slide, twirl and do tricks on the ice under the windows of the majestic Parliament of Canada or the towers of the famous hotel, the Château Laurel.
Explore the majesty of Whistler
Canadians aren’t the only ones who make the charming village of Whistler , British Columbia a hotspot for downhill skiing. This spectacular mountain resort has been ranked by the readers of Ski Magazine as one of the best winter sports resorts in North America.
As much appreciated by tourists as by residents of the province, Whistler has seen its fame grow after the success of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Close to Vancouver (only two hours by road), the small town of Whistler offers an ideal playground for all ages.
Walk on ice in Banff
Do you want to live a typical Canadian experience? The Canadian Tourism Commission has voted Discover Banff Tours’ Johnston Canyon Icewalk the Canuck activity of choice – and who’s to argue?
Gear up in your warmest parka and sturdy ice cleats to begin this guided hike through the ice-covered canyon. While admiring the glacial formations around you, you will listen to your hosts tell the fascinating stories of the fighters of yesteryear and the daring adventurers. And with a bit of luck, you might catch a glimpse of a furry companion or two: the place is the territory of wolves, coyotes and moose.
Become a dog handler in Saskatchewan
For an authentic experience of pioneer life, hop aboard a dog sled for a breathtaking excursion through Canada‘s wilderness.
In Saskatchewan, Sundogs Sled Excursions puts you in charge of the trip of a lifetime. Every winter, from late November to mid-March, Sundogs takes visitors to the heart of the unspoiled beauty of the shores of Lac Anglin – in the Canadian boreal forest – by dog sled. Learn the job of the musher to team up with your four-legged friends and navigate the snowy trails of Saskatchewan.
Sundogs offers a whole range of fantastic activities, such as puppy training camps, half or full day trips, and overnight wild camping.
Go skiing in Charlevoix
It’s one of Quebec‘s best kept secrets. If you’re looking for breathtaking scenery and the highest vertical drop east of the Rockies, the Massif de Charlevoix is your dream winter destination.
Only 75 km from Quebec City, the Massif de Charlevoix offers its visitors a different experience, rich in culture, adventure and beauty. Skiers – both ski touring and downhill – share the mountain with snowboard fanatics. But if your style is more après-ski, spoil yourself by choosing among Charlevoix’s gastronomic relays: chic or relaxed.
Try snow tubing in Edmonton
If the traditional toboggan descent leaves you cold, jump into the latest craze of the slopes: the snow buoy! Located on the eastern edge of Edmonton in the Strathcona Science Park , the Sunridge Ski Area is home to the province’s only snow tubing park.
From December, Sunridge becomes the realm of the sport, with its exhilarating descents and special lifts that get you up the hill fast so you can race it down again.
Sunridge is open to families, but to participate children must be at least seven years old.
Watch the owls in Windsor
Point Pelee National Park , the southernmost point in mainland Canada, is popular among bird watchers, butterfly hunters and outdoor fanatics, but in winter it’s the starlight that brings it its own magic.
Designated as an International Dark Sky Reserve (IRCP) by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, the park runs monthly stargazing programs open until midnight. Winter programs include the popular Owl Prowl and you can drive to the end of the park to see ice formations and migrating birds.
Go underground in Canmore
The particularity of the caves is that no matter how cold it is in the open air, the temperature remains constant there. Canmore ‘s Rat’s Nest Cave invariably registers 5° C, a cool but very bearable temperature for an underground adventure in the middle of winter.
By following the safety protocol during COVID-19, you can register for one of the excursions and discover incredible cave formations, rocky passages and even ancient ossuaries.
See the flight of eagles in Victoria
In an estuary flowing through Goldstream Provincial Park , a record number of dead salmon after spawning are being swept away by the current, drawing hundreds of majestic bald eagles from across the continent to feast.
From early December to late January, the eagles feast at low tide, and this is the perfect opportunity to see these magnificent birds of prey in action. Choose one of the free interpretive programs, a slide show or a talk at the Nature House and bring a pair of binoculars.
Go mountain biking in Mont Tremblant
To ride a bicycle on powder snow, there’s nothing like riding a mountain bike (“fat bike”), this mountain bike with comically oversized tires, designed to ride in snowy terrain.
It’s an intoxicating and original way to discover the slopes and nature of Mont Tremblant , Quebec. It’s also a fun way to stay active this winter!
Snowshoe the trestle bridges of Myra Canyon in Kelowna
Built at the turn of the 20th century, the 18 trestle bridges and two tunnels that wind the length of Myra Canyon are high on the list of dreamy winter rides.
You can hike or snowshoe on the flat, thanks to the old rail line that overlooks Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley at 915m above sea level. It’s a 12 km trip between Myra Station and Ruth Station, but you can also settle for a simple breath of fresh air in the forest and return when you want to sip a glass of excellent local wine.