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17 Absolute Best Places to Visit in Canada in Winter

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We LOVE Canadian winters and come November the festive spirit makes us so happy and excited about all the wonderful things to come in the new year. Having lived in 3 Canadian provinces and traveled to 7, we can safely say we love it here (no wonder we don’t book overseas trips around this time!). So here’s presenting our top 16 picks for the best places to visit in Canada in winter, which I am sure you will love too! 

Preparing for Canada in winter

Best places to visit in winter in Canada

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Canada is the second largest country in the world, and winter temperatures here really vary from coast to coast to coast. Typical winter months are from late November to February. However, in many cities and provinces, it can go for 4 to 6 months. In 2013, we had snow in Saskatoon up until the end of April/May. 

Here is a list of temperatures and winter months in each province

Coldest Months
Alberta-5 to – 40 deg C
23 to – 40 deg F
January – February
British Columbia0 to 5 deg C
32 to 41 deg F
Mild winter temperature
Manitoba-18 to -40 deg C
-.4 to – 40 deg F
New Brunswick– 15 to -25 deg C
5 to – 13 deg F
Mid-December – Mid January
Nova Scotia0 to – 10 deg C
32 to – 14 deg F
Mid-December – Mid January
Ontario0 to – 30 deg C
32 to – 22 deg F
December – January
Quebec– 5 to – 10 deg C
23 to – 14 deg F
December – March
Saskatchewan0 to – 30 deg C
32 to – 22 deg F
December – February
& Labrador
– 10 to – 20 deg C
14 to – 4 deg F
Average temperatures in degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit

For your Canada winter holidays, remember to pack warm clothing and layer on when you step outside. When participating in winter sports like cross country skiing, snowboarding, and skating, ensure you are wearing appropriate gear.

Note you can easily rent ski equipment in (or near) the resort you are heading to.

Here are some of the essential items to pack for your winter trip to Canada and gear up for the cold weather. For a full list, check our post in What to pack for Canada winter clothes list

  • Outerwear: Wear warm parka/outerwear for your visit to Canada. Here is my favorite jacket from Northface, it has a deep hood, and sleeves come with tight cuffs to keep the cold wind out. Click to check it out here
  • Thermal top and bottoms: It is important to layer on, to stay warm in Canadian winters. Opt for Merino Wool thermals as your base layer – top and bottom. You can check my top picks here – TOP and BOTTOM
  • Snow boots: Wear mid or tall winter boots to stay warm. Ensure they have a waterproof exterior and strong outsoles. Here is a Sorel Caribou Boots that I adore!
  • Don’t forget warm socks
  • Winter Accessories: Wear warm gloves, beanie or cap, and scarf to protect from the cold
  • Cosmetics: Sunscreen, moisturizer, hand cream, lip balm, and perfume
  • Add sunglasses and travel documents, currency, and travel insurance
  • Don’t forget your camera gear to click amazing winter photos!
Sylvan Lake Best places to visit in Canada in winter
Best places to visit in Canada in winter

17 Best Places to visit in Canada in Winter: Things to do + Events Guide

1. Banff National Park, Alberta: Christmas, winter wonderland, snow activities

Best Place To Stay in Banff: Fairmont Banff Springs | Elk + Avenue Hotel | Rimrock Hotel

Things To Do & Winter events:

  • Ski season starts in late November/early December to February 
  • November: Banff Santa Parade, Banff Christmas Markets, Banff Beer Festival
  • December: Christmas on the Mountain top, stargazing & other seasonal activities in Banff Gondola (Dec to March)
Banff in November
Banff in Winter: Best places to visit in Canada in winter

Banff in winter is an absolute paradise. Living in Edmonton, Banff is our easy destination for weekend breaks including winter road trips. There is so much to see and do in Banff in winter. Start with Banff Avenue, the mountain town is all decorated and lit up for Christmas. 

If you are visiting in November, you can attend the Banff Santa Parade that takes place in mid November. This event is completely free and lasts about 2 hours. Being an outdoor event, remember to dress warmly and bring in camping chairs and blankets to sit back and enjoy the show!

Banff Gondola Best Places to visit in Canada in winter
Banff Gondola in winter

Go ice skating in natural ice rinks or indoor facilities in Banff (like Banff Rec Centre or Banff Springs Hotel). For natural rinks, ensure you are checking the warnings posted, as sometimes there could be thin ice and not solid enough for skating.

Vermillion Lakes is wonderful for skating in the winter, this is also a great spot to see the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis.

Banff photography in Banff town
Banff Winter Views

Enjoy snowshoeing in Banff by taking short and/or half-day snowshoeing tours in and around the National Park. The most popular sites for snowshoeing include snow-covered areas near Banff Gondola, Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, Lake Agnes, and Yoho National Park. 

For beginners, it is worthwhile to book a tour for 2 hours or so, with a certified guide and take the time to relax and enjoy the view. Check out this snowshoeing tour in Kootenay National Park in Banff. 

You can also enjoy a guided Grotto Canyon Ice Walk that passes a frozen creek, whilst checking out ice waterfalls and rock art, and mountain views!

Amazing Banff winter activities - Christmas parade & markets, skii, winter tours, hot cocoa, ice festivals & more. The best things to in Banff in winter
Winter views from Banff Gondola

Banff is also a skier’s paradise. There are 2 gondolas and 26 chair lifts to take you to the mesmerizing winter wonderland. There are three primary ski resorts in Banff (Ski Big3) – Lake Louise Ski Resort, Banff Sunshine Village, and Mt Norquay.

Mount Norquay Ski Resort is located closest to Banff, and only a 10-minute drive away. You can do night skiing, and snow tubing. Sunshine Village Resort is located about 20 minutes west of Banff. 

2. Lake Louise, Alberta: Ice festivals, Ski & Ice skating 

Best Place To Stay: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise | Lake Louise Inn | Airbnbs in Lake Louise

Things To Do & Winter events:

  • Ski season starts in late November/early December to February 
  • January/February: Ski events, Ice Magic Festival. Lake Louise is frozen, and it becomes a natural outdoor skating rink
Banff Winter Activities - Lake Louise covered in snow
Lake Louise covered in snow

Lake Louise is located just 50 minutes outside of Banff town, and this little hamlet deserves its own special winter recognition. Lake Louise in winter is not turquoise blue, rather it is frozen rock solid like an indoor ice rink (but with beautiful mountain views surrounding it).

In the winter months, you can book dog sledding tours from the Lake Louise Fairmont Hotel. Although winter hikes may not be possible you can ice skate on the frozen Lake Louise. 

Skiers can take the free shuttle to Lake Lousie Ski Resort (part of SkiBig 3). This season is from November to May, and the ski resort boasts 145 runs and amazing views! Out of the 145 runs, 25% are great for beginners. 

Banff and Lake Louise in winter
The area around Lake Louise in winter

Lake Louise Ski Resort was voted the #1 Ski Resort in Canada in 2019!

In January/February, Lake Louise is even more delightful as it hosts the Ice Magic Festival. This event takes place at the Lake, and ice sculptors from all over Canada and the world display their artistic side on the ice. 

If you are driving through the Icefields Parkway to Jasper or Yoho National Park, you will see wildlife and it is a beautiful sight to see wildlife enjoy winters in the Canadian Rockies!

3. Jasper National Park in winter: Skiing snowboarding, snowshoeing, northern lights 

Best Place To Stay: Forest Park Hotel | Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge | Miette Mountain Cabins

Things To Do & Winter events:

  • November: Moonlight Madness (November sale weekend), Christmas in November (various events)
  • December: Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge’s annual Festival of Christmas
  • January/February: January (toque) Festival

Jasper National Park in winter is a stunningly beautiful place! The snow and the deep blue sky against the mountains make for an amazing view.

Girl at the Marmot Ski Basin Jasper

Jasper National Park has some of the best skiing and snowboarding trails in Alberta, with Marmot Basin offering over 1,720 acres of varied terrain to choose from. There are also plenty of cross-country skiing opportunities that you can take advantage of!

Snowshoeing and ice skating are available in the park, as well as many other slow winter activities such as festive dinners, spas, and markets. 

Pocahontas Cabins in Jasper (east)
Miette or Pocahontas Cabins in Jasper (east)

For those who want to get away from it all, there are several remote lodges in Jasper National Park that offer a unique experience! These lodges provide breathtaking views of mountains and lakes and make for a perfect winter escape.

Whether you’re looking for a ski adventure or just want to enjoy the beautiful views, there’s something for everyone at Jasper National Park in the winter season!

Read: Banff and Jasper itinerary 7 days

4. Edmonton, Alberta: Ice Castles, Riverside Igloo, Drive through & other Christmas events

Best Place To Stay: Fantasyland Hotel | Union Bank Inn | Hyatt Place Edmonton West

Things To Do & Winter events:

  • November: Santa Parade, GLOW, Magic of Lights (to Jan/Feb)
  • December: Lights at the Legislature, Zoominense, Luminaria, Ice Castles
  • January/February: Silver Skate Festival, Ice on Whyte
Christmas in Edmonton Decorations at the Legislature Building
Christmas in Edmonton

Edmonton rings in the festive cheer and winter events in November and festivities last till February end. Edmonton’s culinary should be a part of your winter trip itinerary – when it is cold outside sit and warm with comfort food and beer!

So event wise, there are quite a few that we really like to go to every year. Ice Castles is one. In this event, you get to enjoy a winter wonderland (Narnia style) filled with ice sculptures. Check out ice castles and lights display (lights in the evening tour only). 

Ice Castles Edmonton is a unique way to experience winters in Alberta Canada. This event displays ice scuptures and runs for 2- 2.5 months,weather dependent
Ice Castles Edmonton: Best places to visit in Canada in winter

Other popular outdoor events include Silver Skate Festival, Ice on Whyte, Zoominense, and Luminaria. If the cold is unbearable get inside a car and head to Castrol Raceway for a drive through the Festival of lights. 

One of the things we like to do is walk the Ledge Grounds in the winter. The legislature building is wonderfully lit, adorned by a giant Christmas Tree. This event is free. 

Xmas Market in Fort Edmonton Park: Best places to visit in Canada in winter

We have a ski resort in the city (Rabbit Hill Ski Resort), you can skate indoors at the West Edmonton Mall or outdoors at the Alberta Legislature Grounds, William Hawrelak Park, Rundle Park IceWay, Victoria Park Oval, and IceWay. 

Edmonton also has its very own Ice District in the downtown area. 

From Edmonton. you can head to the Elk Island National Park for snowshoeing and northern lights sightings. 

Read: 15 things to do in Edmonton in winter

5. Vancouver, British Columbia: Festive Christmas events, special festivals 

Best Place To Stay: Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel | Residence Inn by Marriott Vancouver

Things To Do & Winter events:

  • December: Santa Parade, Christmas markets, Lights at the Capilano Bridge, Annual Winter Solstice Festival
  • January: Chinese New Year
Vancouver Waterfront in winter
Vancouver Waterfront in winter

Vancouver in winter is NOT super cold like many other parts of Canada. It is great for those who wish to experience a city break exploring outdoors minus the bone-chilling cold!

Most of the city attractions like museums, art galleries, and shopping places are open and they decked up for the festive season. You can see and feel what Christmas and winter look like in different parts of the country by embarking on a virtual tour via FlyOver Canada.

In winter, take the time to wander the streets of Vancouver downtown and soak in the festive spirit. Eat and drink your heart out.

Visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in December for amazing light events. Santa Parade also takes place in early December. 

The Capilano suspension bridge in Vancouver, Canada is lighted up for Christmas and New Year on New Year's eve of 2014.
The Capilano suspension bridge in Vancouver BC

For outdoor lovers, take a day trip to the Cypress Mountains, Grouse Mountains, or to Whistler for a weekend getaway! You can also enjoy winter activities in the city – ice skating at Robson Square, Vanier Park, and Lynn Canyon (winter hikes). 

If you are in town for New Year, attend the English Bay Polar Bear Swim to kick off the New Year. This event is free. 

READ: How to spend 2 days in Vancouver: Itinerary and tips | Vancouver to Banff road trip itinerary

6. Whistler, British Columbia: Skiing Haven 

Best Place To Stay: Hilton Resort & Spa

Things To Do & Winter events:

  • Skiing, snowboarding, and related activities at Blackcomb Ski Resort
  • Spa and non-skier activities in Whistler Village
Whistler in winter
Whistler: Canada Winter Holidays

Whistler Blackcomb opens up for skiing and related activities at the tail end of November and continues till late April. You can celebrate Christmas and New Years too in Whistler Village, as it is just so pretty!

Located 1.50 hours away from Vancouver is the resort town of Whistler. Whistler looks like a perfect Christmas postcard with a mountain backdrop, festive lights, and snowy activities.

There is so much to do for both skiers and non-skiers. Whistler Blackcomb is a skier’s paradise. If this is your first time skiing, you can opt for ski lessons, or hop on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola for some amazing views.

Whistler Village is a nice place to hang out with your loved ones. You can also book spa and rejuvenation services in the mountains while taking in those views!

Read: 2 day Whistler itinerary for non skiers

7. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Drive through winter festivals, snowshoeing, chase Northern Lights

Best Place To Stay: ALT Hotel | Delta Bessborough Hotel | The James Hotel

Things To Do & Winter events:

  • November (starts in Nov to Jan): Festival of Trees (WEM), Enchanted Forest, Santa Parade (November only)
  • December: Clinkskill Christmas Lights, other Christmas markets
  • January: WinterShines Festival and Skating event (end of January to February)
Saskatoon in winter

Saskatoon may not be the first thing that comes to your mind for Canadian winters. We lived in Saskatoon for 3.5 years and we always had a white Christmas, and there is SNOW everywhere. And hey if you are in town you can enjoy winters here too. 

Start with festive events like Enchanted Forest, a drive-through festive lights event held at the Saskatoon Farm and Forestry. Or GLOW Saskatoon which takes place at the Prairie Land. 

Enchanted Forest Drive through experience
Enchanted Forest Drive through experience

Visit the Festival of Trees at the Western Development Museum, and also take the time to learn about the industrialization and the development of railways in western Canada. 

You must attend the WinterShines Festival, this really brings the best of what the city has to offer in the winter. You can explore an Ice Park, wander an Ice Sculpture Garden, and even enjoy a Winter Camp in the City!

Go skiing or snowshoeing at the Kinsmen Park or the Wanuskewin for festive events including dog sledding in winter. 

Photo with Santa at a Saskatoon Mall

READ: Things to do in Moosejaw, day trip from Saskatoon

8. Churchill, Manitoba: See Polar Bears and Northern Lights

Best Place To Stay: Great White Bear Tours’ Tundra Lodge | Frontiers North Adventures’ Tundra Buggy Lodge

Things To Do & Winter events:

  • October/November: Best time for sighting polar bears, Northern Lights (throughout winter months)
Polar bear in Churchill
Polar Bear in Churchill

Visiting Churchill Manitoba in the winters is like experiencing a page from your travel bucket list journal. It is one of the best places in the world to see polar bears in their natural habitat. 

You join eco-tour operators who take you on a winter safari to see wildlife or follow Indigenous guides to capture some of the stunning landscapes and the Aurora Borealis. 

Don’t forget to take a tour of the Cultural and Heritage of historic Churchill to learn more about this unique place. 

Note: You can reach Churchill by air and VIA train only. Air travel to Churchill is run by Calm Air.

READ: How to spend 3 days in Winnipeg, Manitoba

9. Toronto, Ontario: Festive Christmas events, skating

Best Place To Stay: Marriot Downtown hotel- Eaton Centre | Hotel Victoria

Things To Do & Winter events:

  • December – January: Christmas markets and events at the Distillery District, Nathan Phillips Square. New Years’ 
Nathan Philips Square - Toronto
Nathan Philips Square Toronto: Best places to visit in Canada in winter

Visiting Toronto in winter means enjoying festive activities that only take place during these months. One of my favorite things to do in Toronto winters is to visit a European style Christkindlmarkt aka Christmas markets of German origin.

The Nathan Phillips Square and the Distillery District are the best places to check out markets and buy ornaments, food, and warm drinks. 

Winter Village is also a popular spot to hang out in winter. Aurora Winter Festival starts in December and it is a great way to experience the cold season surrounded by wonderful festive creations while sipping beer or mulled wine (or both). 

Other events in the city include the Winter Solstice at the Kensington Market, and Toronto Zoo to name a few. As far as outdoor sports go, head to the Harbourfront Centre Natrel Rink. 

Toronto is also a great city break option in Canada. From culinary, and shopping events to snapping photos with Santa, the city has you covered. 

10. Niagara Falls, Ontario: Winter romantic getaways, festival lights

Best Place To Stay: Courtyard by Marriott

Things To Do & Winter events:

  • Starts in November to January first week or so: Winter Festival of Lights
  • January: Niagara Ice Wine Festival
The Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls taken from above on the Canadian side.
The Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls turns into a winter wonderland of sorts from December onwards. The little town as the Falls viewing areas is all dusted (and covered by the end of December/January) in snow. There are stunning icicles created in and around the falls, which are worth exploring out.

There are a ton of festive activities in the winter at Niagara Falls from fireworks starting in November to the New Year. We highly recommend riding up to the Skylon Tower and checking out all the illuminations on the near-frozen falls. The tower is home to a revolving restaurant, which I think is perfect for a romantic dining experience!

If not the Skylon Tower, hop on the Niagara SkyWheel and you can see the US side of the falls, bridges, and buildings. 

To experience Niagara Fall’s magnificence, check out Niagara’s Fury, an indoor 4D, 360 degree multi-sensory theatre.

During winter, it is cheaper to stay at Niagara Falls, plus it is less crowded. The Falls look very different at this time of the year, so we highly recommend visiting them. 

You can also visit Niagara Falls from Toronto on a day trip too.

READ: Visiting Niagara in the summer? Read this guide

11. Ottawa, Ontario: Ice Skate at the longest skating rink in the world

Best Place To Stay: Ottawa Marriott Hotel | Alt Hotel Ottawa

Things To Do & Winter events:

  • December: Lights events at the Parliament Building, Glow Around the World
  • January/February: Winterlude Festival
Ottawa in winter
Ottawa in winter: Skating at the longest canal

Canada’s capital city, Ottawa is a wonderful place to spend the winter holidays. There are so many free activities to do in the city, plus Ottawa is compact (unlike Toronto) so you can cover a lot of ground on a short visit.

One of the must do activities in Ottawa in winter is to go ice skating at the largest Rideau Canal Skateway. It’s the longest skating rink in the world and a UNESCO world heritage site. You can also skate at the City Hall, or the Lansdowne Pavilion (for free). 

Ottawa also lights up for Christmas. You can visit the Parliament Building, or attend the Glow Around the World to check out festive lights and events. Museums and parliament building tours are also available in the winter. 

The Winterlude Festival is a popular ice sculpture event in the city, and it takes place in January or February (varies each year). During the event, you get to see beautiful ice creations/sculptures all over the city. 

When it is cold outside, embrace it in style by asking into a hot pool or spa such as The Nordik Spa or Spa Ottawa. 

12. Montreal, Quebec: Christmas Market, Winter City Breaks

Best Place To Stay: InterContinental Montreal Hotel | Hôtel Le Crystal

Things To Do & Winter events:

  • November: Marche de Noel, Luminothérapie (both events continue to January/February)
Montreal in winter
Montreal winters: Best places to visit in Canada in winter

Montreal is one of the coolest places to visit in Canada in winter. Laced with European nuances, Montreal will delight you with festive events, winter sports, and unique shopping areas.

Montreal’s festive treats start at the Merry Montreal (at Place Jacques-Cartier) where you can hang out with Santa’s Elves and check out Christmas tree decorations in the city. Christmas in the Park (Place Émilie-Gamelin downtown) is another spot to ring in the Christmas winter cheer. 

Old Montreal is one of our favorite places to visit in Montreal, and it is amazing to wander there at any time of the year. During winter, Old Montreal looks extra special with activities like snow tubing, winter archery, and of course festive dining menus and live music!

The adventure park – Voiles en Voiles – located in Old Port of Montréal is a must visit in the winter, and they also organize snowboarding, snow tubing, and sliding activities.  

Skating in Montreal - Canada winter holidays
Skating in Montreal: Best places to visit in Canada in winter

There is a Merry Montreal Christmas Market located in Old Montreal as well. Don’t forget to visit the iconic Notre Dame Basilica which is stunning inside and we highly recommend visiting it. 

During winters you can soak in snowy city views from Mont Royal Park. The park is accessible in winter, and it is possible to hike or go on a short stroll. The park organizes sledding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing activities here. 

You can also take in city views from the Montréal Observation Tower at Olympic Park. 

Let’s a little bit about shopping in Montreal! During our visit, we shopped at the Complexe Desjardins, and during winters you must explore it via the Underground City. There are tons of shopping destinations nearby too. 

READ: How to spend one day in Montreal Itinerary

13. Quebec City, Quebec: City centre winter activities, Winter Carnival

Best Place To Stay: Fairmont Le Château Frontenac  | Hôtel Le Germain Québec

Things To Do & Winter events:

  • February: Carnaval de Quebec
Deserted street in Quebec City decorated for Christmas
Deserted street in Quebec City decorated for Christmas: Best places to visit in Canada in winter

Quebec City is another Canadian destination that feels like Europe. But this capital city is more than that. Its super claim to fame is the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac – the most photographed hotel in the world, and the Au 1884 Toboggan Slide. Both are a treat in the winter.

From one hotel to another, and this time it’s the Hotel de Glace, which is an ice hotel. This hotel is set up each year when the temperatures drop to below freezing levels and it comes up with a new theme each year.

Winter Carnival (Carnaval de Quebec) takes place in  February and it brings in snow sculptures, tons of rides and activities, street parties, and a seven-foot snowman, Bonhomme.

14. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island: Cuisines, Outdoor activities

Best Place To Stay: Delta Hotels by Marriott | The Holman Grand Hotel

Things to do:

  • Enjoy culinary delights and festive events at Victoria Row, the harbourfront area
Lighthouse Charlottetown in winter
Charlottetown in winter guide

Charlottetown is a great place to explore in the winter in Canada. The temperature drops to – 7 degree Celsius or 44 Fahrenheit, and you can easily wander the Christmas perfect town on Prince Edward Island.

PEI proud itself in its Culinary Trail and it is a foodie lover’s paradise. From seafood, potatoes, and vegan dishes (and cooking classes), you must add a food tour to your itinerary.

For outdoor adventure seekers, head to Brookvale Nordic Lodge for fat biking. You can visit the Terrain Park for an Alpine ski experience or hit the Nordic Touring Center for snowboarding and other winter sports.

Snowmobiling activities are open for visitors at the iconic Confederation Trail. 

Read: PEI itinerary 2 days

15. Halifax (Nova Scotia): Tobogganing, Stargazing

Best Place To Stay: Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel | The Sutton Place Hotel Halifax

Things To Do & Winter events:

  • City break, culinary delights, and winter adventures from tobogganing, cross country skiing, stargazing
Shops near the Halifax, Nova Scotia waterfront along the Historic Properties Market Mall
Shops near the Halifax, Nova Scotia waterfront: Best places to visit in Canada in winter

The stunning capital of Nova Scotia, Halifax is an awesome city break option in the country. Winters are cold in Halifax and so it is super important to dress warmly to enjoy the festive and seasonal activities.

Halifax is one of the Canadian cities where you can stargaze from the centre. Hit Point Pleasant Park to chase the stars and the moon!

Halifax waterfront is one of the most iconic landmarks in Nova Scotia, and during winter you can check out Christmas ornaments, decorations, and local produce at the Farmers Market set by the waterfront.

Within walking distance of the downtown core is Emera Oval. You can skate there (free rentals are offered here too). 

Only 30 minutes away from Halifax is the picturesque lighthouse Peggy’s Cove. Head there to capture beautiful sunset views, and remember to wear war, clothes and grab your camera. 

Add a food tour or try ice wine in Halifax, If you are visiting in February, embark on a day trip to Annapolis Valley to attend The Nova Scotia Icewine Festival. It is the premier winter wine festival held at Lightfoot & Wolfville Winery.

BOOK: Guided tour of Halifax

16. Fredericktown & other places in New Brunswick: Snowy winter getaway and festivals 

Best Place To Stay: Delta Hotels by Marriott

Things To Do & Winter events:

  • January: Fredericton Frostival, Shivering Songs Festival
  • February: Winter Fish NB Days
Saint John  - March 9, 2019: Adults and children practice outdoor ice hockey on a frozen lake.
Saint John, NB, Canada: Best places to visit in Canada in winter

New Brunswick is one of the snowiest destinations in the Maritimes. Fredericton is the capital city and it organizes a 3 weekend winter festival, called the Fredericton Frostival. This family friendly event is filled with over 100 activities to keep you in the festive spirit. 

To ski and go snowboarding and snowshoeing close to Fredericton, visit Crabbe Mountain. It is located only 45 minutes away from the capital city and it invites you to over 30 kilometres or 18.6 miles of winter trails. 

New Brunswick’s most beautiful Fundy Bay National Park shouldn’t be missed in the winter. Embark on a day trip from Fredericton (less than 2 hour drive) to Alma and enjoy gorgeous views along the Laverty Falls Trail. 

Another fun activity to check out in New Brunswick (or generally in Canada) is to watch a game of Pond hockey.

It is the simpler version of ice hockey but is played on frozen ponds during the winter months. The World Pond Hockey Championship is held in Plaster Rock, NB, so this is another reason to visit the province.

You can also go on ice fishing in NB. Ice fishing season starts in January and continues till the end of March. Winter Fish NB Days will allow people to ice fish without a license in February. 

17. Whitehorse, Yukon: Nature, adventure, and Northern Lights

Best Place To Stay: Best Western Gold Rush Inn

Things To Do & Winter events:

  • December: Annual Winter Solstice Run
Strong northern lights (Aurora borealis) substorm on night sky over downtown Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon Territory, Canada, in winter.
Strong northern lights over downtown Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon Territory, Canada, in winter.

Eeek….probably the ABSOLUTE best place to visit in Canada in winter is the territory of Yukon. It brings nature, culture, and raw winter adventure to your fingertips.

For those who love green dancing lights aka Aurora Borealis, you won’t be disappointed in Yukon. Stargazing is one of the prime attractions in the territory, and Watson Lake is the place to be in. 

It is home to the Northern Lights Space and Science Centre and the facility showcases exhibits on the northern lights and constellations. There is also a giant telescope at Watson Lake to admire the starry skies.

The Annual Winter Solstice Run (December 21) is a popular event in Yukon. Pro and amateur athletes head to Grey Mountain to run (slip, slide and roll) the 12 kilometre or 7.4 mile route. 

Another attraction in Yukon for winter is the Thaw-Di-Gras or “Nature Thawing Spring Festival”.  Held in Dawson City, this event is a perfect way to mingle with the locals, see sled dogs racing, or dive head first into a haystack to find a loonie!

Outdoor adventurers would love to embark on fat bikes and ride on frozen lakes and snow-filled trails. Fat (or thick tire) bikes can be rented in Whitehorse. Yukon’s capital city is Whitehorse. 

For slow adventure lovers, fear not there are many gooey snowy romantic activities in Yukon that you can enjoy. Imagine riding through snow-covered trails and valleys led by Yukon huskies or sled dogs. 

Canada Winter Travel Tips – Frequently Asked Questions

Girl at the Johnston Canyon in winter

What is the warmest place in Canada in winter?

The warmest place in Canada during winter is the city of Victoria, British Columbia. Located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria enjoys mild winters due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean and Gulf Islands. 

Temperatures remain relatively steady throughout the season with an average daily high of 8 degrees Celsius (46 degrees Fahrenheit). This makes it a great spot for winter sun activities! 

Not only does Victoria boast warm temperatures during winter, but it also offers beautiful scenery and vibrant local culture. There are plenty of activities to do throughout the year in this city, making it perfect for both locals and tourists alike. 

Read: 3 days in Victoria itinerary

Is there any place in Canada where it does not snow at all?

There is no city in Canada that doesn’t get snow in the winter. Of course, temperatures and frequency of snowfall vary from city to city, but you will find snow and colder temps all throughout Canada.

Where are the coldest places in Canada in the winter?

Eureka, Nunavut holds the title for the coldest place in Canada, with an average yearly temperature of -19.7 °C or -3.5 °F. Its icy embrace persists throughout the year, offering a bone-chilling testament to the region’s frigid climate.

The coldest temperature ever recorded in Canada was −63.0 °C or −81.4 °F in Snag, Yukon.

Which province in Canada is the coldest?

Nunavut is the coldest province in Canada in winter.

Where to go cross country skiing in Canada?

British Columbia and Alberta are the go-to provinces for ski season in Canada. Among the most popular ski resorts are Whistler Village and Banff, but there are also other charming ski resort towns like Revelstoke, Golden, Vernon, Kelowna, Nelson, and Jasper. You can also take ski lessons in these provinces if you are new to skiing. 

Quebec is home to the Mont-Tremblant Resort, which is also amazing for cross country skiing.

Which Canadian cities are worth visiting in winter?

If you prefer a white Christmas, and one filled with outdoorsy activities and festivities, then these are the popular Canadian cities to visit

  • Toronto
  • Quebec City
  • Edmonton
  • Victoria
  • Vancouver 
  • Montreal
  • Ottawa

Is Canada worth visiting in winter?

Absolutely yes! Winter in Canada is an incredible experience, with a variety of activities and attractions to enjoy. From snowy landscapes and ice skating to skiing and snowboarding, you’ll find plenty of things to do during the colder months. And if you’re lucky enough, you might even get to see the breathtaking Northern Lights! 

Love a unique experience? Consider going on an adventure tour like dogsledding or snowmobiling trip to explore the untouched landscapes of the North. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, go on a skiing safari in the mountains, where you can ski, snowboard and enjoy beautiful vistas.

Of course, if you’re not into winter activities, there are still plenty of things to do in Canada during this time. You enjoy Christmas Parades, markets, and winter lights festivals. 

Whether it’s a weekend trip or an extended holiday, Canada is definitely worth visiting in winter. Enjoy the snow-capped mountains, stunning nature, and cozy vibes!

Visiting Canada in winter will be a delightful experience that you will remember for years to come!

Canada winter holidays are so full of fun! It is cold, but as long as you dress well you can not only survive but enjoy the winters here. Canada embraces winters with wide open arms and they have learned to do it in style.

From festive outdoor activities like alpine skiing, ice climbing, snowshoeing, and chasing Northern Lights, to Christmas decorations and lights events, ice bar, and epic culinary options, you won’t be disappointed here! 

More Canada travel inspiration here

Pin: Amazing Destinations to Spend Canada Winter Holidays

Canada Winter Destinations: Best places to visit in Canada in winter

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