Heavy snow, blizzards, and cold winds characterize Canada’s winter months, which run from December to February. Even though winter comes with its ups and downs, Canadians have learned to adapt and appreciate this season as an integral part of their country’s identity.
Best things to do in Northern Canada during the winter months
Various wintertime events and festivals have become an annual tradition for locals and a draw for visitors across the country. Planning a winter vacation? Here are some of the most exciting winter activities in the Great White North from Niagara Falls to Banff National Park.
Catch the Northern Lights
The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, may be seen in the Northwest Territories of Canada, which is one of the best spots in the world to see them. When the sun’s electrically charged particles enter the Earth’s atmosphere, they create the beautiful streaks of light seen in the sky. Here are a few of the best sites in the Great White North to watch the Northern Lights.
As winter activities in Canada go, visiting Yellowknife is the best site in the world to see the Northern Lights. Because of the city’s bright nights, flat topography, and position immediately under the auroral oval, there’s a 90 % chance you’ll see them in the sparsely populated Canadian province. From mid-November to April, Yellowknife is the greatest place to see the Northern Lights. Aurora Village, Canada’s most popular aurora-watching tour destination, and Great Slave Lake, just outside the city, are also popular viewing areas.
Muncho Lake Provincial Park
In British Columbia, one must go far from Vancouver to observe the Northern Lights. Muncho Lake Provincial Park, in northern British Columbia, is the finest site to see them. The remote park, which is close to the Yukon border and off the Alaska Highway, is said to have year-round aurora sightings. Before watching the Northern Lights reflected on Muncho Lake, rest your head at Northern Rockies Lodge. There is a restaurant, marina, sauna, and convenience shop at the log cabin resort.
Whitehorse, Yukon’s capital, is one of the best spots in Canada to see the Northern Lights. During the winter, many aurora-chasing tours depart from Whitehorse on a daily basis. Northern Lights Resort and Spa, located just outside of town, is another option. The resort and its cabins are surrounded by open space, so guests may enjoy unimpeded views of the Northern Lights. Lake Laberge, on the outskirts of Whitehorse, is another famous viewing spot.
Scenic Seaplane Ride
What better way to enjoy the snowy landscape than taking a scenic tour to get a bird’s eye view of the area? From above, you may glide over the terrain and witness breathtaking panoramas. Because of its size and capabilities, a seaplane can fly within striking distance of some of the region’s most breathtaking views. You may snap beautiful images and video recordings while flying through the air.
Air Tunilik is pleased to be Quebec’s largest bush aviation company for seaplane tours, having been founded in 2002. We are a partner of choice for your air transportation needs because of our seaplane fleet, wide hydrobase network, and experience in the area.
We specialize in seaplane and ski plane charter to provide you with specialized transportation options. Wherever you are, it will be our pleasure to assist you with the logistics. With Air Tunilik’s seaplanes, you’ll fly over some of Quebec’s most spectacular ecosystems and mountains.
Scenic flights are available from all of our seaplane facilities in the province, including Natashquan, Havre St-Pierre, Manic 5, Caniapiscau, and Sept-Îles. Take a seaplane tour of Quebec’s most remote locations during the summer and fall. Summer’s spectacle and lovely weather, as well as winter’s colors, can all be appreciated from above. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in booking a seaplane tour.
Canada’s largest skating rink
This winter, make a pit stop in Ottawa, Canada, for some next-level ice skating. The Rideau Canal, which runs through the heart of the city, freezes over each year, forming the world’s largest natural ice rink, reaching 4.8 miles from downtown Ontario to Dow’s Lake, which is man-made. Visitors can explore almost six square miles of frozen canals (equal to 90 Olympic skating rinks) for free.
Skaters can take a break from the cold at one of the many rest stops along the course, which include fire pits, changing facilities, and vendors offering beaver tails (a Canadian favorite!), which are warm, deep-fried cinnamon and sugar delicacies that have been around since 1978.
The rink at the Rideau Canal normally opens in January and is open until late February. However, the river must be frozen at least 12 inches thick to support the 20,000 skaters that attend daily. The rink not only welcomes skaters but also hosts Winterlude, a Canadian winter festival held during the first three weeks of February. This festival organizes events ranging from international ice carving competitions to the famed ice dragon boat celebrations.
Want to go zip-lining in the winter when the trees are covered in snow? Here’s where you should go if you want to be a snowbird and have an adrenaline-pumping zip-lining adventure you’ll never forget!
Superfly Ziplines – Whistler, BC
On the world’s most beautiful ziplines, fly across our winter paradise. One of the best adventures in the world has been developed and custom-built by Canadians. You’ll reach speeds of up to 100 km/h as you fly through the BC backcountry on Canada’s longest ziplines, which are well over a kilometer long and 600 feet high.
Where: Cougar Mountain area, zipline area. Superfly, 211 – 4293 Mountain Square, Whistler (check-in).
- Adults: $119
- Children (12 years and under): $99
- Twilight (after 3 p.m.): $99
Ziptrek Ecotours – Whistler, BC
- Ziptrek Twilight Tour: With only a headlamp and the soothing glow of glittering lights placed along treetop platforms and suspension bridges, this unique Whistler winter activity allows you to let your imagination run wild as you soar into the night. This is the perfect way to see the old growth rainforest while sleeping beneath the stars!
- Ziptrek Bear Tour: Experience breathtaking airborne views over Fitzsimmons Creek while zipping across the valley between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. The tour’s five amazing ziplines range in length from 400 to 1100 feet and are connected by a network of suspension bridges, boardwalks, and pathways.
- Ziptrek Eagle Tour: Fly like an eagle over the Fitzsimmons Valley between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains on the Ziptrek Eagle Tour. This tour includes five different ziplines, including a 2400-foot zipline with a 30-story descent, which is ideal for anyone looking for a thrilling adventure! At an elevation of 1,000 meters, the first zipline launches from Olympic Station on Whistler Mountain.
Adventure Seeker Tours – Elora, Ontario
In the winter, the Elora Gorge takes on a completely new appearance. The program starts with rappelling instructions in the morning. Then, on the Zipline, you’ll propel yourself from the edge of the 80-foot cliff and soar 200 feet across the ice chasm, before rappelling down to the shallow river like a human spider in mid-air. Your breath will be taken away by the views. Tours are only available by request.
- Where: Elora Gorge and Grand River zip-line. The location of the meeting will be provided at the time of booking. Approximately 90 minutes from Toronto
- How much is it? $175
Stay at a Ski Resort
Canada is recognized for its many ski resorts and slopes, which are open for more than half of the year due to the considerable snowfall received in this northern country. Whistler Blackcomb, located in British Columbia, is one of the best ski resorts in North America and hosted many of the 2010 Winter Olympics events.
Meanwhile, Banff and Lake Louise are convenient ski escapes outside of Calgary, Alberta, and Mont-Tremblant is a beautiful winter mountain resort about 90 minutes north of Montreal, Quebec. These resorts are exceptional in every way, with lengthy runs, severe drop-offs, and breathtaking scenery, as well as a variety of unique winter sports like heli-skiing and glacier skiing.
Enjoy the Quebec Winter Carnival
The Quebec Winter Carnival, the world’s largest winter carnival, takes place every year from the end of January to the middle of February. The event is mostly for the enjoyment of families. There are parades, pop-up events, live music, and gastronomic offers all across town. Aside from the cost of lodging, a vacation to the Quebec Winter Carnival is rather inexpensive.
Have a Crack at Ice Fishing
Ice fishing is a fantastic way to experience the Canadian winter while also getting in touch with nature. Not only does Canada have the ideal environment, but it also boasts a wide choice of superb resorts and lodges, ranging from basic to luxurious, all of which offer ice fishing opportunities. Andy Myer’s Lodge on Eagle Lake in Ontario is a popular ice fishing destination. Canada is one of the most popular ice fishing destinations, and the accommodations and service are excellent.
Try Ice Wine
While many individuals choose to warm up with coffee or hot chocolate in the winter, many Canadians prefer to cool down with an icy beverage. Ice wine is a dessert wine created from frozen grapes that has grown quite popular in Canada, which is by far the world’s largest producer of ice wine. The Okanagan Wine Festival, the Niagara Icewine Festival, and the Nova Scotia Winter Icewine Festival are just a few of the ice wine events that take place throughout the season.
Take up Dog Sledding
Dog sledding is more of a recreational activity than a mode of transportation, but it’s still a fantastic and enjoyable way to see Canada’s beautiful land and learn about its history. Many provinces and territories offer dog-sledding tours, which can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. Many of the dogs are well-treated, but you should conduct your own research before choosing a tour to ensure that the animals are treated ethically and compassionately.
Newfoundland and Labrador
In Newfoundland and Labrador, there are a few dog-sledding options, particularly in the Happy Valley-Goose Bay area. However, because the sector is declining, you won’t have as many opportunities as you once had.
Dog sledding is common in Alberta, especially in famous tourist sites like Calgary, Lake Louise, Banff, and Jasper. The breathtaking Alberta scenery makes this a memorable dog-sledding destination.
Quebec is a fantastic dog-sledding destination, with tours available in almost every region. It’s an easy add-on to surrounding popular destinations like Quebec City, Montreal, and Mont Tremblant because there are so many possibilities.
While dog sledding is offered throughout Ontario, the majority of tour groups are concentrated in the Explorer’s Edge area between Ottawa and Toronto (which encompasses Muskoka, Algonquin, Parry Sound, and more). Dog sledding is commonly thought to be only available in the far north, yet this is a fantastic and reasonably accessible spot to enjoy the sport.
There’s nothing like sliding into a hot thermal pool while gazing out at the snow-capped mountain peaks all around you. From massages to swimming in the mineral pools, the Banff Hot Springs is an idyllic setting for some pampering and relaxation. One of the most highly regarded spas in Whistler is the magnificent Scandinave Spa, which offers a variety of treatments and hot pools. Scandinave Spas can also be found at Mont-Tremblant, QC, and Blue Mountain, ON.