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Dec 21, 2017

8 min. read

It’s no secret that Canadians fancy themselves experts when it comes to winter. After all, the season can last five—or even six—months depending on where you live. From the coldest day in Canadian history to the biggest snowfall, find out how much you actually know about the chilly weather.

0–33% correct: Snow Bird

You’re more of a summer person. Whether you spend the winter down south or watching the snowfall from the comfort of your own home, rest assured that warmer weather is on its way (eventually).

34–66% correct: The Sometime Snowshoer

You enjoy the odd toboggan with the family or a skate on an outdoor ice rink with your sweetheart, but you don’t need to know everything there is to know about the snowy season. Get a hot cuppa, bundle up and enjoy winter your way!

67–100% correct: Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

You’re checking the weather while sipping a hot chocolate at a ski lodge, aren’t you? You’ve got this Canadian winter thing down. Celebrate by getting out there and enjoying the riches this season has to offer!

Looking for more seasonal fun?

Road trips aren't exclusive to warmer weather! Here are some Canadian routes to explore this winter. And before you hit the road, here’s a winter refresher for your tires and five gadgets that will make handling the season easier this year.


A1: -62.8°C. That day, the temperature rose to -48.9 degrees Celsius.

A2: British Columbia. On February 11, 1999, Tahtsa Lake, B.C., was covered in 145 centimetres of snow. Silver Lake, Colo., still holds the world record for 192 centimetres on April 15, 1921.

A3: St. John’s, N.L. Quebec City tied with Syracuse, N.Y., for fifth snowiest, while Saguenay, Que., was ranked sixth. Three out of ten: not a bad sh(n)owing! The first, second and third snowiest cities were all in Japan.

A4: Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. (69). According to the agency, a “perfect Christmas” occurs when more than two centimetres of snow blanket the ground Christmas morning and there is snow in the air on Christmas Day.

A5: 1998. Between January 4 and 9, much of Eastern Canada was encased in ice, and the storm left millions without power for up to four weeks. The storm took down millions of trees, and 120,000 kilometres of power and telephone wires.

A6: 8. According to Deep Freeze, John MacIntyre’s book about that fateful winter, January through April of 2015 were that region’s coldest and snowiest months on record.

A7: Chips. #Stormchips was coined by then CBC broadcaster Stephanie Domet and became an East Coast sensation, trending nationally on Twitter. New Brunswick–based Covered Bridge Potato Chips later introduced its own line of storm chips.

A8: “Mudder, I’m stuck!” The internet sensation has over 99,000 views on YouTube and was featured on The Ellen Show. In 2017, a similar video made the rounds on Facebook when a Newfoundland woman got stuck in the snow on her way to eat a Jiggs’ dinner.

A9: 4. On the day of the summer solstice, the sun can shine for up to 21 hours in Iqaluit. Other communities experience 24 hours of sunshine for stretches over the summer months.

A10: 1 million. In addition to holding a Guinness World Record, the Rideau Canal Skateway is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The longest skating season on the canal was 90 days in 1971–72, while the shortest was in 2015–16, with only 18 skating days.

A11: FROSTival, Fredericton, N.B. Fredericton’s FROSTival is Atlantic Canada’s largest winter celebration. The 2018 festival includes more than 100 events—including live music, sleigh rides and an ice sculpture competition—over the course of three weekends.

A12: Quebec City, Que. Operating for the last 18 years, Quebec City’s Hôtel de Glace is the only one of its kind in North America, and is redesigned and rebuilt each year. Overnight guests are supplied with a Nordic sleeping bag and have the option of a room with a fireplace and/or a private spa.

A13: Churchill, Man. Though you can see the big white bears in any of these places, Churchill is king when it comes to polar bears. The best time to view the bears is not necessarily the dead of winter (though you can see them in both winter and summer), but October and November.

A14: Iqaluit, Nunavut. According to the CBC, 45 centimetres was hardly Iqaluit’s biggest spring snowfall. In 1963, the city had 69 centimetres of snow on the ground on May 8, some of which stayed until late June!

A15: 72 hours. According to CTV, Vancouver broke its own snowfall record dating back to 1946.

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