The Ultimate Guide to Enjoying Canada in the Winter

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Canada is spectacular any time of year, but the snow-filled fun you can have in winter is pretty hard to beat.

Whether you ski or not, Canada’s mountains, lakes and forests deliver breathtaking scenery and awesome adventures in equal measures. Read on for inspiration on what to do on your next Canadian winter getaway.

Skiing and snowboarding

Whistler Blackcomb, north of Vancouver, is a mecca for winter sports enthusiasts from around the world. There are more than 3,200 hectares of skiable terrain, with slopes suitable for beginners and seasoned pros alike. In the Canadian Rockies, Banff and Jasper national parks offer pristine slopes and panoramic views for days. Lake Louise Ski Resort, with its towering peaks and the stunning Lake Louise, is heaven for families, ski bunnies and board riders of all experience levels. On the east coast, the cobblestone streets and charming village of Quebec’s Mont Tremblant is an apres-ski dream after a day spent carving up the impeccably groomed slopes. The ski-in, ski-out village at Big White, in Canada’s south, is yet another ski option and is known for having lots (and we do mean lots) of snow. Kilometre after kilometre of cross-country ski trails are also yours to explore in and around Canada’s ski resorts.


Once Lake Louise has frozen over (January and February), it becomes a magical winter wonderland. You don’t need to be staying at the lakeside Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise to go ice-skating on the lake, but it does provide a haven to warm up in (have lunch or a hot chocolate, gazing at the lake and mountains out the windows). In Ottawa, meanwhile, the Rideau Canal turns into the world’s largest skating rink during Winterlude, the city’s annual winter festival.

Dog sledding

Huskies love dog sledding, and so will you when you take to the peaceful forest trails snuggled up in a sled pulled by a team of excited dogs. Between December and March at Lake Louise, book in for a short half-hour woodland trail experience or a 16km adventure over 90 exhilarating minutes. Dog sledding runs between December and April. Prefer horses to dogs? Horse-drawn sleigh rides are also an option at Lake Louise.


Snowshoeing allows you to step away from the bustle and mayhem of chairlifts and skiers hitting the slopes into the peace and quiet of pine forests blanketed in snow. Grips on the base of your snowshoes allow you to tackle all kinds of terrain with ease, going at your own pace and stopping to soak up the silence when you like. Book a guided small-group tour at one of Canada’s ski resorts for a safe and serene experience or follow a dedicated snowshoe trail if you’d rather go it alone. It might just become your favourite winter activity.


Zipping down groomed tube lanes (some gentle, some fast) at the Big White Tube Park is an exciting winter activity for all ages. Hop in your blow-up rubber donut and go solo, or join a conga line of other tubers. You won’t need to look far to find other tube parks – they’re at all the major ski resorts across the country. Go nuts!

Travel Insurance

We all know that the good times can take a slight detour when travelling. When the going gets tough, Travel Insurance Direct policies aim to do the heavy lifting and may assist with travel insurance cover such as skiing or snowboarding, to help keep your trip moving in the right direction, so you can refocus on the fun. 


I grew up in the US, Germany and Australia, so it feels more foreign for me to stay in one place than to move around. Since then, I’ve called Boston, London, Seattle, Brisbane, Madison and Sydney home for study and work as a journalist, travel writer and photographer. I specialize in adventure travel, social issues and interiors/architecture. Home is now an 1890s cottage in the Blue Mountains near Sydney. I traveled to my seventh continent last year – an action-packed expedition to Antarctica – and have memories galore of my travels. Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies, galloping with gauchos in Chilean Patagonia, trekking through Japan, and camel riding in Jordan are among the most memorable. My least favourite travel hiccup was being stranded in Cameroon when I should have been winging my way to Paris for a little me-time. You win some, you lose some.


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