Seven reasons to explore Canada's winter playground

So it’s winter in Canada which means it’s that magical time of year that Mother Nature hides all kinds of gems across the country under a blanket of snow and makes the great white north into one huge playground.

To highlight some of these wonders, I’ve completed a very non-scientific review of the best “winter only” places for some outdoor fun.

Seven places to explore during Canadian winters:

  1. The Rideau Canal (Ottawa) is Guinness book certified as the “largest naturally frozen ice rink” in the world. Skate your hearts out, and you won’t run out of room to move!
  2. Carnaval de Quebec: Similar to Winterlude in Ottawa and other winter festivals across the country, Carnaval is well stocked with ice sculptures, maple syrup, and mascots. Walking around a festival counts as better activity than none!
  3. Playing hockey on a glacier. This may not be accessible to many people (i.e., 95% of our population) but for those that can do it, YOU’RE SKATING ON A GLACIER. Yes, please!
  4. Ice castles (Edmonton): I’ve only just learned of the ice castles and am entirely blown away. It’s basically like the movie Frozen IRL (in real life). Tell me this isn’t magic.
  5. Snowshoeing on a mountain (overlooking the ocean): The view! It’s like summer and winter at the same time! It also makes the wet city weather a bit more tolerable since you know that rain in the city usually means snow on the mountains!
  6. Northern lights: I know these aren’t only visible during the winter, but the cold weather helps. Also winter means there’s the potential to do something adventurous like trying dogsledding at the same time.
  7. Backyard hockey rinks: Let’s not get started on the controversies around putting together a homemade rink, but remember the possibility. With relatively little equipment, you can have your own rink of dreams!