Written by Christopher Nye,
3rd January 2018

If a stormy New Year of sleet and rain in the UK didn’t make you want to get out and about this week, check out Canada’s winter appeal. If cold but sunny days are your thing, you will love life in Canada.

There are many winter activities to join in with across Canada, and best of all you can do it in twice (yes, twice!) as much January sunshine as we get in the UK. Here are our top winter activities that you could be enjoying next winter.

Each winter the Rideau Canal in Ottawa freezes, providing five miles of outdoor skating fun


If snowboarding down a mountain at high speed seems a bit too high-octane, but you want to get out and enjoy the great Canadian outdoors in winter, then snowshoeing could be for you. Originally a Nordic sport, snowshoeing is fast becoming one of Canada’s favourite winter activities. Essentially anyone that can walk can snowshoe, making it a great way for families to spend an action-packed day out, and many of the trails are dog friendly. Right across Canada there are many tour companies, snowshoe rental outlets and establishments providing maps for self-guided tours. If you enjoy it you can buy your pair of shoes and start exploring the backcountry on your own.

Snowshoeing is becoming one of Canada’s most popular winter activities.



Skiing and snowboarding are two of Canada’s most popular pastimes, and Canada is home to dozens of world class ski resorts and mountains.

Some of the most famous resorts – all of which are worth checking out – include Whistler, British Columbia (host of the 2010 Winter Olympics), Banff, Alberta and, on the east coast, Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. Depending on the altitude, and what type of weather they receive on any particular year, the ski resorts of Canada can open as early as November, and stay open well into spring, sometimes late April.

If you want to be in Canada by next winter, now is the time to make serious plans to emigrate. Read our Emigration Guide today!

Skating the Rideau Canal, Ottawa

In the heart of Canada’s capital city, in the shadow of the parliament buildings, is Canada’s largest skating rink. Each winter the Rideau Canal freezes, providing five miles of outdoor skating fun. Dotted along this stretch of the canal there are change huts, skate rental shacks and lots of places to grab a warming cup of hot chocolate. So, if you find yourself in Ottawa around January (until the end of winter) strapping on your skates and taking a unique trip through the heart of the city centre is a must.


Cool commuting: skating to work on the Rideau Canal


Give me sunshine

Canada may seem like the frozen north, but the most populated areas are on a similar latitude to the UK. That doesn’t mean that we get the same weather though. Canada is much colder but much sunnier. It is in fact twice as sunny in January, despite having similar length days.

City Sunshine hours in January
Birmingham UK 48
Eastbourne UK 71
London UK 50
Manchester UK 53
Glasgow UK 38
Halifax, Nova Scotia 109
Calgary, Alberta 120
Montreal, Quebec 101
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 106
Thunder Bay, Ontario 110
Victoria, BC 71

Data from Currentresults.com

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