Brrrracing but brilliant – that’s the Canadian winter. Yes, it’s cold. However, the country is well used to it, so functions effortlessly despite the sub-zero climes. Canada also fully embraces all that white stuff.
The mountains, from the outskirts of Vancouver to Québec’s Mont Tremblant, are open for sports of all sorts. Some of the world’s best pistes for skiers and snowboarders are here – Whistler sees almost 12m of snow on average each year. Or you could head off on a heli-ski expedition to hit un-swooshed slopes.
Alternatively, plunge into the backcountry on snowshoes, zip about by snowmobile or learn to mush your own team of huskies. Head up into the more northernly regions – such as the Yukon or parts of Québec – and you may spy the northern lights.
The cities are fun now too. In December, with all the snow and twinkling lights, everything feels festive – visit Toronto for great Christmas shopping or keep warm in Montréal, where a vast network of stores, eateries and arts venues lies underground, so you can stay out of the cold.
In capital Ottawa you can lace up a pair of ice skates and glide along the frozen Rideau Canal. In Québec City you can join the jollity of Winter Carnival (February), with its snow sculptures and night parades, or stay just out of town in the Ice Hotel. Or catch an ice hockey game (the season runs October-April) to celebrate winter like a true Canadian.