Let’s plan a trip to one of the snowiest cities in Canada. If you enjoy winter activities and cooler climates, Canada can be your wonderland during the winter months. There are plenty of cities that see generous amounts of snowfall during the coldest season of the year.
The province of Quebec has an impressive list of destinations on our snowiest cities in Canada list. There are lots of other parts of the country that fall into the snowiest cities in Canada category. To help you choose your next winter vacation, we have curated a list of the ten snowiest cities in Canada.
1. St. John’s, Newfoundland
The colourful downtown houses in St John’s look so pretty with a blanket of snow over them. The vibrant city on Newfoundland island off Canada’s Atlantic coast is the capital of the Newfoundland and Labrador province and a magnet for snowy weather.
In winter, you can have an exciting vacation with plenty to see and do indoors and outdoors. You can go winter sliding and tobogganing down a big hill at Pippy Park. Also, hold on tight at Lester Farm where you can get pulled in a sleigh on a group or private ride followed by hot drinks and food. Snowshoeing, sledding and hiking in the snow are more fun outdoor activities you can do in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
There are heaps of tours to join, from craft beer brewery tours to bird watching tours and more. Many of the resorts are geared up for winter with fun activities if you prefer to stay close to your home away from home.
The best time to visit St. John’s is during the months of June and July.
2. Saguenay, Quebec
With freezing temperatures averaging between -7°C and -19°C during winter, Saguenay in Quebec gets plenty of snow. To really immerse yourself in the local culture, book a stay in a yurt which makes a great base for wintery activities. Adventurous souls can go snowmobiling, downhill skiing and sledding and ice fishing.
Dog sledding is one of the standout experiences on offer in Saguenay. With an experienced dog sledder guide, you will zoom through the snow-covered forest, breathing in the fresh air and taking in spectacular sights. So head out into the wilderness for a few hours or several days during this unique experience that will be a highlight of your snowy vacation.
Between these thrilling winter experiences, you can indulge in cozy spa treatments and luxury dining complete with mulled wine or champagne.
The best time to visit Saguenay is from June to September.
3. Sherbrooke, Quebec
During the winter months, the beautiful surroundings of Mont Bellevue Park have lots for lover of the great outdoors. The 200-hectare park features about 30 kilometres of well-maintained trails for hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing. It’s popular with skiers and snowboarders of all levels.
If you need to seek refuge indoors, you have the Sherbrooke Museum of Fine Arts, the Sherbrooke Nature and Science Museum and the Sherbrooke Armoury to explore. At nighttime, you might like to warm up in the Boquébière micro-brewery or catch a show at the theatre. There are many restaurants, bars and nightclubs if you want to party the night away.
The next day you can relax in the thermal waters at PAUS Spa Experience Sherbrooke or have a massage. There is nothing more luxurious in wintertime than a hot spa experience with healthy snacks and wine.
June to August is the best and the busiest time to visit Sherbrooke.
4. Moncton, New Brunswick
Snow bunnies can get excited about the idea of a wintery vacation in Moncton. With several great winter festivals and carnivals and a thriving winter tourism scene, there is plenty to see and do all winter long.
Start your break at Irishtown Nature Park, which has exceptional surfaced trails for hiking and snowshoeing. Paths are cleared in winter for people to enjoy this natural area which is one of the largest urban parks in Canada.
Another fun place to visit is Centennial Park. Cross-country skiers flock there to experience Eastern Canada’s longest-lit cross-country ski trails that go through scenic fields and forests. The trail can also be used for snowshoeing and hiking. Also, make a note to see Riverview’s Winter Wonderland Park, where you can go snowboarding and ice skating. The Magnetic Hill Zoo is always dressed up in lights and hosts special winter events. The wild animals look so much fiercer in winter.
After sightseeing, there are plenty of great restaurants for hot meals and cafes to drink hot chocolate and coffee. The city is home to several unique tourist attractions, such as the DIY Studio, where you make your own art and a high-energy escape room.
The best time to visit Moncton is from April to June.
5. Sudbury, Ontario
A lot of snowy adventures await in Sudbury, including cross country skiing, downhill skiing, hiking and horse-drawn wagon and sleigh rides. Dashing through the snow at Wagonwheel Ranch in a bright red wagon is a charmingly rustic experience. Although it is open all year-round, winter is the best time to go when the stunning Boreal forest is sprinkled with a pretty layer of snow. When your cool ride is over, you can huddle in front of the roaring fire with hot chocolate and homemade snacks.
With over 300 lakes in Sudbury, ice fishing is a big thing. Hunker down in an ice hut as you try to catch your dinner but be rest assured there are plenty of great dining options in Sudbury if you don’t manage to hook a fish. You can rent all the gear at the Windy Lake Provincial Park, which also has cabins and yurt accommodation options if you want to stay a few days or more.
The best time to visit Sudbury is considered to be between June through August.
6. Saint John’s, New Brunswick
From December to March, Saint John’s is in winter mode with heaps of snow to go with it. So there are lots to do in this city on the Bay of Fundy. If a snowstorm or blizzard hits, it will bring a fresh layer of snow. That’s the time to head to Poley Mountain, which has over 30 trails, including some that are open at night, so skiers and snowboarders can take a nighttime adventure.
Don’t miss Rockwood Park, especially if you are into cross-country skiing. The park has 50 km of trails to explore. Stop for some photos at the pretty Lily Lake, fuel up on drinks and food, and then go sliding down the hills on a carpet or toboggan.
At Rockwood Stables, you can take a sleigh ride which is an exciting way to see Saint John and its stunning architecture and scenic natural surroundings. Catch an ice hockey game, go ice fishing, spend time at a brewery or join the Bay of Fundy Seafood Tasting Tour or indulge in a winter spa treatment – really, there are endless actives to try during your winter vacation in Saint Johns!
The best times to visit Saint John are April to May and September to October.
7. Barrie, Ontario
Discover a grand winter wonderland with downhill skiing, snowboarding, tubing, cross-country skiing and snowshoe in Barrie. Barrie and the surrounding area are blessed with about 100 inches of snow each winter, so it’s perfect if you are looking for one of the snowiest cities in Canada.
Book into a trendy snow resort and take a ski or snowboarding lesson if it’s your first time hitting the slopes or you want to brush up on your skills. You can rent equipment for the whole family with lots of other snowy activities at the various resorts. All that playing in the snow will help you work up an appetite and the dining in Barrie is a feast with all kinds of restaurants and bars serving up hearty, warm meals.
Late June to early September is considered to be the best time to visit Barrie.
8. Montreal, Quebec
Another beautiful Quebec City during winter is Montreal. For photographers, this enchanting destination will win your heart at first click. Around every corner is a beautiful scene that looks like it’s straight out of a Christmas movie. In fact, you have the Christmas markets that rival the ones in Europe so shopping in the cold has never been better. There is also a packed calendar with winter events and festivals worth catching if you have time.
Ice skating around Montreal’s Old Port is a fun way to spend a few hours, and there are often creative events like cardio training sessions, Skate & Mingle for Singles and Karaoke on Ice if you are feeling social or just like to watch the fun. Don’t miss the notable Notre-Dame Basilica. This Gothic revival church looks extra amazing during winter. The McCord Museum is also worth a visit if you want to know more about the history of Montreal.
Montreal is famous for great food, so foodies will be impressed with the tasty winter eats and drinks. Book a food tour to kick off the first of many fabulous feasts you will have in Montreal City or a festive beer tour if that’s more your vibe.
Bring plenty of warm clothing to beat the freeze, but also remember the shopping in Montreal is excellent, so you might pick up a few winter outfits during your stay.
The best times to visit Montreal are from March to May and from September to November.
9. Trois-Rivièresae, Quebec
Often called the cultural capital of Quebec, Trois-Rivièresae really turns it on during winter. The charming downtown area is nice for a stroll with stops to warm at cafes, galleries, restaurants, and shops. Then head for the historic old town area that is even more enchanting than downtown, with old buildings and monuments telling stories of past times.
Out of the city’s many historical and cultural sights, we feel Our Lady of the Cape Shrine is one of the best. The huge basilica with stunning stained-glass windows is what you see first. Then wander further to discover an old chapel dating back to 1720 and scenic gardens. At night there are many shows and concerts to enjoy as well as a thriving nightlife if you feel in the party mood.
May to September is a great time to visit Trois-Rivieresae.
10. Québec City, Quebec
With an average snowfall of over 400 cm each year, Quebec City is last but not least on our list of 10 snowiest cities in Canada.
Many tourists plan their trip to coincide with the Quebec Winter Carnival, which is the world’s largest winter carnival. Usually, in February, the carnival features events, snow sculptures, winter competitions, parades, ice canoe races and ice skating. Dating back to 1955, a world-famous Carnival is an amazing event that is great for all ages.
Don’t worry if you miss the carnival because Quebec City is great all winter long. For the coolest accommodation ever, book a room at the Hôtel de Glace (ice hotel). If it is fully booked, there are also tours for people staying at other hotels. It is the only ice hotel in North America and is made out of 15 tonnes of snow and thousands of blocks of ice.
The best times to visit Québec City are June through September and December through February.
We can’t be sure which city is the absolute snowiest out of our 10 top picks. The weather patterns are changing all over the world and the city that sees the most snowfall this winter might not be top of the list next year. But we can be pretty sure there will be lots of fun in the snow at any of these places. Without having to worry about shovelling snow or chopping firewood, you will have a blissful vacation full of action, exploration, shopping and dining.
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Having trouble deciding where you want to spend your dream vacation? Don’t worry, we can help you with that too!
Having trouble deciding where you want to spend your dream vacation? Don’t worry, we can help you with that too!