Canada is famous for its winter festivals and events, with something going on throughout the season in many destinations across the country. Whether you live in Mississauga, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary or somewhere else, you’re bound to have one near you. Of course, many are worth planning a trip around – here, I rank the very best to help you make the best decision.
5.Banff Ice Magic Festival, Alberta
The scenery that surrounds Banff is incredibly magical, perhaps even more so in the winter, and January in particular. The second half of the month brings the Ice Magic Festival which includes the International Ice Carving Competition. In this event, ice carvers sculpt unique massive works made up of 300-pound blocks of ice for 34 hours, with their creations absolutely remarkable. There are a wide range of fun activities that can be enjoyed too, from ice skating and sleigh rides to canyon ice walks and dog sledding.
4.Winter Festival of Lights, Niagara Falls, Ontario
Niagara Falls is spectacular on its own, but from mid-November through January, this festival makes the famous falls even more breathtaking with a spectacular light show. Watch fireworks over the falls, stroll a 3-mile route with illuminated displays, enjoy concerts, performances and more.
3.Montreal High Lights Festival, Quebec
One of Canada’s most popular festivals, the Montreal High Lights Festival takes place for 10 days starting in late February every year with a celebration of light, arts, culture and food. Considered one of the biggest culinary celebrations in the country, it attracts over 800,000 to enjoy an endless array of tasty food and drink.
There may be no better time to visit Ottawa than at Winterlude. This 18-day festival kicks off in early February, celebrating the season with all sorts of fun activities. It includes snow playgrounds, skating and other sporting events, snow and ice competitions and more. Plus, while you’re here you’ll be able to take advantage of the largest naturally frozen skating rink in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The Rideau Canal is 4.8 miles long – you can glide across the ice, taking breaks along the way to warm up and fuel up with beaver tails (mouthwatering pastries topped with sugar and cinnamon) and hot chocolate.
1.Quebec Winter Carnival, Quebec City
The icy cold winters in Quebec thaw a bit every February when Quebec City hosts the largest winter carnival in the world. A highlight of the season since 1894, it starts in late January or early February every year and runs for 10 days, providing the perfect excuse to celebrate the snow. It’s all about winter sports, with a wide range of attractions from skiing and snow rafting to dog sled competitions and sledding excursions. For the ultimate experience, book a stay at the city’s famous ice hotel. Hotel de Glace is a luxury hotel with its furniture all made from ice and snow. The beds sit on blocks of ice, though guests stay cozy warm in a thermal sleeping bag that sits on top of a traditional mattress.
Now lets make the most out of the winter while building memories that we will treasure forever.