10 bucket list Canadian winter experiences you have to try once in your life

Feb 3 2022, 10:23 pm

The best way to enjoy winter is to find activities that make you look forward to when the weather drops below zero instead of dreading it.

From skiing to sledding to storm watching, winter in Canada offers some of the most awe-inspiring views and unique glimpses into nature and wildlife.

We’ve rounded up a list of Canadian winter experiences you have to do once in your life.

Storm watch in the winter on Vancouver Island in British Columbia

The trend of winter storm-watching debuted in the mid-’90s, and with more and more travellers sharing it on social media, it’s gone viral. Travel to Tofino on Vancouver Island for an otherworldly escape in the winter. This surfer’s paradise shifts in the winter when the weather bounces between sunny days and sideways rain and dramatic skies. For the best views of the impressive swells on Chesterman Beach, book your stay at the Wickaninnish Inn.

See the polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba

Located on the western shores of Hudson’s Bay, this small Manitoba town is one of the only places to see polar bears out of captivity. Churchill is known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World as visitors flock year-round to explore this piece of unspoiled nature. In the winter, go on a multiday escapade with Frontiers North Adventures to explore the region with their knowledgeable guides. If you’re lucky, you’ll also have the chance to see the northern lights in the winter as well.

Ice Walk at Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park in Alberta

Located within Jasper National Park, Maligne Canyon is the deepest accessible canyon within the park. During the winter months, explore the canyon on an ice walk tour that will take you to explore the frozen waterfalls and ice caves.

Visit Bonhomme’s Ice Palace at Carnival

For a family-friendly winter experience, travel to Quebec City to attend the Québec Winter Carnival. Each weekend there are several activities like ice and snow sculpture carving, night parades, and an ice canoe race to embrace winter in style. Be sure not to miss Bonhomme’s Ice Palace, which is built every year out of ice and snow and serves as the focal point. 

Go dog sledding in the winter in Saskatchewan

The glittering lakes and boreal forests in Prince Albert National Park make the perfect backdrop to go dog sledding with Sundogs Sled Excursions. For a true one-of-a-kind winter escape, staff will also arrange your room at Elk Ridge Lodge to spend a few days in the snow.

Icefish for oysters in Prince Edward Island

Try ice fishing for oysters with Tranquility Cove Adventures for a private wintertime experience on the Brudenell River. Oysters in the winter are often plumper and juicier as they fatten up to hibernate.

Heli-ski skiing in Golden, British Columbia

If you’re an expert skier and a thrill-seeker then heli-skiing might just be the thing for you. CMH Heli-Skiing takes you to the top of untouched backcountry terrain near Golden in British Columbia. This region boasts over 500,000 acres of mountain range, making it the perfect spot for a guided excursion with a small group. 


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Stay up late to see the northern lights in the Yukon

If your bucket list includes seeing the northern lights, one of your best chances is in the Yukon. This northern territory has the longest season for aurora borealis from mid-August to late April. To see them, join a tour group, like the Klondike Experience, that travels to Dawson City on a guided trip and into nature. Or, book your stay at the Southern Lakes Resort on Tagish Lake to catch a glimpse from your cabin.

Be serenaded by seal pups in the Îles de la Madeleine, Quebec

For animal lovers, you’ll want to add the Îles de la Madeleine in Quebec to your list. Every winter beginning in late February, tons of adorable harp seals make their way to ice floes surrounding the islands to give birth to their pups. Reserve your trip with Château Madelinot, which will transport you to the ice via helicopter.

Drink icewine in Niagara-on-the-lake in Ontario

While this bucket list adventure is reserved for those 19+, travel to Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario to see the vineyards covered in snow. The frost and snow freeze the grapes on the vine to create a syrupy sweet dessert wine paired best with a bold cheese or sugary dessert. For some of the best ice wines, stop by Inniskillin Estate Winery to try its Chardonnay Icewine, Reif Estate Winery for its Grand Cabernet Franc Icewine, and Pillitteri Estate Winery for a glass of Gewürztraminer Icewine. 


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Caleigh AlleyneCaleigh Alleyne

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