I’m Going to Canada and Learning to Love Winter in Quebec

I’m finally going to Canada next week and fulfilling the promises made to my Canadian friends over the years about visiting. These said friends have enjoyed nothing more than taunting me about the minus temperatures I’m about to encounter in the eastern province of Quebec and Toronto in neighbouring Ontario, and so I am taking on a challenge. As a true Brit who likes nothing more than to talk about the weather, low temperatures and a lack of that shining ball in the sky that others call ‘sun’, it’s only fitting that I’m going to check some incredible winter attractions and learn to love the crisp winter chill and all the fun that comes with it.

So here’s what I will be getting up to whilst swathed in multitude of clothing layers and spouting weather themed anecdotes. An adventurous and celebratory line up of activities,  my preconceptions of the winter season are already changing…

Tremblant

As soon as our small group touches down on Canadian soil, we will be making our way straight to Tremblant where I will be learning how to ski. I confess that I have never been skiing before, the closest being learning some moves on a dry ski slope in my local town in my early teens. An avid hiker and adventure enthusiast, I am ready to hit the slopes for three days and I’m determined to get good at it.

Copyright All rights reserved by New Zealand orbzuc on Flickr

Copyright All rights reserved by New Zealand orbzuc on Flickr

Should my ski skills not amount to anything except sliding down on my backside, there’s plenty of other things to experience including spa time, mountainside tubing and wildlife spotting.

Montreal

I used to fish with a net at a local pond as a kid, which, totally arms me with all the skills needed to try ice fishing in Pêche Vieux-Montréal – Montréal’s first urban Ice Fishing Village. Located on the Quays of the Old Port, it is a unique destination where 300,000 feet of ice awaits us.

Copyright All rights reserved by VieuxPortMontreal on Flickr

Copyright All rights reserved by VieuxPortMontreal on Flickr

One of the main things I am looking forward to most is the trip to the Mont-Royal Park for a fun-filled day of winter Olympic activities! There’s cross country skiing, snow shoeing, inner tubing and tobogganing, all of which I have never tried before, so I am getting my inner-athletic on and will be ready for the challenge! Snowman building is where my creativity will come to the fore. Watch this space.

Of course, no visit for me is complete without meandering a great city and Montreal has to be given some time. As a fan of old architecture, I am looking forward to checking out all the historical buildings and arty neighbourhoods. I suspect its UNESCO City of Design status is for very good reason.

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Copyright All rights reserved by Anthony_GZ on Flickr

My time in Montreal ends with the outdoor party of Igloofest, where thousands of electronic music fans dance the night away under the starts at the city’s Old Port. It may be a bit chilly, but its one of the hottest events in the city.

Toronto

I’m heading to the capital of Ontario simply because I adore big cities and getting lost in them. I have yet to map out any kind of plan, as I normally like to be sporadic, but my few days will include the top sights, shopping, admiring the city skyline, sampling the diverse food options (a big chunk of Toronto’s population being born outside of Canada) and relaxing with my friends out in the suburbs.

Copyright All rights reserved by kinchloe on Flickr

Copyright All rights reserved by kinchloe on Flickr

Of course, no trip here in complete without a trip out to Niagara Falls – my friends had that locked down as soon as I mentioned my arrival. Canadians are incredibly proud of their country and I am not going to turn down any offers to see things their way.

Quebec City

I’m embarking on a road trip with my friends from Toronto and heading to Quebec City for the annual Winter Carnival. The largest winter festival in the world and third on the list of Top Carnivals after the famous Rio and New Orleans, the first took place in 1894, to create revelry in a city that faced many hardships during the cold season.

Activities are based on Québec lifestyle traditions and include winter sports, snow sculptures, canoe and dogsled races alongside night parades and a fully functioning ice palace. I’m so glad I’m getting to experience this with friends who make their way here every year for the festivities.

Copyright All rights reserved by artemb2013 on Flickr

Copyright All rights reserved by artemb2013 on Flickr

I’ll be travelling in Tremblant and Montreal with fellow travel bloggers, Keith from Velvet Escape, Melvin from Traveldudes, Caspar from Story Travelers and Nienke from The Travel Tester. All the fun starts on February 4th where you can follow our crazy adventures on social media via the #LoveWinter hashtag. Who will be the biggest winter convert?

The first half of my trip, in Tremblant and Montreal, is a part of the #LoveWinter blog trip created and managed by iambassador in partnership with the Canadian Tourism CommissionTourism Montreal and Tourism Quebec. My itinerary and planned adventures in Toronto and Quebec City are all my own, as are all my opinions throughout the entire trip. 

Comments

  1. Cool! Sounds like a great trip. Look forward to hearing about your experiences, especially the ice fishing and Quebec City Winter Carnival. Enjoy!

  2. Wow! Sounds like an incredible itinerary! I’m so lookin forward to your posts.

    Happy travels :)

  3. No plans to visit Vancouver? That’s a shame its such a lovely vibrant city, surrounded by sea on 2 sides, mountains on another. The rest of British Columbia is pretty cool too!

  4. Sounds great! I’ve never been to Canada. Looking forward to reading about it.

  5. Best country in the world. Though if you really want to learn to love winter, I suggest you spend a few weeks in Winnipeg… did I mention it was colder than Mars in January?

  6. Enjoy your time spent in Canada! If you need any recommendations for Toronto, that’s where I am from so I can try to help you out! Love love love Montreal and I’ve never been to Quebec City, although I would absolutely love to visit, especially for the Winter Carnival! Have a blast!

    • Fire away. Tips about Toronto are much appreciated!

      • If you’re into museums and such, I would recommend checking out the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) or the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario). I would also recommend High Park – a really nice park in the city – I haven’t been there in the winter, but in the spring they have a cherry blossom festival that’s quite nice. I think it is open in the winter though. There are the typical touristy type sites like the CN Tower (I’ve only been to the top once, on a charity event where we climbed the stairs to the top). Lots of shopping downtown. Kensington Market is a cool place with lots of independent shops and markets (with great vegan food, I might add!). This is all just off the top of my head! Let me know if you have any questions or anything!

  7. Sounds like a great trip! I myself are not the biggest fan of the cold, but I can´t help get excited about snow and all the beautiful scenery it makes. I went ice fishing in Korea, and it was actually pretty fun. Igloofest looks like a blast too!

    Have fun!

  8. Sounds like a wonderful trip. I just love Canada. Make sure to pack a parka and very warm synthetic clothing! Enjoy skiing. I picked it up two years ago because of my love of hiking and the outdoors. I picked it up pretty easily and hope you do too! I have always wanted to go to the Winter Carnival in Quebec! I have been to Quebec City twice now and absolutely adore it. It is just a quaint town and with a true French influence.

  9. Nice post. Mixing a LOT of fun and enjoys. Although Canada is one of my favorite place. I’d a desire visiting there. Backpacker Becki be safe your journey. Wish you all the best.

    Blog photos are too gorgeous and beauty also …………………..

  10. Igloo Fest sounds fun! Though very cold. :) Have fun on your winter adventures!

  11. Hey! Glad I was able to meet you. Hope Quebec met your expectations!

  12. Wonderful to hear about your resolve to visit the chilling country this year. Happy skiing ..:)

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