7 great spots for an unforgettable winter vacation in Canada

October 1, 2021

If you’re not ready to hop on a plane for the sunny south this year, bundle up and enjoy the great outdoors — and indoors — with an unforgettable winter vacation in Canada.

7 great spots for an unforgettable winter vacation in Canada

[Photo Credit: Ingemann]

Settle in for après-ski in BC
The Whistler-Blackcomb mountain duo is terrific year-round, but winter is when it’s really humming, and not just with skiing: visitors head to the spas, strap on skates, bungee jump, try winter zip-lining, go ice-climbing, or wander Vallea Lumina, an enchanting light and sound nighttime walk. The Village is great, but opt for more sumptuous digs and sustenance at Nita Lake Lodge.

Seek out the light in the Yukon
At Northern Lights Resort & Spa near Whitehorse, the fresh mountain air will take your breath away. And if you’re lucky, the same goes for a dancing display of the elusive aurora borealis, best viewed on clear Yukon nights in the early weeks of winter. The resort has a special viewing teepee, or you can keep watch from one of the log chalets — when you’re not in the Finnish sauna, that is.


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Make a few snow angels in the Prairies
Frosty festivals abound in the Canadian prairie. Saskatoon’s Winter Shines celebrates the season in late January with ice-sculpture exhibits, bonfires, sleigh rides and a soup cook-off. Music and events in a heated igloo run throughout the nine days. Mid-February in Winnipeg, Festival du Voyageur highlights the history and culture of the region’s 18th-century fur traders, with traditional food, fiddling, and fun.

Tie on a fluffy robe near Toronto
When cozy pampering is in order, the Elora Mill Hotel & Spa, one hour north of Toronto, fits the bill. This historic inn combines rustic architecture with European charm in French-style rooms that feature stone walls, ornate chandeliers, and local artwork. A sublime menu of spa treatments will take the sting out of winter vacation in Ontario, as will a dip in the outdoor pool.

Drill a hole in the ice in northern Ontario
Anchored on its east side by North Bay, Lake Nipissing is one of Ontario’s top spots for ice fishing — and they’ve been doing it for more than 100 years. Callander Bay in particular is a well-known, well-protected body of ice where you can rent huts seven days a week, some sleeping up to six people. Roughing it up here includes a pre-drilled, in-hut fishing hole and heated facilities.

Race through the hinterland in Quebec
Descente Malbaie in Charlevoix, Quebec, will have you harnessing and driving your own team of dogs and sledding along the trails of the National Park of the Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie. You’ll get a real sense of the husky pack life, including finding traces of wolves, moose, foxes, lynx, hares, and partridges. The dogs love nothing better than showing you around.

Hop on a snowmobile in Newfoundland
The Mid-Winter Bivver snowmobile and culinary festival in Central Newfoundland promise taste sensations from award-winning chefs and guided trail rides in Exploits Valley over two days in mid-February. The weekend finishes up with a five-course Forager’s Feast and dance. By the way, a “bivver” is both a sound and a movement, a cross between brrrrr and quiver. How Canadian is that?

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