It’s time to celebrate Canada’s love-hate relationship with winter! Beat the chill with these 7 cool facts about the Great White North.
Chill Out in the Coldest Places in Canada
Canada spends a third of its year shivering under an extensive blanket of snow and ice. But do you know which city rules the cool, or who’s to blame for the New Year’s polar bear plunge phenomenon? And which surprising Canadian destination may require snow boots during the summer? Bundle up! This weather bulletin forecasts eye-opening winter trivia on the approach!
School’s Out in Val-d’Or, Quebec
Canadian kids who crave snow day-induced school closures might want to convince mom and dad to move to Val-d’Or, Québec. According to Environment Canada, the city famous for its gold, copper and zinc mines boasts more snow days—103.5—than any other Canadian metropolis. Val-d’Or is literally too cool for school.
Yellowknife is the King of Cool
Congratulations, Yellowknife! You are at the top of the coldest places in Canada. With an average winter temperature of -28.9 Celsius, Environment Canada says that this city in the Northwest Territories is officially Canada’s nippiest. And if that temperature didn’t send a massive chill down your spine, here’s another frostbite-inducing fact: The city is also home to Canada’s most extreme wind chill reading of -63.99 Celsius. Desperate to warm up? Yellowknife shows its cozy side with its number one ranking for Canada’s sunniest summer.
Summer Snow in Calgary
Summer in Calgary ushers in the annual Stampede, refreshing mountainside breezes and…flurries? Nestled close to the majestic Rocky Mountains, Calgary is famous for receiving occasional snowfall in July and August. According to the Weather Network, this western hub has recorded snowfall in every month on the calendar making it one destination where shivers and sunburn can go hand-in-hand.
Call in the National Guard in Toronto
Remember in 1999 when Toronto’s former mayor Mel Lastman called in the Canadian army to deal with a massive snowfall that paralyzed the city? The rest of Canada chuckled under its frosty breath and for good reason. Historically, the Canadian city experiencing the most days trapped under a snowfall of 25 cm or more is Moncton, New Brunswick. The Maritime city’s winters have on average 2.13 days straight of unrelenting snow, and the army is never called to the rescue. As for Toronto, the Ontario city sits in an embarrassing 99th place out of the 100 snow-swept cities Environment Canada investigated!
Hurricanes, heat waves, floods and lighting strikes may seem more sinister, but excessively cold, unpredictable winter weather is responsible for over 100 deaths in Canada each year—a tally that is higher than the aforementioned weather foes combined. The government recommends that all Canadians take winter’s changeable moods seriously. Stay warm, plan ahead, drive, walk and shovel carefully. You don’t want to become a human icicle.
The Coldest Day Ever
Think the weather in your corner of Canada is glacial? While you moan about the cold, and how much you hate wearing parkas, boots and scarves, spare a warm thought for the citizens of Snag, situated within Canada’s most northern reaches of the Yukon. On Feb. 3, 1947, the tiny community was blasted with Canada’s coldest day ever recorded. A bone-shattering temperature of -62.8 Celsius settled in and lasted for several days. It feels silly to complain about weather here now, doesn’t it?