Making the Most of Winter in Canada

By SAIT Modified on January 06, 2020

Tips for surviving a Canadian winter while having fun and keeping active.

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A young SAIT international student treks up a mountain as a fun activity during a Canadian winter.

My time in Canada during the long, cold months has taught me that winter can be bearable, and even a lot of fun — as long as you take note of a couple simple tips to stay safe and keep warm. In the spirit of preparation, here are a couple things to keep you cozy while having a good time. There's a lot more to Canada than the cold winter days!

Bundle up

It is going to be really cold outside. Failing to dress warmly could lead to serious injuries such as frostbite or hypothermia. Your first winter will be something of a trial period, as you figure out different ways to dress warmly while out in the cold. It's important to keep warm: especially for your hands, feet, ears and nose. A coat, a sturdy pair of boots, a toque, gloves and a scarf are always a must have! Layering up is key – you can always take a couple layers off if gets hot, but these layers will come in handy when things turn cold, especially with the wind chill. If you're taking public transportation such as a train or bus, try to wait in enclosed spaces. Do your best to limit the time you spend outdoors in the cold.

Be prepared

Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables every day. They are a good source of vitamin D during the winter since you aren't getting much sunlight. It is essential to always have lip balm and hand lotion handy as the weather gets very dry during these months. Checking the weather before heading out of the house for the day is a good idea. Install the Weather Network's app on your phone as this is a very accurate and reliable tool for predicting the changing forecast. Being unprepared for these winter conditions is not an option!

Make the most of winter

Avoid the winter blues! During the winter, the days get shorter, and the nights longer, which makes it very easy to slip into a habit of rushing home after class in search of warmth and comfort. You should enjoy the weather and all it has to offer! There are a lot of free winter sports and activities to explore on campus and within the community. There are also a ton of cold-weather activities happening across the country. The International Centre and Student Association at SAIT organizes winter activities, such as snow tubing at Mount Norquay or ice skating at the Olympic oval, and even offers free tickets to hockey games. If you aren't into winter sports, there are a lot of free indoor recreational sessions, such as Zumba, yoga, free movie and game nights, and many more indoor activities to keep you busy. Stay active and involved on campus and within your community, even if you do just a little bit every day.


Last and most importantly, remember that the snow will melt away and warm summer months will follow — but while you wait, make each moment count!