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Why Winter in Canada Is Best for Non-Skiers

August 22, 2017 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Canada has become the wintry hot spot for Aussie travellers who adore the winter wonderland but prefer to experience it sans clunky ski boots, goggles and helmet. The 2017-18 winter season is jam-packed with festivals and new outdoor adventures. Read on for three of the best:

  1. Montreal en Lumiere

Montréal en Lumiere is one of the largest winter festivals in the world, an annual celebration drawing more than a million people together at the Quartier des spectacles, the festive heart of downtown Montreal. Music, circus arts, song, theatre, dance…every facet of culture glitters during the 11-day festival, filled with free events and celebrations. The gastronomy program has become an absolute must for foodies, with Montreal’s finest chefs paired with culinary masters from around the world. Montreal en Lumiere takes place from February 22nd  – March 10th  2018.

  1. Fat biking under an aurora sky

Combine two of the most exhilarating experiences imaginable: Pedal through snow and ice on bikes designed for the conditions. As you careen through the Narnia-like forest, pause for a break, and turn your eyes skyward to take in the splendor of the northern lights dancing and shimmering overhead. Catch this latest winter craze in Canada’s two best aurora viewing points, Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories.  Boreale Lodge in Yukon and Borealis Bike Toursin the Northwest Territories offer unforgettable fat biking experiences.

  1. Learn how to mush!

Weave and wind your way through Canada’s spectacular winter wonderland, sled across frozen rivers and take in the epic mountain ranges, pulled along by your own team of energetic huskies. Dog sledding is an iconic Canadian experience and one that you’ll never forget. Head north to Yukon where Muktuk Adventures and Guest Ranch offers guided and self-guided dog mushing tours in the stunning Ibex Valley, amid the untouched wilderness of Laberge and Haeckel Hills. Alberta also has an abundance of sled dog tours to choose from in Kananaskis Country and Banff and Jasper national parks.

Want more? Follow our checklist of non-ski winter activities for an unforgettable Canada adventure:

  • Attend an ice hockey game! It’s the quintessential Canadian experience. Purchase NHL tickets HERE.
  • Cosy up in a winter wilderness lodge. Try Skoki in Alberta, the gateway to breathtaking mountain ridges, valleys, and crystal lakes. This backcountry Lodge is only accessible by hiking or skiing and has a true back-to-nature mentality.
  • Stay in an authentic Ice Hotel. The Hôtel de Glace, located 10 minutes from downtown Quebec City, is a fantastical 36-room, cathedral-ceilinged hotel built lock, stock, and barrel entirely of ice.
  • Ice skate the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the longest outdoor rink in the world.
  • Celebrate with the locals in Quebec City at the biggest outdoor winter carnival – that’s 17 days of snowy merry-making starting 26 January 2018.
  • Witness a spectacular winter wonderland on the Peak2Peak Gondola at Whistler Blackcomb.
  • Party all night at Igloofest, an outdoor electronic music festival on Montreal’s harbour during January.
  • Eat your way through Winterlicious at over 220 of Toronto’s best restaurants during the winter food festival.

Getting there

Air Canada has daily direct flights to Vancouver from Sydney and Brisbane, with connecting flights to eastern Canada available multiple times each day.


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