Winter Survival During a Canadian Winter

It is important to have the necessary winter survival skills when you live in Canada. We live in southern Quebec, where the colder winter weather begins in mid-December, and lasts through mid-March.

A cold winter walk A cold winter walk in Montral.

On a typical January day in Montreal the temperature is:

Daytime High
-10.4 C 13F
Nighttime Low
-15C 5.2F


However windy conditions can make things feel much colder.

For example a wind of 30 km/h (19mi) can make -15C (5F) feel like -26C (-15F), almost twice as cold.

walking-in-snow.jpg
Walking home after work in winter means walking in the dark.

The Days Become Very Short

During December, on the shortest day of the year, sunrise is 7h30 and sunset is just after 4h00.

snow so deep that it buries city street signs

This commercial which aired last winter, pitches sunny tropical vacation packages to Canadians who are looking to escape winter for a couple weeks.

At the end of winter 2007-2008, a record snowfall of 558 centimeters, or over 18 feet fell on the city. I took the following pictures of a Quebec city neighborhood, when snow accumulations were at their peak.

With that much snow, street signs began to disappear.


some places in canada get snow up to the roof line

Entire homes were covered up to the rooftops. It was impossible to see your neighbor across the street.

Can you imagine surviving a winter with this much snow?

While winter 2007-2008 was certainly one for the record books, surviving any Canadian winter poses many challenges.

There are snow scenes like this:

this panorama picture shows a snowy Quebec city neighborhood This panorama picture shows a snowy Quebec city neighborhood

Winter Survival in Canada

hydro towers collapsed under the weight of freezing rain during the ice storm.

You will learn about the Montreal ice storm, and the five days of freezing that caused the power grid to collapse.


this driver hasn't bothered to clear the snow off car before hitting the road

Driving in snow requires a change in driving habits.

Read about the challenges posed by winter driving, and why this guy deserves a hefty fine.


car not equipped with snow tires struggling to drive up a hill

It has always been a good idea to winterize your vehicle with snow tires.

Now, in the province of Quebec, it has become the law.

See why all-season tires, don't cut it, and why this driver could have saved on some expensive body work.


shovelling snow off a roof during the middle of winter

When you live here, shoveling snow becomes part of daily life. Whether you do it yourself, or hire someone for the job; it has to get done. Discover why noone likes to shovel. Meet the man who wants more snow.

See typical snow shoveling scenarios. Learn why 90,000 school children were sent home.


a snow plow is used to clear the roads of snow

We receive over 7 feet of snow every winter....so snow plows are pretty important.

Montreal operates one of the world's largest snow removal operations.

Read more about Montreal snow plows.



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