Canada is a beautiful, vast country, and there are hundreds of natural and man-made wonders here that offer the adventure of a lifetime. While our winters are cold and dark, they also bring countless opportunities to see seasonal magic. There are only a couple of months left to start checking off adventures from your ultimate Canadian winter bucket list.
When it comes to life-changing experiences, the Great White North is not short of opportunities. Better still, with awe-inspiring scenes across the country, you can usually find something amazing pretty close to home.
While our bone-chilling cold weather can sometimes make life uncomfortable, it also provides the potential to see and do things that you can't experience anywhere else in the world.
Regardless of whether you’re a thrillseeker, a nature enthusiast or simply a lover of all things True North, this seasonal experience list will have a little something to suit everyone and every budget.
Seeing some of planet Earth's most magnificent wonders can often come with a hefty price tag, but experiencing Canada's most-loved winter activities doesn't have to break the bank, especially when there are some things to do for free.
With everything from gazing at the Northern Lights, watching polar bears in their natural habitat, skating on the Rideau Canal and exploring long-lost local ice caves, here’s everything that should be on your ultimate Canadian winter bucket list!
See the Northern Lights, Northwest Territories
The Northwest Territories are widely believed to be one of the best places in the world to witness the Aurora Borealis, and it’s not hard to see why.
This awe-inspiring natural show is best seen in the winter months, due to the dark night skies and the lack of clouds.
One of the best spots to view the spectacle is Yellowknife in the Northern Territories, which is home to an "Aurora Village."
Here, visitors can camp, watch fireworks, and toast marshmallows under the world-famous glowing lights.
Experience Mont Tremblant's Slopes, Quebec
If you’re a snow-sports enthusiast, the highest peak in Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains is the place to be.
For several years, Mont Tremblant has been considered the best ski resort east of the Rockies, and the glorious pictures speak for themselves.
With almost 100 trails and a perfectly picturesque village to match, it’s a winter-lovers paradise!
Stay At Skoki Lodge, Alberta
If you’re interested in getting back-to-basics with your bucket list, Western Canada’s oldest lodge is a good place to start.
With no running water, no electricity, no flush toilets and no cellphone service, it’s left entirely up to nature to keep you occupied.
Thankfully, this idyllic getaway is wonderful enough for you to forget about all of those minor inconveniences, and it’s something that you’ll fondly remember for years and years to come.
Go Dog Sledding, Yukon
If you’re looking to embrace a little canuck culture while working through your bucket list, look no further than dog sledding.
This classic northern tradition of sled-dogs pulling you through snow-covered trails is an adventure most people can only dream of, yet it’s almost common practice in Canada!
While some of the world’s best dog sledding is in Yukon, you can try it almost anywhere in the country that gets enough winter slush.
Meet A Polar Bear, Manitoba
Manitoba's Churchill is recognized globally asand thus it's hardly surprising it's a top bucket list destination.
As one of the best places in the world to spot polar bears and the Northern Lights in winter, it's a magical spot for nature-lovers and wildlife-lovers alike.
While trips to Churchill are unlikely to be cheap, it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that is almost exclusive to Canada!
Visit Frozen Niagra Falls, Ontario
The famous Niagara Falls is a delight whatever time of year you visit, but it can look extra special during the colder months.
Experiencing the attraction in winter gives travellers a chance to see the waterfalls naturally covered in frozen ice formations, which is a rare but magical sight!
Skate On The Rideau Canal, Ottawa
Calling all skaters!
The world’s largest skating rink is only open during the coldest of the winter months, and there’s nearly 8 km of ice to experience.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a total novice, the capital city’s huge rink offers seasonal fun for everyone, and it’s a Canadian must-do if you’re ever in Ottawa.
Explore Forgotten Ice Caves, Ontario
There are not many places in the world where you can investigate magnificent ice caves and ice formations, not too far from the city.
On the shores of Lake Superior, visitors can explore secret ice caverns and caves, which are constantly changing and evolving.
This winter wonderland is like something from a storybook, and it’s a bucket-list activity for anybody who’s prepared to brave the icy temperatures.
Winter Bungee Jumping, British Columbia
If you want a bungee experience to brag to your friends about, Canada is the place to be!
In Whistler, you can jump a 50-meter drop, soaring high above the glacial Cheakamus River.
At British Columbia’s highest year-round bungee jumping venue, you can fly above snow-covered trees, and untouched ground and witness a winter landscape like you’ve never seen before.
Sleep In An Ice Hotel, Quebec
If you’re looking for an incredible tale to tell, staying in North America’s first and only ice hotel could be for you.
Hotel de Glace is effectively an igloo hotel, with huge snow vaults, ice sculptures and 44 huge rooms and suites.
The hotel is carved entirely from ice, including the furniture, and it’s rebuilt each year for an entirely new experience.
Visitors can simply pass-through for a quick tour and a drink at the ice bar, or stay overnight in the icy kingdom.
Waterfall Ice Climbing, Alberta
Experience the nerve-wracking emotions of climbing a multi-pitch waterfall in Jasper National Park, and tick it off your bucket list while you’re at it.
If you are a thrillseeker with good upper body strength, this one’s for you.
This unique activity is possible in Canada all thanks to our incredible natural resources and extremely cold winters.
Just don’t forget your gloves!
For even more Canadian winter activities to add to your bucket list, check these suggestions out!