How should I prepare for the Winter?
You may have heard that winters in Canada are brutal – while that’s true, knowing what to expect as well as good planning will help you get used to the weather.
Some tips you hear would depend on where you’ll be located. In Alberta or Saskatchewan you may see the first snow as early as September, and it frequently gets to -40C, so you start preparing earlier. In Vancouver, BC or Toronto, ON, the temperatures are milder in comparison. But in general, you can expect winter to last from November to mid-April.
Canadians say that “there is no bad weather, just bad clothing” – so you should make sure you dress appropriately for the weather.
It’s worth investing in good quality gear that would last a few years. We recommend people to wait until arriving in Canada to buy their winter gear. It may be more expensive than in their home countries, but the materials are more suitable for Canadian winters.
- Winter jacket
- Winter boots
- Hat or “tuque“
- Gloves, mittens
- Warm socks
You may hear a lot about “layering”, which means wearing two or more pieces of clothing to stay warm. As you go indoors (with central heating), you can take off the extra layers so that you don’t feel too hot.
- Base layer: t-shirt, shirt, leggins
- Second layer: cardigan or sweater, fleece jacket, hoodie, pants
- Third layer: jacket
If you’re arriving in Canada in the winter months, bring your warmest clothing but also arrange transportation from the airport to your place of stay.
Additional items you can get once landed
Winter tends to be dry, and you should protect your skin.
Updated: November 13, 2020
Would you add anything to this list? Please let us know!