With average snowfalls toping 17 feet in some areas of Ontario, it should come as no surprise that the providence is frequently rated in Canada’s top 10 snowiest. While other regions may take the opportunity to stay indoors and hibernate for a few months until the winter blahs pass, the residents of Ontario are all about getting out and making the most of their snowy winter.
Here are the best ways to get outside and experience Ontario's winter wonderland:
Head to Ottawa for family fun on the ice
What do Beaver Tails, shawarma, ice skating, and the Canadian capital all have in common? The Winterlude Festival, of course. For over 30 years, hundreds of thousands of people have converged on the Rideau Canal Skateway (the largest skating rink in the world when it’s frozen) in February for the two-week celebration of all things winter. Besides skating on the canal, hundreds of hand-carved ice sculptures and the world’s largest snow playground — complete with giant ice slides — are just a few of the highlights of one of Canada’s most popular events. Add in a breakfast of hot cocoa and a fresh Beaver Tail (cinnamon sugar fried dough) and a late night dinner of shawarma at one of the many Lebanese spots in town, and you have the recipe for the perfect winter day in Ottawa.
Discover your inner romance
Is there anything more romantic than getting snowed in (or at least pretending like you are)? For a truly exclusive and luxury experience, head to Ontario’s couples-only retreat, quite obviously called the Couples Resort. With only 48 rooms, the five-star hotel has a small bed and breakfast vibe, but the spa and activities are far from quaint. With the province’s famous Algonquin Park as a backdrop, numerous hiking trails are open for guests to try cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. To add to the winter fun, the resort also offers seasonal horseback rides, dog sledding and even ice-skating on the Galeairy Park for its guests. After a long day at play, a cozy breakfast in bed may be just what the doctor ordered.
Find adventure with a snowmobile tour
There are over 18,000 miles of snowmobiling trails in Ontario. For the very best adventure, head to Abitibi Canyon in the north where the winter season lasts the longest, the tours are the most nail biting and the trails are wilder. If the entire 185-mile loop seems too daunting, the much smaller Bobcat Loop is a great place for beginners to get a hang of "sledding." With plenty of hotels and bed and breakfasts in the area, it's a great place to make a week or weekend out of it.
Explore the provincial parks
Popular during the summer months, Canada’s provincial parks transform into winter wonderlands as soon as the first snowfall hits. Adventurous travelers will love the snowshoeing and cross-country trails at Killarney Provincial Park, a summer hotspot for its hilly beaches. During winter, the landscapes become the perfect place for ice skating and sledding, while families should head to the scenic Arrowhead Provincial Park. For a full list of provincial parks and what activities they offer, visit ontarioparks.com.