Winter is here, and it’s not letting go any time soon.
Canadians have a reputation for a high tolerance to cold and for not letting a little thing like sub zero temperatures stop us from enjoying the great outdoors. Case in point: every time the water delivery man comes to the Notable Life office he’s in shorts without fail – even on the -30 C days.
We’ve rounded up a few of the crazy ways Canadian’s not only endure, but celebrate our brutal winters.
Lake Winnipeg Gimli, Manitoba – Mercedes-Benz AMG Winter Sporting Performance
February 1st – February 27th
Mercedes-Benz takes something that many people hate – winter driving – and flips it on its head. They’ve gone to the extreme by creating a drifting course on the middle of Lake Winnipeg. Professional driving instructors are there to train you on braking techniques and skid control – all while you drift around a man made ice track in a Mercedes Benz. Tickets can get pretty steep for this, but we were lucky enough to go and get in on the action. Check it out below.
Montreal – Igloofest
January 30th – February 3rd
Spread across 3 weeks every winter, Montrealers convene in Old Port for an outdoor neon-jumpsuit-electro-rave. There are frozen bars serving jagerbombs and beer, ice jungle gyms to play around in, and 3 different stages. Though there is a heated room to chill in when you need to warm up your toes, with headliners like Kaytranada and Bonobo, it’s more likely you’ll be sweating from all the dancing. If you’ve been putting off attending, this is your last weekend to join the neon jam.
Quebec City – Ice Hotel
December 23rd – March 25th 2018
Built entirely out of ice and snow, this hotel has to be designed and constructed from scratch every year. Visitors can simply walk through the hotel and marvel at its constuction, but for the truly brave, you can spend the night. Temperatures inside the hotel vary between -3 C to -5 C and your sleeping arrangements include a bed and furniture constructed of ice. To keep you warm the hotel provides thermal sleeping bags and each room includes lots of big blankets.
Edmonton – Red Bull Crashed Ice
March 9 – 10 2018
The Red Bull Ice Cross Downhill World Championship will make stops throughout Europe this year before ending in Edmonton Alberta for the nail biting finale – the stakes are high, when these guys fall they fall hard. Pro skaters zoom through the city on a literal ice slide (that takes a month to construct) at breakneck speeds.
Toronto – Bloor Yorkville Icefest 2018
February 24-25th 2018
Over 70,000 pounds of ice will be sculpted into massive structures along Bloor and Yorkville, with live sculpting demonstrations taking place over the course of the two days. Those keen to try their hand can enter into an ice carving competition and best part of all, the entire event is free.
Montreal – MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE
February 22 – March 4, 2018
Maybe it’s due to the fact that Montreal winters are brutal, but you have to admit, the city does know how to party – and the colder months are no exception. This is one of the largest winter festivals in the world, drawing in more than 1 million attendees who participate in performances, workshops, tastings, and fireworks spectacles across the city. Montreal’s public transit is entirely free for the festivals biggest draw, Nuit Blanche, an evening in which over 208 activities occur spread out over the city, including a 7 km circuit with 70 contemporary art projects.
We tip our hats to you, our fellow Canadians braving the cold.