Looking to experience the best a Canadian winter has to offer? Quebec is a fine choice, as it offers cuisine, nightlife, festivals, and activities that will put you in touch with the season that best defines this country. Below, we’ll mention a few experiences you won’t want to miss…
1) Experience Montreal
Get your winter trip to Quebec off to an exciting start by traveling to Montreal first. An urban centre which has a decidedly European feel to it, it is a place where work to live, rather than the other way around.
Start by noshing on its food: get a smoked meat sandwich from Schwartz’s Deli, sample some poutine at La Banquise, or have a slice of tourtiere at La Binerie Mont-Royal. Once you have stuffed yourself silly, burn off all those calories by climbing Mont Royal.
At night, set off in pursuit of its world famous nightlife. Whether you choose to order rounds of beers with students at pubs near McGill or have a fabulous time in the Gay Village at the east end of Ste. Catherine’s Street, you’ll be sure to have a killer night out.
Montreal also has a number of excellent land-based casinos. Casino Montreal is the best known of these, and in recent years, Playground Poker has grown in popularity among aficionados of the world’s most popular card game.
Not ready for any of that as of now, but want to partake in the action when you go on vacation? Log on to some of Canada’s most popular online gaming portals, where you’ll have access to a full slate of casino games.
From blackjack to craps, you’ll be confident from the second you set foot on the gaming floor in Montreal.
2) Attend the Quebec Winter Carnival
Typically, winter is not prime time for outdoor festivals. However, given the preponderance of icy conditions in Quebec through half the year, locals have embraced their cold climate by creating one of the world’s best known winter celebration.
Held from the middle to the end of February, the Quebec Winter Carnival is a full-on party which goes regardless of how chilly it is outside. From toboggan slides for the kids to dangerously exciting ice canoe races across the St. Lawrence River, you’ll find an event that will get you into the winter spirit.
3) Visit a sugar shack
As February segues into March, another iconic aspect of a Quebecois winter takes centre stage. As days begin to see temperatures above zero for the first time in months, the sap in millions of maple trees begins to rise.
This marks the start of sugar shack season, where Quebec families make their way to maple plantations to enjoy one of life’s simplest pleasures: fresh maple syrup poured over snow. Many have become upscale operations in recent years, using their seasonal bounty to create menus infused with maple goodness.
4) Ski its best mountains
While Western Canada is blessed with mountains that have tons of vertical, Quebec has plenty of peaks that are nothing to sneeze at from a snow shredder’s perspective. While runs are shorter compared to the West, the glades here pose a greater challenge to expert skiers and boarders, and the joie de vivre Quebecers possess will make your apres ski at Mont Tremblant, Mont Ste Anne, and Le Massif a memorable one.