How to Survive a Canadian Winter – A Guide for New Canadians

Brett Heckbert

Because Canada is home to many new Canadians recently, and this winter has been exceptionally bitter and snowy, perhaps a guide to surviving a Canadian winter is appropriate.

Surviving a summer is easy, but surviving a winter is a whole different ball game.

First, I recommend you buy the largest and warmest winter coat you can afford. Along with the coat you will need: winter boots, a toque, and mittens.

You will need to buy a couple pairs of mittens, because they either get wet or you lose one (probably the right hand).

Keeping physically active is important, because during the winter you spend the majority of your time indoors. Skating is excellent for your physical health. It’s also good for your mental health because Canadians who can’t skate are often made fun of and call a “hoser”.

The next thing you’ll need to do is tell your parents to upgrade their car with a block heater and winter tires. If you want to leave your driveway in the next 8 months, those things are very important. In Canada’s wintertime, it doesn’t rain, it snows. Therefore, equipping yourself with a few snow shovels is a good idea.

Also, learn to shovel snow both left and right handed so when one shoulder gets tired, you can switch to the other. Don’t forget to be a good neighbour and shovel out anyone else who needs help.

We’re all in this together!

Last, invest in a head lamp. This handy flashlight straps around your toque so you can see where you are going outside because, like bears, the sun hibernates in winter also.

I hope this guide will help our new Canadians survive the ruthless and unforgiving Canadian winter.

Happy spring!


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