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10 Coldest Cities in Canada – 2023 Update

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If you’re planning a move from within Canada, you’re probably already familiar with the cold—the chances are high that you already live somewhere cold. However, if you’re planning to visit Canada or move there during the winter, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 coldest cities in Canada below.

All city metrics are gathered from Current Results, which calculates them using the weather averages from 1981 to 2010. These are the most recent averages that have been released from Weather Canada. The metrics are based on average temperatures for highs, lows, and “cold snap” days. They are also based on the three main winter months of November, December, and January.

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The 10 Coldest Cities in Canada

1. Winnipeg, Manitoba

Winnipeg, Manitoba
Image Credit: 12019, Pixabay
Winter Low: -19.2°C (-2°F)
Winter High: -9.3°C (15°F)
Winter Days Below -30°C (-22°F): 12
Annual Snow Fall: 8 inches

Even though Winnipeg is one of the coldest cities in Canada, that doesn’t stop it from being one of the biggest and busiest cities. With winter lows reaching almost -20°C on average, this is a city you’ll be bundling up in. They get nearly 4 feet of snow, which is not a lot compared to other cities on this list.


2. Saguenay, Quebec

Saguenay Canada
Image Credit: marccorolleur, Pixabay
Winter Low: -18.3°C (-1°F)
Winter High: -7°C (18°F)
Winter Days Below -30°C (-22°F): 7
Annual Snow Fall: 6 inches

Whoever said, “do it right the first time so you won’t have to do it again,” obviously never shoveled snow in Saguenay. On average, they get over 10 feet of snow within three months—typically November, December, and January. The plus side to all this snow is that Saguenay only gets around a week of frigid weather. Also, the daytime highs are reasonable, so you can enjoy the snow while participating in outdoor activities.


3. Thunder Bay, Ontario

Thunder Bay
Image Credit: brigachtal, Pixabay
Winter Low: -18.1°C (-1°F)
Winter High: -6.2°C (21°F)
Winter Days Below -30°C (-22°F): 7
Annual Snow Fall: 1 inch

At first glance, Thunder Bay’s weather seems pretty close to that of Saguenay. However, keep in mind that Thunder Bay is situated by the water. So, the humidity is through the roof. The average humidity through the winter months is 81–91%. Even in warm weather, that kind of humidity is unpleasant. But when talking about cold weather, the temperature will always feel 10–15 degrees colder than it is. With that in mind, the above metrics for Thunder Bay can be deceiving, especially if you’re visiting and aren’t used to the humidity.


4. Trois-Rivières, Quebec

Winter Low: -14.5°C (6°F)
Winter High: -4.9°C (23°F)
Winter Days Below -30°C (-22°F): 3
Annual Snow Fall: 102 inches

Trois-Rivieres is another city in eastern Canada that gets pretty cold weather throughout the winter. However, while it’s milder than other cities, they get a significant amount of snow. On average, they get all their snow in under 2 months. This makes it great for those who love outdoor winter activities. But if you’re going to live in the Trois-Rivieres, you can expect to shovel a lot of snow for a few months. A gas-powered snow blower might be a worthwhile investment.


5. Sudbury, Ontario

Winter Low: -15.5°C (4°F)
Winter High: -6°C (21°F)
Winter Days Below -30°C (-22°F): 3
Annual Snow Fall: 7 inches

Sudbury is another city that gets a significant amount of snowfall in the winter. Since the snow occurs over two and a half months on average, it makes it a little more reasonable for driveway maintenance. One thing about this large amount of snow is that when the weather starts to warm up in February and March, it has to go somewhere.

In March of this year, Sudbury had a deadly combination of massive melting and freezing rain. When something like that happens, it is a lot of work for the road workers, and it creates hazardous driving conditions.


6. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Image Credit: james_nagarbaul, Pixabay
Winter Low: -16.5°C (2°F)
Winter High: -7.3°C (9°F)
Winter Days Below -30°C (-22°F): 7
Annual Snow Fall: 9 inches

Even though a couple of Saskatchewan cities made it on this list for cold temperatures, none of them get a lot of snow throughout the winter. Saskatoon only receives a little over 2 feet on average, and that is typically spread out over fewer than 30 days throughout the winter. And while highs and lows aren’t crazy cold on average, they get about a week’s worth of “cold snap” days throughout the winter—typically, late December or January. Overall, if you’re used to the cold, Saskatoon isn’t a terrible place to visit in the winter.


7. Québec City, Quebec

Québec City
Image Credit: DEZALB , Pixabay
Winter Low: -15.4°C (4°F)
Winter High: -5.9°C (21°F)
Winter Days Below -30°C (-22°F): 1
Annual Snow Fall: 4 inches

The nice thing about Quebec City is that the temperatures stay consistent throughout the winter. On average, they only have one day that gets really cold. This makes the massive amount of snow they typically get much more bearable. There are plenty of places to go snowmobiling and ice fishing around Quebec City, which are great winter activities when the temperatures aren’t too cold.


8. Edmonton, Alberta

Edmonton
Image Credit: 12019, Pixabay
Winter Low: -13.4°C (8°F)
Winter High: -4.4°C (24°F)
Winter Days Below -30°C (-22°F): 3
Annual Snow Fall: 6 inches

Edmonton’s winter temperatures are on par with many of the cities on this list. The air is typically much drier, which helps with the temperature, and it is much easier to dress for the cold anyways! One thing about Edmonton is that it can get windy in the winter. They get average wind speeds of around 16 kilometers per hour (km/h) with gusts up to 25km/h throughout winter. Edmonton is a great place to visit or live in during the winter if you don’t mind a bit of wind and snow.


9. Regina, Saskatchewan

Regina, Saskatchewan
Image Credit: DokaRyan, Pixabay
Winter Low: -18.2°C (1°F)
Winter High: -7.6°C (18°F)
Winter Days Below -30°C (-22°F): 11
Annual Snow Fall: 4 inches

Just like Saskatoon, Regina doesn’t get a ton of snow throughout the winter. However, they get almost double the number of cold snap days. Don’t let the reasonable winter averages deceive you because Regina is susceptible to winter storms. Last year, they had an incredible January storm with gusting winds of over 125km/h. So, the temperatures may be decent, but Saskatchewan is relatively flat, so it can get very windy at times.


10. Calgary, Alberta

Calgary
Image Credit: 12019, Pixabay
Winter Low: -1.9°C (29°F)
Winter High: -7.6°C (18°F)
Winter Days Below -30°C (-22°F): -3
Annual Snow Fall: 7 inches

Calgary has some of the mildest winter temperatures compared to all the cities on this list. Not only do the temperatures typically stay above -10°C, but they only have a few days of the year where there is a cold snap. However, there is always the odd day when it gets really cold. On February 4, 1893, there was a recorded temperature of -45°C. Since then, there have been days that have gotten cold but never reached those frigid temps .

Related Read: 10 Hottest Cities in the World

city divider Conclusion

Canada is a beautiful place to live and travel. It’s no secret that it is known for its cold weather. But if you’re looking for winter recreation, Canada is the place to be. It’s famous for many winter activities, such as ice hockey, sledding or tobogganing, and ice skating. If cold and winter aren’t your thing, there are still some incredible places to visit during the summer. Either way, if you’re visiting Canada, stop at Tim’s to get your double-double—it’s practically a Canadian requirement.


Featured Image Credit: ElasticComputeFarm, Pixabay

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