Some choose to hibernate during the long Canadian winters, while
others embrace the glistening ice and fluffy powdered snow.
Canada's historic places provide excellent opportunities for all to
benefit from the best of the season.
While most historic places reduce programming from October to
April, many still offer winter activities, allowing you to visit
and appreciate their historic significance. No matter where you
live in Canada, instead of hiding away from Old Man Winter, throw
on your wool socks and knitted hat and get out and explore!
During winter's coldest months, the Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada,
also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, becomes an enchanting winter
wonderland for people of all interests and ages. For the more
active folks, there are several kilometres of groomed ice between
the historic locks that are perfect for skating. Along the
way, there are stunning ice and snow sculptures as well as warm,
decadent beavertails and steaming hot chocolate to enjoy. Many
choose to wander around on foot, while others challenge themselves
to cover as much distance as possible along this skate-way
recognized as the largest naturally frozen outdoor rink in the
Winnipeg, Manitoba - For the
The Forks National Historic Site of Canada,
located at the confluence of the Red and
Assiniboine rivers in Winnipeg, has served as a meeting point for
thousands of years. It remains a place where people can enjoy
activities year round. Skaters and skiers can take advantage of the
frozen rivers, while others can enjoy the concerts under the
Northern Lights! From mid-December until March, the Arctic Glacier
Winter Park is open to all who wish to tear down the toboggan run,
explore the Interactive Ice Castle or show off their moves in the
professionally designed Snowboard Fun Park. New Years Eve offers a
special celebration, complete with fireworks!
Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia - For the
Those looking for a quieter, more introspective winter activity
may wish to take a peaceful snowy walk around Grand Pré National Historic site of
Canada. At Horton Landing, note the Deportation
Cross that marks the area from which the Acadians - early French
settlers - were loaded onto boats and deported in 1755. Take a
minute to appreciate the significance and symbolism of this
important historic place.
Langley, British Colombia - For
Fort Langley National Historic Site of Canada
offers many opportunities for crafts. Enjoy activities, stories and
workshops intended for the whole family. In January, put on your
voyageur hat and turn your mind to French-Canadian
traditions: delight your palate with traditional foods, try your
hand at finger weaving and sing your heart out with a
voyageur song or two!
Rocky Point, Prince Edward Island - For the thinker
Burn off some of those holiday calories by snowshoeing or
cross-country skiing across the grounds and ungroomed trails of Port-la-Joye - Fort Amherst National Historic
Site of Canada. Imagine what life was like 200 years ago, when it
served as a port of entry for settlers to the island, and remember:
they didn't have the modern luxury of thermal underwear or a toasty
car to warm up in!
Calgary, Alberta - For the
Beaulieu National Historic Site of Canada,
also known as Lougheed House, offers year-round visitation, and
features lunches and brunches at The Restaurant. Once the centre of
Calgary's social scene, the house is now one of the last remaining
examples of an upper-class Prairie mansion, and has been restored
to its original splendour. Escape the wintery weather for an
afternoon and tour the house, shop, or just appreciate the elegance
of the late-nineteenth-century era.
St. John's, Newfoundland and
Labrador - For the hardy
Imagine hiking your way up Cape Spear National Historic Site of Canada on
a crisp Sunday in February - you are now at the most easterly point
of North America! While catching your breath, cast your gaze across
the deep-blue Atlantic waters with Newfoundland's oldest surviving
lighthouse at your back. Take shelter from the wintry gusts in the
Second World War gun battery, installed at Cape Spear to defend the
entrance to St. John's Harbour.
Whitehorse, Yukon - For the
Trail National Historic Site of Canada you can enjoy any number
of winter activities such as snowshoeing, dog sledding,
snowmobiling, geocaching, winter camping, alpine skiing or
snowboarding. Every third weekend is set aside for non-motorized
activities. Before you go, consult the
schedule as well as valuable winter safety tips.
Québec, Québec - For the
Although there may not be interpretive activities at the Fortifications
of Québec National Historic Site of Canada during winter,
snow-covered Vieux Québec, a World Heritage Site, is always a
beautiful sight and nothing is stopping you from experiencing the
site in all its winter glory. The Funicular is open all winter!
These winter activities are just a taste of what is available
at, and around, Canada's historic places. Try something new this
winter, and visit a nearby site!