Winter is Canada’s longest season, and growing up on the Canadian prairie gave me plenty of time to perfect all outdoor activities. Skating rinks froze naturally. Ice forts and cross-country ski tracks stayed in place for months. Toboggans launched like rocket ships down frozen riverbanks. Sleigh rides took place right on the streets. One of my first jobs was with Travel Manitoba. After that, I spent my career as a tour operator for Canadian-based Butterfield & Robinson until I left a few years ago to start my own private tour business, Gray & Co.
Through my work in active travel I’ve winter surfed near Tofino, gone ice canyoning near Banff, even snow golfed at Sun Peaks. What follows is my carefully curated list of favorites culled from more than 80 noteworthy Canadian winter destinations, crossing the continent from west to east.