Sure, you may hate winter with a passion, and cold, dark nights may very well just be your worst nightmare. Truth be told, everyone who lives in cold climates probably feels just like you. So why not be the one who starts actually embracing the winter months, simply because there’s nothing at all you can do about them? Below are a few important reasons why nothing can beat living in Ottawa, Canada’s stunning capital, during the winter season.

You Can Go Ice Skating

… And what more could you wish for, really? Ottawa boasts the largest natural frozen skating rink in the entire world, the Rideau Canal Skateway. It’s open every day from January until March, and it is completely, 100% free (not including the price of Beavertails). Of course, because it’s a natural skating rink, whether or not you can actually skate on it does depend on the weather conditions. So, if the weather doesn’t allow you to skate on the canal, head over to Ottawa’s City Hall to skate on the Rink of Dreams which is open from November until March.

…And Tobogganing

Ottawa is a great place to toboggan since it’s so snowy. And let’s face it – you can’t do this in just any old capital city, can you? The great thing about Ottawa is that it’s blissfully unique which is exactly why it’s so good to live here during the winter months. There are many toboggan hills situated in and around Ottawa, and this activity can be highly entertaining and fun for every member of the family.

There’s A Winter Festival

Yep, you read that right. Winterlude is the biggest winter festival in all of North America, and it runs from the end of January until mid-February every year. This fun-filled festival was introduced in 1979 as a way to celebrate Canada’s culture and climate, and has a ton of things to do and see. Check out the magical ice sculptures, visit the Snowflake Kingdom, and enjoy all things Canadian in general.

…And Even Sleigh Rides

There are many farms in rural Ottawa that offer sleigh rides in the winter, and these are a great way to improve your mood and brighten your spirits when it’s freezing cold outside. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

Once you’re done outdoors, head back to your apartment in Ottawa for a hot cup of apple cider or hot chocolate. Warm up and head back out for more adventures!