11 Fun Facts That Prove People in Québec City Are Nuts About Winter
Winter turns Québec City into a giant frosty playground. And the locals are really, really into it. With an average annual snowfall of 305 cm, it’s one big chance to let your inner child out and embrace the wonders of the season—like powder (“poudrerie”), slush (“sloche”), and snowbanks (“bancs de neige”). Don’t be afraid of the cold. Come out and play! Here are 11 facts that will have you rocking winter like a local.
There's a New Ice Hotel Every WinterMention de source Renaud Philippe
A technical marvel, this snow-and-ice structure is rebuilt every year over a period of 3 months to welcome visitors from the four corners of the globe. This year, the only ice hotel in America (“Hôtel de Glace”) will have more than 40 uniquely themed rooms and suites. Don’t miss the chance to spend a magical winter night in a fairytale setting.
We Skate as Soon as we Learn to WalkMention de source Camirand
Kids in Québec learn to skate almost as soon as they learn to walk. Every village has an outdoor skating rink come winter. Some even run along rivers and across lakes. Whether for hockey—our national sport—or just gliding around, there’s no better place to lace up those skates.
We Hit the Slopes after WorkMention de source Station Touristique Stoneham
Heard of night skiing? Some ski resorts have it every night of the week and they’re less than 30 minutes from the city centre. Swooshing down the slopes under the stars is an incredible experience that everyone should try at least once in their life.
We Ski and Snowshoe in the CityMention de source Guy Lessard
How many places in the world do you know where you can step out from your hotel in the heart of the city with your skis on? Québec City locals are blessed with a huge urban park—the Plains of Abraham—for cross‑country skiing and snowshoeing. It’s not uncommon to see Parliament Hill employees head out on their lunch break to take a few strides across the Plains.
We Take Canoes across the Icy St. Lawrence RiverMention de source Michel Émond
Back in the day, people used ice canoes to get from Québec City to Lévis across the mighty St. Lawrence River. Today, ice canoeing has become a local sports phenomenon. More than 60 teams compete each winter on the frozen waters of the St. Lawrence River, including the famous race during the Carnaval de Québec. The more adventurous can even go on a guided tour with experienced guides to try this challenging activity.
We Go Snow Rafting
Sledding is winter fun for everyone—kids, grandparents, the whole fam‑dam. But sledding at Village Vacances Valcartier is fun on a level previously unknown to man. Hit the slides with a tube, head down the massive slopes on a raft, or take a turn on an exclusive Valcartier Vacation Village innovation, the aptly named “Tornado.”
We Have a Bike for Every SeasonMention de source Francis Gagnon
Fatbikes are the latest mountain biking craze. With their oversized tires, they’re perfect for hitting the trails all winter long.
We Take Nice Cold BathsMention de source Audet Photo
Every year, valiant festivalgoers head out in bathing suits, toques, and mittens to brave the frigid conditions of the grand ol’ snowbath at the Québec Winter Carnival.
If you’re looking for a more laid‑back experience, head to one of the many Nordic spas in the region. They’re supremely relaxing.
We Have Crazy Sports Challenges Like the Pentathlon des neigesMention de source @pentathlonqc
The Pentathlon des neiges (Snow Pentathlon), Québec City’s latest winter tradition, is the biggest winter multisport event in the world, drawing an average of 6,000 competitors each year. Québec City locals are some of the keenest participants, with families, businesses, schools, and even seniors forming teams for the tandem and group challenges. It’s become so popular that nearly everyone in the city knows someone in the Pentathlon des neiges.