Hey Rest of Canada, Cold Yet?

Yes, that’s right. I’m gloating, being smug and even cheeky.

A little over ten years ago I moved out to Nova Scotia, on the east coast of Canada, to finish my degree. When I moved out there, I knew it was colder there than the west coast, I knew there would be more snow, and I knew I would need to dress differently. I didn’t, however, have even the slightest clue what I was getting into. I still whine about it and it’s been a number of years now since I left.  Six months of snow, bone chillling winds that are often so strong that you actually walk with a pronounced lean into the wind at nighttime temperatures that are frequently -20 Celcius (that’s -4 Fahrenheit) and sometimes -30 (-22) or lower and often snow piled as high as your head. Driving is a different world to say the least, and only possible when the snow plows are doing their thing and you’ve managed to get it out of your driveway or in some cases figure out which bump in the snowy driveway is actually your car.

Can you tell I don’t miss it?

There’s a lot of nice places in the rest of Canada, and the people are really nice too. In many ways I really like Canada overall as a place to live, but it’s just too cold for me much of the year which is why I came back to the west coast. (That and it’s pretty here.) The mild winters here that are rainy rather than frozen are a blessing if you ask me. Well… I admit that I did see some frost on my car about three or four weeks ago, but it was only about -1 out so it melted pretty quick. There was also a bit of snow that melted in about a day around that time as well.

Here is a list of average January high and low temperatures by city across Canada. Nanaimo is just across the water from Vancouver so I’m using the Vancouver numbers to represent us as I doubt they’ll vary much. These stats are from the Weather Network. My guess is that these are daytime temperatures as I know the nighttime temperatures to be generally colder in the places I am familiar with.


Average Low / High Temperatures for Major Cities across Canada in January

  • Vancouver, BC: 32 / 43°Fahrenheit (0 / 6°Celsius)
  • Edmonton, AB: -2 / 18°F, (-19 / -8°C)
  • Yellowknife, NWT: -24 / -9°F, (-31 / -23°C)
  • Inukjuak, NU: -17 / -4°F, (-27 / -20°C)
  • Winnipeg, MB: -9 / 10°F, (-23 / -12°C)
  • Ottawa, ON: 5 / 23°F, (-15 / -5°C)
  • Toronto, ON: 14 / 28°F, (-10 / -2°C)
  • Montréal, QC: 7 / 23°F, (-14 / -5°C)
  • Halifax, NS: 16 / 30°F, (-9 / -1°C)
  • St. John’s, NF: 19 / 32°F, (-7 / 0°C)

Ryan Coffey

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