Considering that this was my first full winter in Canada since 2013, I had mixed emotions about being home! Part of me wasn’t looking forward to the cold weather and harsh elements…. but I was also excited to get outside and try some new winter activities. I teamed up with Columbia Sportswear this year, who kept me warm and dry in my new winter gear!
As my fellow Canadian already know, this winter we got off easy. We barely got any snow in the GTA and Spring seems to have arrived earlier than usual. Despite this, we still had some incredibly cold (yet sunny) days where outdoor activities required warm winter gear. My new Columbia Sportswear pieces (listed out at the end of the article!) were by far the warmest items I’ve ever owned. To be honest, I’ve always hated winter (hence my tendency to travel overseas this time of year) because I can’t stand the cold weather – but this year was different! I learned that having the right winter gear can make all the difference between dreading winter and enjoying it!
Here’s a look at my top five winter activities…
Visiting the Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery District was such a great time! I absolutely loved drinking mulled wine outside and trying all of the different food booths.
Ice climbing in Elora was probably the most unique winter activity I’ve ever tried! Although it was quite the physical challenge, the scenery was stunning. Thanks to my warm Columbia Sportswear coat, I was actually able to stay outside for the entire 8 hour day without feeling frozen! Ice climbing quickly became one of my new favourite sports.
When I felt the need to get outside and enjoy the sunny winter weather, I headed to Etobicoke Creek on more than one occasion! The beautiful walking trails along the water are so relaxing (and make for great photos too). When my schedule allowed it, I tried to go to Etobicoke Creek 2 or 3 times per week!
Another great location in Canada for winter walks is Guelph, Ontario. Guelph typically gets more snow than the GTA, so the forests and trails were slightly more scenic because of it! Because of the deeper snow banks and unplowed trails, good winter boots were a necessity in Guelph! My Heavenly Omni-heat boots from Columbia Sportswear were extremely durable – and they kept my feet warm and dry.
Last, but not least, you can’t spend a winter in Canada without attending at least one hockey game! During the Christmas break, I was lucky enough to attend a local OHL game with my family. Despite being indoors, the rinks are quite cold – so having a warm hat to wear when you need it is a must-have!
Here’s how I stayed warm:
Big thanks to Columbia Sportswear for keeping me warm and toasty all winter! The Icelandic Jacket was the warmest jacket I’ve ever owned – and the removable fur around the hood allowed me change up the style. The Heavenly Boots were also my first “practical” winter boots I’ve owned as an adult and I absolutely loved the freedom they gave me to enjoy snow covered trails while staying dry.
- Columbia Sportswear Icelandic TurboDown Insulated Hooded Jacket
- Columbia Sportswear Heavenly Omni-Heat Insulated Boots
- Columbia Sportswear Fast Trek Headring
- Columbia Sportswear Alpine Vista Beanie