Winter in Edmonton is Better than You Might Think!
Myth: We Live in a deep freeze for 6 months of the year.
Edmonton has on average:
- 4.2 days in the year when it is colder than -30C.
The average temperature in January, our coldest month of the year is -11.7C.
Source: Environment Canada
Myth: Winter is a dull and boring time in Edmonton.
One third of Edmonton’s public celebrations take place during winter months. Last year these events attracted more than 100,000 people.
In winter you can, among other things:
- Take in one of our many winter festivals
- Take in the Lunar New Year Firecrackers Parade
- Enter a deep freezer race
- Skate and toboggan
- Rent a segway and go for a ride in the river valley
- Celebrate at outdoor winter parties
- Cross country ski on our city’s 50 km of groomed trails
- Hit the slope at one of our four downhill ski hills
Myth: You should always take wind chill into account when you dress for going outside in winter.
If we design our city spaces to block wind and capture the sunlight (as recommended in Edmonton’s WinterCity Strategy), we won’t have to worry so much about wind chill.
Myth: Edmonton’s Festival Season happens in the summer months.
As Canada’s Festival City, Edmonton boasts vibrant, exciting festivals year round.
Our winter festival season includes:
- Deep Freeze
- Ice on Whyte
- The City of Light/ La Cité en Lumières and Flying Canoe Adventure Walk
- Canadian Birkebeiner Ski Festival
- Lunar New Year Extravaganza
- Silver Skate Festival
- Global Visions Film Festival
- Expanse Movement Arts Festival
Myth: Bad winter weather forces our airport to close often.
Winter has the potential to become one of Edmonton’s biggest assets: providing a quality of life and competitive advantage for Edmonton.
- The winter season is a novelty for the majority of people in the world: we could offer tourists ‘exotic’ cold weather experiences like ice bars and hotels, ice canoe races, winter weddings or snow camping.
- The winter season offers businesses here the opportunity to excel in certain areas, such as cold weather construction, or winter fashion design.
Myth: Going outside in winter puts you at risk of getting sick.
You’re more likely to become ill if you stay inside most of the time.
Myth: Edmonton is ugly in the winter.
Look around!! Winter provides a gorgeous backdrop in many parts of our city: the river valley, the Alberta Legislature, the Muttart Conservatory, and in every park and most back yards. It’s not difficult to look around and find beauty during the winter months.
Myth: It is a given that outdoor street life will disappear in winter.
We have outdoor patios at some businesses year round in Edmonton, with more opening every year. If designed properly - to capture the sun and protect people from the wind – sitting at an outdoor patio on a sunny winter day is one of life’s great experiences.
Myth: Ideally we should create summer-like sidewalk conditions after every snowfall.
There’s no question sidewalks must always be safe to walk on, especially for those who have mobility challenges. But clearing all public walking surfaces down to the pavement isn’t always necessary. A thin layer of smoothed snow can be easier to navigate and allow for new forms of active winter transportation (kick-sledding or skiing). And piles of clean snow in public spaces, provide great play opportunities for children of all ages.