6 Reasons to Love Winter in Montreal

Winter Cocktails, Snowy Slopes, and Comfort Food

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Yves Marcoux / Getty Images

Winter in Montreal can be nothing short of enchanting for visitors. It's almost a shame some locals dread the colder, shorter days. It's true, the season can drag on for half of the year, from November to mid-April, and winter blues can set in if you don't take a few precautions.

Luckily, that joie de vivre Montrealers are known for never quite extinguishes itself, and many are they who enjoy its seasonal sports, winter-themed cuisine, and assorted comforts. Below are just a few of the season's finest perks.

  • 01 of 06
    Rear view of people watching fireworks at Fire on Ice Festival, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Getty Images/Preserved Light Photography

    This city is on fire in the dead of winter! 

    From outdoor raves in subzero temperatures to restaurant deals, to festivals honoring snow, lights, or whatever else organizers can pinpoint as a celebratory fixation, this is not the season to stay home and sulk. 

    Au contraire.

  • 02 of 06
    People skating on ice rink in Old port of Montreal
    Getty Images/Linda Raymond

    From ice skating to inner tubing, dog sledding to cross country skiing, Montreal serves as an Insta-worthy backdrop for several winter sports that can be practiced at an assortment of parks across the city.

    Many of these locations also rent out equipment that even tight budgets can afford.

  • 03 of 06
    Ski in Mont-Tremblant - Quebec
    Getty Images/Nino H. Photography

    Visitors from Europe, the U.S., and the rest of Canada flock to Quebec for winter skiing, and it's no wonder why. The province claims 80-some alpine ski hills and roughly 200 kilometers of cross-country skiing trails in Montreal alone.

    Add to that a climate that would freeze hell over six months out of the year, and you have an ideal excuse to embrace the ski bum lifestyle. 

    The only thing is there is no downhill skiing IN Montreal. Any article claiming otherwise is click-baiting you with the title.

    For a downhill ski day trip, try one of these ski hills one near Montreal. All are open in the evening too so you won't have to wake up at 4 in the morning to get in a decent day's worth of trails.

    For more of a weekend getaway, try these amazing Quebec ski resorts.

  • 04 of 06
    Oolong Tea
    Getty Images/Yagi Studio

    Tea is good. Sipping carefully brewed oolong picked from the Phoenix Mountain in the Fujian Province of China on a bitter cold Montreal winter's day? Bliss.

    Several area tea shops specialize in exotic and rare brews—pick up some loose leaves to brew at home, or enjoy them in store. Favor a more classic experience? Visit one of the city's many high tea salons, which serve British-style afternoon teas, complete with scones, macarons, and other delicate pastries. 

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06
    Maple syrup sap buckets in Montreal
    Getty Images/Marianna Armata

    Did you know that over 70 percent of the world's maple syrup supply originates from Quebec? And though it's exported to 53 countries around the world, no region feasts quite so liberally on the gooey tree nectar as Quebec itself. 

    From February through April, sugar shack meals expand bellies across the province

    Visiting a sugar shack is the quintessential late winter experience in Quebec.

    And perhaps the best part of the seasonal tradition is also the simplest: sampling sweet maple taffy drizzled over snow and twirled onto a popsicle stick. Consider it nature's lollipop. But if you're not careful, it can turn into a virus-swapping bacterial breeding ground

  • 06 of 06
    Montreal smoked meat poutine
    Getty Images/Patrick Donovan

    Montreal's food scene is out of control any time of the year. 

    But there's no better season to indulge in the city's ridiculous amount of comfort grub, from its poutines, bagels, and smoked meat to multi-course meals in Old Montreal's finest restaurants. Why? It's all in the wardrobe.

    Ate too much? Bloated beyond repair? Bah. Wear a huge sweater. Or hide in your parka. Can't do that in summer clothes.