While February is, on average, the coldest month of the year in Canada, cities across the country bustle with fun wintertime activities—from skiing in British Columbia to festivals in Toronto. In search of a way to shed the winter blues? From coast to coast, here are five can’t-miss events happening in Canada this February:
- The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival. This annual event begins in late January and runs through February 14. Several different coffee shops, restaurants, and sweet shops participate, showcasing an enticing variety of international and specialty hot chocolates to warm you up on even the dreariest of days. Proceeds are partially donated to charitable causes.
- The Toronto Light Festival. From late January through mid-March, this creative exhibit in Toronto’s Distillery Historic District will feature art installations that either emit or manipulate light in captivating ways.
- Nova Scotia Heritage Day. On the third Monday in February, Nova Scotia hosts a great opportunity to learn about the province’s rich history, including the culture of the Mikmaq First Nations peoples. This event typically features informative speakers, author-led readings at the Halifax Library, and celebrations.
- Montreal Festival of Lights. From February 21 through March 4, building facades and other locations in downtown Montreal will transform into tapestries for beautiful light installations. This unique festival is held primarily at the Place des Festivals, a sprawling public space next to the city’s performing arts complex. Visitors can also experience live music highlighting local artists, a 110-meter ice slide, free zip lining, culinary delights, and much more.
- Winterlude in Ottawa. From February 1-18, Canada’s capital city will celebrate winter with this fun annual festival. Highlights will include playgrounds sculpted out of snow, ice and snow sculpture competitions, live music and entertainment, and ice skating on the Rideau Canal, which is considered the world’s largest skating rink at 7.8 kilometers.