Winter clothing to calmly face the Canadian cold

calmly face the Canadian cold

What winter clothes to bring? This is the essential question for travelers who want to go to Canada in winter. Here is some information and tips to help you pack your suitcase, but above all to calmly face the great Canadian cold.

Temperature side: between that of the thermometer and your feelings

For newcomers, the first winter can be harsh. Don’t worry though, if you are well equipped , you will survive and with a smile (tense but smile all the same).

In Canada, there are actual temperatures and felt temperatures (colder due to wind). It is on these that you must rely. In winter, it can sometimes be up to -40 (in feeling), not to mention remote areas. In general, in cities like Montreal or Quebec, the extremes only last a few days and it is between -15 and -20 the rest of the time.

If you are a weather enthusiast and want to know the temperature and wind speed at all times, get a small digital anemometer-thermometer which, for a small price, will give you the outside conditions and how to dress accordingly!

Winter Clothing in Canada: The Onion Technique

The winters here are long and cold . We therefore quickly forget the style and glamor that will clearly be hidden under several layers of fabric. The main thing, you will quickly understand, is to be warm, regardless of the pace. Winter clothes should therefore be chosen with care.

Suburbs of Montreal: an often blue and sunny sky, but with temperatures that can drop to -20 or -30 degrees with wind!

Upper body: isolate and breathe

Basic rule? The 3 layers, in short , we dress like an onion !

First, a close-fitting undershirt to keep the cold out. Choose an insulating and breathable fabric that can retain heat while wicking away perspiration. Contrary to what you might think, you sweat a lot when it’s cold. For the more cautious, a set of thermal underwear like this fleece lined underwear .

Then, opt for a very warm sweater, a fleece or a thick woolen shirt, for example.

Add a parka coat like those from the Canada Goose brand (or its equivalent) or Vancouver’s brand of down jackets and jackets Westcomb and you’re set! Also read our article on Canada Goose coats and their equivalents .


You can absolutely wear jeans by -20°. On the other hand, remember to put tights or long underwear underneath or leggings to be well insulated and avoid the bite of the cold on the skin of the thighs. Otherwise, opt for woolen or velvet pants, for example.

If it snows a lot or if the thermometer reads -30° and you go for a walk, the best option is simply ski pants . And rest assured, no one will look at you weirdly here with that!

The feet

No need to wear 4 pairs of socks. One pair should be enough as long as it’s warm. Choose them preferably in wool. For shoes, immediately forget canvas sneakers, ballerinas and other inadequate models. In winter, you need suitable boots, such as:

They will save your toes from certain death! These Canadian brands are specialists.

The rest of the winter clothes

From -20°, every patch of skin seriously needs to be protected . We therefore think of the scarf well up on the chin or the nose (essential) or better still a neck warmer , and the headgear or toque (cap/padded hood, headband or earmuff ). Don’t forget the gloves . The ski models are perfect in very cold weather, otherwise opt for good mittens because these keep the heat of the fingers better. The glove  liners will offer you double protection and allow you, for example, to answer the phone without having your fingers instantly frozen. A hat for women that you will see a lot in Quebec isthe faux fur pompom beanie .

Being warmly dressed means taking full advantage of this magnificent season that is winter in Quebec and Canada. “My country is winter” as Gilles Vignault sang.

The choice of coat

Normally, a really good coat should keep you warm enough that you don’t have to layer a thousand layers underneath. It doesn’t need to be too thick, just waterproof and breathable , lined with fleece or down . Opt for a 3/4 or long model rather than a short one. Also prefer a zipper rather than buttons to more effectively cut the cold and the wind. The Canadian brand Canada Goose (or its equivalents) offers a large selection.

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