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Winter in Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto?

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Well, snow is possible but not guaranteed anytime from October-April. You can bet it will be snowy a lot of the time and cold December-March. Southern Ontario (Toronto etc) is not much different from the Northeastern USA. Further north you'll find a lot more snow.


Winter gear really depends on what exactly your travel plans are. If you're doing touristy stuff in cities, you need a winter coat, gloves/mitts, a hat and possibly boots, just like in any other snowy climate. If you're going snow shoeing up north or something like that, you might need more specific/extensive stuff. ;)


Roads are a local affair, I really couldn't generalize about the entirety of two provinces...but we are used to snow and expect it. Road clearing in my experience is pretty efficient barring a major blizzard or something (it always makes me giggle to hear somebody talking about how an entire city was shut down because they got an INCH of snow, lol) If driving a smaller vehicle, snow tires can be a nice thing to have.


GETTING medical care certainly won't be an issue, but as a non-resident you'd have to pay for it. I'd suggest travel insurance if you think it's likely to be needed.


I'm not sure what else to tell you without more specific info about the areas/activities you'll be checking out. If you're from the Northeast US and aren't intending to head very far north, I don't think you'll have too many surprises. :001_smile:

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Like the previous poster said, major roads in cities and highways are plowed quickly and well kept up, but if you're travelling in "deep winter" (say, late Dec to April), you should make sure your tires are good All-Season type. Have some blankets, energy bars, candles and matches in your car just in case of a blizzard or if you are going into rural areas. Jumper cables are also handy in case you leave your lights on and the battery dies. But in general, you are unlikely to have much in the way of difficulty as long as you drive carefully.


You'll need warm coats, gloves or mitts, a toque (hat), scarf, and some kind of warm footwear. (That being said, I live in Toronto, walk a lot, and just use my Lands End clog-like shoes most of the winter.) Layers are key. The weather varies quite a bit depending on where you are going to be. Toronto, and Kingston are relatively mild compared to Ottawa and southern Ontario due to the moderating influence of Lake Ontario. But it can get very cold regardless of where you are.


Re health insurance: your US policy could probably be fine, depending on the fine print. Health costs are much lower here than in the US (in general). But getting travel insurance is probably not a bad idea. You cannot fill US prescriptions in Canada so make sure you have enough of any meds. You will have no problem being seen at a hospital or at walk-in clinics if you need medical care.


Right now, the Canadian dollar is very high compared to the US so you may find prices high here.


There are lots of winter activities. Bring skates if you have them....there are lots of opportunities to skate outdoors (esp. largest skating rink in the world, the Rideau Canal in (downtown) Ottawa.

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