How to love an Ottawa winter

“There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing,” is a Scandinavian proverb that perfectly summarizes the Nordic approach to their long, cold, and dark winters. Rather than letting the season get them down, many people there embrace it, enjoying the fresh air, outdoor activities, and warm get-togethers that make winter not just tolerable — but something people look forward to.

Our Ottawa winters aren’t quite as long or dark as those of our friends in higher latitudes, but our months of low temperatures and abundant snow bring lots of unique opportunities for skating, skiing, tobogganing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and endless other activities that we can’t enjoy any other time of year. Thanks to Winterlude, our city is world-famous as a destination for winter fun.

Having less sunshine and heat also increases your energy use, from the electricity decorating your porch or lighting up your backyard hockey rink, to watching a movie by the fireplace, and heating your hot tub to chase away the chill.  But there are many ways you can add more energy conservation and safety to your enjoyment of Ottawa’s winter, such as:

  • Install outdoor lights on a sensor or timer, so that they are only on when needed.
  • Unplug decorative lighting when you’re not at home or during the night.
  • Use LED floodlights, flashlights, and other outdoor lights whenever possible (they use far less power than incandescent or halogen bulbs)
  • Be mindful of proper installation and maintenance of outdoor wiring, especially around the moisture created by melting ice and snow (not to mention that hot tub!)

You can learn more about winter safety tips at our Outside The Home page. For conservation ideas, visit the Save Energy section of our website.