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How to Travel in Canada in Winter Pictures

Rent a Car? Or Bus, Train, Plane: Can you drive on snow and ice?

Travel in Canada in Winter: Driving a (Rental) Car is a challenge for anyone, but especially for drivers who have not driven a car in snow. In Canada, we begin to learn how to drive in winter on snow and ice and in storms by riding with our parents. If you want to travel in Canada in the winter by car or truck, and you've no experience driving in snow, I would strongly suggest you take a winter driving lesson or two from a driving school.

OR Travel in Winter in Canada by Train, Bus or Plane: Commercial carriers offer a good alternative to self-driving tours of Canada in winter time. Long Haul bus service across Canada is handled by Greyhound Bus Lines (greyhound.ca);   Cross country train travel is handled by VIA Rail (viarail.ca);  Southern Ontario is served by GO Transit (gotransit.com); Major airlines include Westjet and Air Canada.

Road Travel in Winter in Canada (or any snowy winter climate): It's a pain for those of us who live here, and have to. Don't do it if you don't: Let someone else handle the driving so you can relax and enjoy your trip. Below are some pictures taken after the storms, and on sunny days which helps the road salt melt the ice and snow and keep the roads bare.
Related
: Canada in Winter Snow tips, Pictures Winter Canada, What to pack for Canada in Winter, Canada Winter Snow Videos
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Canada Travel in Winter ~ Snow Banks and Bare Roads  Shopping plaza Ontario Canada winter roads snow banks.

Living and driving in this part of Canada (southern Ontario), I almost always wait until snow storms have passed and the roads are clear. It's just safer.

Though the temperatures are still below freezing, the sunshine helps the road salt melt ice and snow to make the roads wet, but basically good to drive on.

Visibility is good, traction is good (tires can grip the road).

Once the sun goes down, though, this wet roadway can turn to a film of ice.

Maintenance crews clear the roads with snow plows or trucks with a large blade attached to the front.

You can see where private snow removal firms have cleared this mall parking lot by pushing the snow into large piles.

This picture was taken in Streetsville area of Mississauga.

Winter Streets in Streetsville Ontario  Plowed and SaltedTravel in Canada in winter is easier, safer once snow plows have cleared the roads, and they are bare.

Another picture in the Village of Streetsville, along Queen Street (Mississauga Road).

It's not fun driving on snowy roads. It's nerve wracking -- you have to really pay attention to your driving.

No sudden starts or stops, drive more slowly, leave more space between you and other cars.

I managed fine with all-season radial tires on my car.

If you do a lot of driving in snow, then consider using snow tires from  late November or early December to April depending on where you are in Canada.

Sidewalks Covered in Snow a Challenge when Pushing a Stroller, Shopping Cart Travel in Canada winters by foot is a challenge, too, until snow cleared from sidewalks.

Another sunny day, in Port Credit wintertime.

This area of Mississauga is on the Lake Ontario north shore, and the lake helps keep the temperatures warmer that the rest of the Toronto area.

Not only is snow a challenge for cars, trucks, buses etc., it's a challenge for anything with wheels -- shopping carts, bicycles, baby carriages (strollers)!

Burlington Ontario Canada ~ Bare Roads Make Easier Driving in Winter  Sunny day, blue skies, Lake Ontario looks like summer, but for the deep snow banks in Burlington.

I took this picture in February at Upper Middle Road and Brant Street in Burlington Ontario, west of Toronto. You can see Lake Ontario in the background.

Notice the white powder on the pavement: This is salt residue. Snow removal crews use various aids to melting snow and adding traction to roads.

One method uses a 'salt' that works best when temperatures are at freezing or slightly below.

It lowers the freezing point of water to help keep roads bare, and gives the roads the wet look seem in top photo.

The tires of moving vehicles splash the salty water onto each other, and soon every one has a film of dusty salt on it.

Lean against a car covered in this residue, and you're covered, too.

This salt also gets onto footwear, and will eat through leather. Cleaning and protecting leather boots etc. is a regular winter chore.

Walking in Winter in Canada: Pick your time and place! Snowy path in winter in Mississauga park : A sunny day makes a great walk in the woods.

Winter snow travel challenges aside, a walk on a sunny winter day is a special treat. Dress warm and take along a snack.

This picture shows a park of the Waterfront Trail in Port Credit (Missisisauga).

You can see the unshovelled / unplowed path, and get an idea of how deep the snow is (not very!) from the footprints.

But walking on snow has the same 'rules' as driving: Slow down, step gingerly, watch out for ice patches, etc.

While there are no Walking Schools to teach you how to walk safely on snow and ice, there are driving schools to teach you how to steer out of a skid, how to gauge iciness of roads, how to get a car unstuck from a snow bank, etc.

If you are coming to Canada on a holiday, and only for a week or so, then consider taking public/ commercial transit.

If you are moving here then do take a driving lesson from a school or from an experienced friend.

Better still, come travel to Canada in Spring, Summer or Fall! (See day trips Ontario) and go south for a winter holiday like Canadians do - try the Dominican or the Algarve! But come if you must - find hotels in Canada.



RELATED: Canada Snow tips and What to Pack for a trip to Canada in Winter - coats, boots, scarves etc,More Canada Winter pictures here, and Canada Winter VIDEOS.