Sound the alarm – there is snow in Vancouver!
If you’re from Alberta, Manitoba, or basically anywhere else in Canada you might be wondering why everyone is freaking out. This is Canada…isn’t it supposed to snow?
But Vancouver is unique – because of its lower elevation and close proximity to the ocean, most winter precipitation comes in the form of sleet and rain rather than snow. However, a few times a year (especially in recent years), the city of Vancouver is hit with actual snow. What happens next? Absolute mayhem.
Cars spin out, buses get stuck on even the slightest hill, and people hunker down indoors like they’re ready for the apocalypse. (Yeah, yeah, Calgary we hear you – we know we’re a wimpy city).
But amidst all the chaos on the roads, there is lots of fun to be had during Vancouver’s brief but blustery snowmaggedon.
It doesn’t matter if you’re four or forty-two – there’s something about speeding down a snowy slope and crashing into a heap at the bottom that brings out the child in all of us. You can buy a sled at a local hardware store, or just grab an old lid from a Tupperware bin! Here are some of our favourite sledding hills in metro-Vancouver:
- Queen Elizabeth Park
- Burnaby Mountain Park
- West Point Grey Park
- Kensington Park
Build a snowman
Due to the fact that snow in Vancouver tends to hold more precipitation than the snow in the interior, it makes it the perfect “packing” snow – aka snowman building snow! Dress up your front lawn or local park by adding a few frosty friends. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, build a snow-fort and start a snowball fight!
Go Cross-Country Skiing or Snowshoeing
Vancouver typically isn’t the best place to go cross-country skiing. Usually, you’d need to venture up to Cypress mountain to participate in this activity (and you should if you haven’t!) But with all this powder gracing the lower mainland, it’s a great opportunity to explore your city in a new way! If you don’t own skis you can rent them from any sports rental store in Vancouver (Yes Ski Rentals & Snowboard Rentals is one great option).
There are many great local trails around the city: Pacific Spirit Park and Fraser River Trail to name a few.
Okay, okay. I know I said to get out and enjoy the snow, but sometimes Vancouverites just need a reason to slow down. Use the blustery weather to justify making some hot cocoa (extra whip) and curling up on the couch with a good book or movie.
Despite chaotic roads and cancelled plans, at the end of the day, we have to enjoy this winter wonderland while it lasts because we all know…it will be raining again soon.
Written by Katrina Martin