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Balmy Weather, No Snow: 10 Canadian Cities as Alternative Locations for Snowbirds

Balmy Weather, No Snow: 10 Canadian Cities as Alternative Locations for Snowbirds
3 min. read

This year, Canadians are being advised to avoid non-essential travel outside of the country. So, for around one million retired and semi-retired people, going south to escape the long, dark winter days and the bitter cold is no longer an option.

Florida’s white sand, natural beaches. Arizona’s stunning desert scenery and peaceful vistas. California’s ocean fronts, dreamy views and amazing outdoor activities. These are just a few of the sunny locations and luxurious conveniences that snowbirds may be forced to give up in 2020. 

And according to Google Analytics data, give up they did. Searches for houses for rent in sunny Florida are down 70% between May and September 2020, compared to the same time frame in 2019. Fewer Canadian snowbirds are  looking for apartments for rent in Arizona as well, which fell 75%. RV owners and campers were equally discouraged to start their yearly travel south, with searches for RV parks and camping sites in Florida, Arizona and Texas down over 50% and 60% compared to last summer.

Fortunately, Canadian snowbirds can still make the most of a bad situation. Although replicating the conditions of a Texan winter in Canada is not possible, spending the tougher months in balmier climate within the country’s borders is. Five cities in Ontario, four in British Columbia and one in Nova Scotia appear to be the perfect destinations for snowbirds who want to forget about the snow and freezing cold.

Victoria, BC, Boasts 0 Days with Temperature Less than -10°C & Fewer Than 3 Days of Snowfall per Year

British Columbia is the place to be in Canada during the winter. Whether snowbirds look at minimum and maximum temperatures, number of days with snowfall or the actual quantity of snow in the area, Victoria, Vancouver, Abbotsford and Kelowna are the best options.

Plus, with fewer than five days with snowfall, whichever BC city that snowbirds choose will probably allow them to escape the weather conditions they dread the most: snow, wind, humidity and frigid winter days.

6 Cities in Ontario & Nova Scotia Promise Rosy Temperatures & Less Than 10 Cm of Snow

Near Ontario’s southern border and overlooking Lake Ontario, Toronto, Oshawa, St. Catharines and Hamilton have the temperatures and peaceful, relaxing water views that will help snowbirds get through the winter. Further to the south, Windsor is another Ontario city that promises some of the highest winter temperatures in all of Canada.

Alternatively, for the snowbirds who would love to leave everything behind, Nova Scotia’s Halifax could mean maximum temperatures between December and February of up to 3°C, as well as plenty of wooded areas, trails and beaches.

Covid-19 turned people’s vacations into staycations during the summer months. Now, the grim reality of the pandemic continuing into winter has also shattered Canadian snowbirds’ hopes of crossing the border to avoid the bad weather that wreaks havoc on their health and wellbeing. And, while these 10 alternative destinations within the country’s borders might not be as sunny as their usual winter destinations, these cities could be the ideal solution for snowbirds in a less-than-ideal year.


Data on minimum temperature (averages between December and February); maximum temperature (averages between December and February); number of days per year with minimum temperature under -10°C; number of days per year with snowfall under or equal to 5 cm; maximum snowfall (in cm); and average snow depth (cm) sourced from Canada.ca.

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