Canada is known for extreme winter weather — like blizzards, frigid temperatures and ice storms — that happens across the country during the season.
So, that means Canada’s weather records over the years for the winter season are pretty intense.
Environment Canada actually has a list of the top weather events of the 20th century in Canada which includes snowstorms of the century, -91 C wind chill, multi-day blizzards and the biggest single-day snowfall in Canadian history.
Here are a few of the most extreme Canadian winter weather records from 1900 to 1999 — some of which are guaranteed to send a chill down your spine!
Ontario’s coldest day on record
On December 29, 1933, 14 places in Ontario recorded their coldest-ever temperature including Ottawa at -38.9 C and Algonquin Park at -45 C.
Outside of Ontario, record-breaking cold temperatures were experienced in Manitoba, Quebec and Nova Scotia as well.
Greatest single-day snowfall on record in Canada
On February 11, 1999, a Canadian single-day snowfall record was set in Tahtsa Lake, B.C. when 145 centimetres of snow came down!
However, despite that heavy snowfall in B.C., it wasn’t enough to break the world record of 192 centimetres that fell at Silver Lake, Colorado on April 15, 1921.
Toronto’s snowstorm of the century
A bunch of snowstorms buried Toronto from January 2 to January 15, 1999.
In what’s called the city’s “snowstorm of the century,” almost a year’s amount of snow fell in less than two weeks!
That marked the greatest January snowfall total in Toronto’s history, with 118.4 centimetres and the greatest snow on the ground at any one time with 65 centimetres.
Record-breaking wind chill
On January 28, 1989, a record-breaking wind chill happened in Canada.
The temperature in Pelly Bay, Northwest Territories reached -51 C and the wind chill made it feel even colder outside, dropping it down to a frigid -91 C.
Coldest temperature in North America
The coldest temperature in North America happened in Canada and was recorded on February 3, 1947.
On that day, the temperature dropped down to -63 C in Snag, Yukon.
Snowstorms of the century in Canada’s “snow-free” city
Victoria, B.C. — which is known as Canada’s “snow-free” city — got hit with two snowstorms of the century 80 years apart.
Snowstorms on February 2, 1916, and December 28 and December 29, 1996, buried the city under more than 55 centimetres of snow.
The storm in 1996 was more extreme, dropping 80 centimetres of snow in 24 hours and 125 centimetres in five days!
Eastern Ontario’s freezing rain storm
From December 28 to December 30, 1942, a freezing rain storm left ice “as thick as a person’s wrist” on telephone wires, trees and railway tracks in eastern Ontario.
Montreal’s snowstorm of the century
Montreal’s worst snowstorm on record happened on March 4, 1971, when 47 centimetres of snow fell on the city and winds of 110 kilometres per hour created snow drifts that were two storeys high.
Downed powerlines meant people in the city were without electricity for up to 10 days.
Toronto’s worst single-day snowfall
On December 11, 1944, a severe winter storm dropped 48 centimetres of snow on Toronto’s downtown and gale-force winds piled the snow into massive drifts.
That was Toronto’s worst single-day snowfall and a total of 57.2 centimetres came down over two days.
Blizzards in southern Alberta
In southern Alberta, a series of intense winter storms dropped a record-breaking 175 centimetres of snow from April 17 to April 20 and April 27 to April 29, 1967.
Army units assisted with snow clearing and there was so much snow that food, fuel and feed for animals had to be airlifted into the province.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.