Toronto Mike

What to Wear? Canada’s Winter Essentials

Canadian winters are breath-taking, but they're also long and cold. If you’re planning to visit the country during the winter season, you’ll need to pack items that will keep you warm no matter how cold the temperature. Depending on where you're heading, some parts of the country can reach temperatures of -30 Celsius during the winter months. So, bundling up isn’t exactly an option; it’s a requirement!

Most Canadians already know to dress in warm, loose layers to create better insulation on those frigid days. To discover more wintertime clothing tips of the Great White North, check out our list of Canadian winter clothing essentials.

A Warm, Comfortable Jacket

While a warm, comfortable jacket seems like a no-brainer to most people, many people don’t truly understand the importance of a high-quality winter coat in Canada. There's nothing worse than being stuck somewhere, even in the car, without the right jacket in sub-zero temperatures. You’ll want to focus on finding a coat that makes you feel both attractive and warm. Wool coats aren’t always the best because cold air can flow in through the material, and warm air can leak out. Down is the optimal fabric for a Canadian winter jacket. Shop for a down-filled parka with a hood. A hooded down-filled parka will keep you warm in freezing temperatures, and you’ll feel snug and warm all season long.

To find out more on how to choose a winter jacket, check out this guide on temperature ratings of insulated jackets by

Thermal Socks

Protecting your feet from the cold weather is vital to maintaining warmth. Without the proper socks under a pair of boots, you could get frostbite. The warmest winter socks are thermal. Thermal is a much more appropriate material than cotton for cold climates because it traps heat from escaping without making your feet hot or wet from trapped moisture.

Long Underwear

For those frigid days, you'll need a pair of long underwear to go beneath your clothes. The best long underwear material is, like socks, thermal. It will keep you nice and toasty without overheating your body. The right long underwear is made out of light, thin, and loose fabric, saving you from having to wear too many layers of clothing. You won’t have to walk around feeling bulky and uncomfortable.

Boots that Mean Business

You need boots that mean serious business. We're talking about getting to point A from point B comfortably and reliably without slipping and hurting yourself. You’re going to need a pair of waterproof boots that provide warmth and a good grip. If you were considering bringing a pair of leather loafers or flats, you might only want to reserve those for inside-wear. Look for rubber soles and an insulated insole. Your feet will stay warm and dry, and you won't worry about slipping and sliding.

A Toque

To make your trip authentically Canadian, you’ll have to find the perfect toque. Many Canadians call beanie hats "toques" — the small, knitted hat that goes over your ears. Find a warm one made of merino wool.

By preparing for your Canadian visit with the right clothing, you’ll be able to take in the scenery and friendly hospitality without worrying about the cold temperatures.

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