Edmonton and Winnipeg in Winter, Frozen Wonderlands

By Bell

A few weeks back, we had the pleasure of traveling around Canada. It was great because those Canadians are just so nice! Even in towns where it barely breaks freezing for five months of the year, people were welcoming and friendly. The lady who checked me in at my hotel in Winnipeg made me feel at home as she pleasantly detailed breakfast and the never ending supply of tea and coffee for guests. And in Vancouver, in “the big city,” several servers chatted with us extensively and seemed enthusiastic about both their jobs and giving advice on things they enjoyed around town.


December Travels in Canada

So in the span of one week, Alex and I shared 4 days spanning holiday lights in Vancouver. We also took a short British Columbia road trip to Whistler.

Then I flew to Edmonton, followed by Winnipeg. These were very short stops unfortunately, as I was there because of my day job. This didn’t leave a lot of time for exploring, and with temperatures being well below what I am used to, I wasn’t outside too much! But below are a few winter wonderland photos I managed to capture despite my short time.

Pretty Edmonton

Edmonton in Winter

If you are in Edmonton in winter and it isn’t too cold, I recommend walking by the North Saskatchewan River. As you can see it is totally frozen, but I headed over to the river at sunrise, and the colors contrasted by the white of the snow took my breath away and I felt refreshed and ready for another long day.


Winnipeg in Winter

Winnipeg was a lot colder than Edmonton. I had less time there. Just one night, compared to two nights in Edmonton. But my taxi driver from the airport gave me the rundown on how Winnipeg “has it all.” You can enjoy museums, professional hockey, and Canadian football!

A new museum opened earlier this year, The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which is the only national museum outside of the capital of Ottawa. I didn’t have time to check it out, unfortunately. But if you are in Winnipeg it’s highly recommended by locals. Several people told me about it.

With the windchill, it was -21 Celsius (-5 Fahrenheit). So taking photos and actually walking around to see the city was difficult.

Downtown Winnipeg and Union Station

Interviewing Cancer Patients in Edmonton and Winnipeg Gave a Renewed Appreciation for Life

So what on Earth was I doing in those parts of Canada in December? I was interviewing advanced cancer patients for a project my company is working on, and project timelines don’t wait for ideal weather. This is a new role for me, as I usually work on “behind the scenes” research, never actually talking to those participating, as I’m a statistician by day. Talking with these lovely people and listening to their amazing stories gave me a refreshed perspective on life.

I’ve always been a strong believer in that small things are what make life amazing. I’m now consciously paying more attention to those little details. Like being totally present when snuggled up with Alex rather than thinking of how the laundry needs to be done. Or that I’d better send that email to x person and so forth. I’m loving that I have these moments. Life is very precious and things can change for anybody in a heartbeat. I’m appreciating this life that I am privileged to have and trying to ensure that those I love know it not just because I tell them, but because I show them.

Read more about Traveling to Edmonton and Winnipeg in Winter

For a long list of cool things to do in Edmonton in winter check out this list by the Edmonton Tourism board.

And for a rundown of 10 top experiences in Winnipeg, check out the list on the Winnipeg tourism board’s page.



  • Alex&Bell

    Alex and Bell originally met while solo traveling after finishing university in 2002, in Brugge, Belgium. Alex grew up in the USA and Bell hails from Australia. During our nearly 20 year marriage we've lived around the world, including spending six years living in the Netherlands and Ireland. We have traveled to nearly 70 countries and enjoy giving readers authentic and quality travel tips. Alex is an award winning travel journalist and travel planner, who also freelances for other outlets. Bell is an award winning PhD scientist who currently works for a non-profit lung cancer advocacy research organization called Lungevity. Happy travels and if you have any questions leave a comment or drop an email!

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6 thoughts on “Edmonton and Winnipeg in Winter, Frozen Wonderlands

  1. It is amazing where we discover the important things in life. Travel and meeting new people is a wonderful experience, and enjoy life as you say it can change in a heart beat.

    1. Agree, anything can change for anyone of us, so now is the only time to do something!! There is no such thing as the perfect time 🙂

  2. Nice post, and yes, all of us in Winnipeg are excited about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which I just visited for the first time this past weekend. The building is as spectacular as the exhibits.

    I suspect you might have had contact with CancerCare Manitoba, which is amazing. I’ve done some freelance writing for for them in my “day job” and I agree that interviewing those living with cancer is inspiring and delivers a deep appreciation for one’s health.

    Stay warm. 😉

    1. Thank you! Yes, I have a colleague at the Rehab hospital there and would love to get back up there to see the museum, the building was quite impressive, even from a distance, would have also loved to walk around the forks, but limited time and weather really prevented that 🙁 next time!

      Yes you know what I mean, and I agree, as a fair skinned person with freckles I don’t plan to ever be reckless about sunburn again, skin cancer was the focus, but it was just lovely to talk with people as part of my work for a change too.

      Stay warm too!!

  3. Totally agree that you need to live life to the fullest every day since you never know how long you have and life can change in an instant.

    We haven’t been to Winnipeg and Edmonton but it’s on our wishlist…for summer 😉 Actually, I wouldn’t mind going in Fall for hockey season. I’m a big ice hockey fan. When I’ve been looking at flights for my business trips to California, I’ve seen some routes that stop over in Edmonton. I’ve definitely been tempted to book it but until now have always gone for a more direct route…

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Ohh yeah, and Winnipeg has their hockey team back too!! But the tickets are really expensive, which kind of sucks for fans. I did, however, find myself in a sports pub in Winnipeg where every tv had the hockey on, which was fun for me, I’ll take hockey over most other sport any day! Whether you go in summer or fall I think you guys will like both places.

      But yes, trying to live in the moment is something tough to do when you get caught up in the everyday “busy” but you just never know what is around the corner.

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