17 Must Haves to Survive a Canadian Winter

Want to not only survive this winter but actually enjoy it? Here are 17 things you might want to add to your shopping list.


Winter in Canada can be amazing…or it can be downright brutal. It all depends on how you prepare for it. In the sprit of preparation, here are the 15 things we will be making sure we have on hand when Old Man Winter decides to rear his frozen head.

1.Vitamin D


From fall through the long, seemingly unending Canadian winter, it is difficult for the body to convert sunlight into vitamin D because of the lower amount and strength of the sun then. Even if you spend tons of time outside skiing, snowshoeing and shovelling, you should still supplement your ‘D (unless you can head south every weekend!)…and we have 9 ways to do it.

9 Ways to Get Vitamin D in the Winter.

2. Tissues


When the wind starts blowing, noses start running…so you should always keep tissues. Put a pack in your bag, glove box, pocket, kids’ backpacks, kids’ pockets…you get the point. We’re big fans of the Caboo Bamboo & Sugar Cane 2-ply tissues Caboo Bamboo because they’re tree-free, biodegradable and whitened with H202, a natural alternative to bleach.

Caboo Bamboo & Sugar Cane 8-Pack Pocket Tissues, $4.50. Available at Well.ca.

3. Festive (and Warm) Socks


If you are looking for a fun way to adorn your feet this season, look no further than your socks. Why bother with boring black or blah-blah-blah brown when you can incorporate BB-8, sushi or even famous works of art into your wardrobe?

Socks for men, women, kids and babies, various prices. Available at Floorplay Socks.

4. Snow Blower


Even though the ground might be completely dry today, you live in Canada and it could have 6” of white powder on it tomorrow. The Husqvarna 208cc Single-Stage Snowblower is powerful but lightweight and easy to maneuver, has a remote chute rotator for easily-controlled snow distribution and a rounded snow skirt to allow for safe snow clearing from delicate surfaces such as pavement and interlocking stone. It also has an electric push-button start, meaning no pull-start.

Husqvarna 21-in 208cc Single-Stage Snowblower, $800. Available at Canadian Tire.

5. Glow in the Dark Washable Spray

Albedo100 is a reflective spray that makes you visible to drivers at a distance of 500 feet (clothing is normally only visible at a distance of 80 feet). This spray is great to keep children and strollers safe while walking at night as it can be sprayed on to hard and soft surfaces, but washes away with detergent.

100 Non-Permanent Clear Reflective Aerosol Spray, $25. Available at Canadian Tire

6. Coat


It’s going to get really cold outside, really soon. Don’t be left out in it. Leading the charge for your closet should be a down-filled parka that’ll keep you warm, comfortable and—of course!—stylish at the same time. This super warm, flattering jacket excels in the face of frigid temps, keeping you toasty with a combination of thermal-reflective technology, which reflects your body heat for better warmth while still supporting breathability, and our innovative performance-enhanced down insulation.

Women’s Icelandite Hooded Jacket, $320. Available at Columbia Sportswear.

7. Heated(!) 12-Volt Ice Scraper


Okay, so we didn’t even know these existed before we started searching for the best ice scrapers for Canadian Winters. The gentle heat helps break up tough ice that has caked on, which is good for those middle months where refreezing can make scraping off your car an absolute nightmare. Amen to that.

Zone Tech Heated Car Winter Windshield Electric Snow and Non-Scratch Ice Scraper, $25. Available at Amazon.ca.


8. Repairing Lip Balm


Canadian winters are full of surprises, and we are determined this year not to let chapped lips be one of them. An intensive lip treatment like this one helps repair, provides antioxidant protection against the environment, boosts natural collagen production and replenishes natural moisture barrier so lips stay soft, hydrated. Yay!

CLINIQUE Repairwear Intensive Lip Treatment, $35. Available at The Bay.

9. Hats! For Everyone!


Another thing we Canadians can’t live without in the winter is a good, warm hat. We are loving the hats that Kombi has for the whole family that will keep your tete warm (which keeps the rest of you from getting really cold!).

Winter Hats for the Whole Family, various prices. Available at Kombi Canada.

10. A Vacay


Winter can be rough in Canada. So we recommend some time off to help you better enjoy it. You can either take a vacation to a warm destination like Turks and Caicos, or perhaps you and your family are die-hard Snow Bunnies and you want to do some winter camping or head somewhere like Mont Tremblant…!

11. Slippers


Running out to put out the garbage? Driving kids to school in your pjs? Just want to sit on the back deck and relax before it gets too cold to do so? These indoor/outdoor suede and knit slipper-shoes are the perfect footwear for the busy mom.

Faye Indoor/Outdoor Slippers, $70.00. Available at BioTime Footwear.

12. Pain Relief


NEW Advil 12 Hour, which promises to be both a fast-acting and long-lasting pain reliever for all your muscle, back, joint and arthritis pains this season. Think leaf-raking and snow shovelling all winter long!

Advil 12 Hour is available in three different quantities of 600 mg pills: 16, 30 and 52 count cartons, with an average regular price of $7.49, $10.99, and $15.49 respectively. Advil 12 Hour is widely available across Canada (not currently available in British Columbia). Coupons for $3.00 off select Advil 12 Hour products are also available on Advil.ca.

13. Touchscreen Gloves


Need to use your phone’s touchscreen in the cold? Slip these light stretchy gloves under heavier hand wear when it’s super cold, or wear them alone when you need a light layer of protection for hiking or winter running. Index fingers and thumbs have touchscreen friendly overlays.

MEC Unisex GOTO Fleece Gloves, $19. Available at MEC

14. Winter Tires


Winter is coming. That means getting winter tires installed on your vehicle. Here are some expert tips on using winter tires properly and tidbits about how they actually work.

15. Snow Boots


The weather forecast is about as predictable as, well, the weather. This winter (and every winter), you should have a reliable pair of snow boots on your shoe rack—to combat freezing rain, snow, sub-zero wind chills, and whatever else Mother Nature churns out. We love that Bogs makes boots for everyone in the family…and they’re comfy, warm and easy to pull on before running out into the snow!

Bogs Boots, various sizes and prices. Available at Bogsfootwear.ca.

16. Netflix


If you don’t already have it by now, we’re sure you’ve been pestered to get it. Netflix is an excellent way to control movie-watching by your kids and at the same time, give them access to things like documentaries and TEDX Talks. And besides, it’s a great way to enjoy the snow falling outside while being inside on those brutally cold winter nights.

Netflix Membership, $8 – $12 monthly. Available at Netflix.com.

17. Portable—Brewable—Coffee


When life needs caffeine, head into that next adventure with a fantastic cuppa in hand. Your first cup sets the tone for your entire day, while your second or third keeps you fuelled. With this travel brewer, you can make and take the world’s best teas and—ground coffees—anywhere, anytime! This travel mug contains micro-filters for loose-leaf tea and coffee.

Espro Coffee or Tea Traveller, $34.00. Available at Drake General Store


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