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Monday, 30 March 2015

Winter in Canada; Visiting Montreal and Toronto

mont royal winter montreal
Far away from the warmth of Mexico, I decided to stop off and see friends in Canada too before I quickly flew home to the UK for London Fashion Week. I'm getting used to this flying alone thing. I headed back to Toronto and Montreal for some *feels like -35* activities - a very difference experience to the plus 30 degrees temperatures I was used to in Mexico but hey, that's the joy of travelling, you can hop on a plane and be in a totally different culture and climate within hours. Let's talk about Winter in Canada... brrr! 
kensington market toronto
Toronto was as indie and perfect as always, even when it was hidden in the snow.

kensington market toronto

kensington market toronto

kensington market toronto
One of my favourite areas of Toronto, Kensington Market looked just as beautiful as it did when I spent lots of time in Toronto in Summer

winter in toronto




we ate in some deliciously quirky hideouts




and naturally turning down a large slice of rainbow cake wasn't on my agenda. 


The view from the apartment I stayed at was just as spectacular as the first time I visited



The same river which I got a ferry across in the Summer to play on Toronto islands was fully frozen over 



and the snow was pretty deep too!

sorel caribou boots

My Sorel boots from Daniel Footwear pretty much saved my life in all the snow. I cannot recommend Sorel's enough if you're going to be spending lots of time in a cold climate, I just casually walked through mountains of snow and so many puddles and I didn't get cold or wet - these are like invincible boots. 


We got Tim Horton's (the best coffee shop ever) pretty much all day every day. I spent lots more time exploring Toronto and then it was time to head to Montreal...


We headed to Montreal and everything was just as beautiful as it was when I left in December. 



I would love to say I looked super stylish but unfortunately it's hard to look stylish in Canada when your hair turns to ice and you feel like you're going to die of coldness. I bought myself a North Face Parka (I went for the down filled arctic one) and trust me, I needed it. It cost me so much but I honestly think it saved me and allowed me to have fun because I wasn't worrying about how cold I was all the time. I paired this with my snood from Noood London which my hair is covering up on this photo but it's the cosiest, warmest snood which can be used in so many ways. The main problem with Canada weather is, if you breathe onto things your breath turns into ice anyway!

montreal winter

montreal winter


We got caught in a bit of a snow storm in the Old Port


so popped into a shop and grabbed some iced taffy 


delicious maple syrup on a bed of ice. 

igloo fest montreal

In the evening we headed to Igloo Fest - you may remember this from my Montreal vlog

montreal ice skating

By day we skated around the frozen lake - it's so crazy that in Summer this was a beautiful lake and people were rowing around on boats - I love how Canadians embrace the Winter and just put their skates on. I absolutely adore ice skating so it's certainly the right place for me!

frozen st lawrence river


Even though it was colder than -20, we still found some time to make snow angels. My coat and my boots protected me so well (I guess you could say I was just testing them out). I also had thermals underneath from Helly Hansen which are an absolute must have if you're going to a cold climate, they're so good I've been wearing them in the UK too. Do not go to Canada without some good gloves and some good thermals! I actually also think my North Face gloves saved me a few times too, I get the coldest hands in the world but my amazing gloves kept me so warm. 


montreal old port in winter



You could say the snowfall was pretty heavy. 


We headed up to the mountain to do some fun Winter activities 


You can see my Noood properly here on this photo. 




Before we started skiing, it was time to head back to La Banquise for the best poutine (Montreal's delicacy) 




I also went for a walk through my favourite square. 





the snow in Montreal was much heavier than in Toronto, thank god for my gloves, thermals and boots! 




We headed up Mont Royal


and once we got to the top of the mountain, we decided to toboggan down the hill 

tubing in montreal

it was ridiculously fun and took my mind off how cold it was

my North Face gloves have straps on so you can keep them around your wrists, this is so good because the amount of times my hands got too warm and I needed to take them off for just a second but then quickly put them back on again! They're a genius invention. 


We did some cross-country skiing 


and I had so much fun, the next day we did more cross country skiing! It was a little warmer (it was still like -20) so I changed into my gorgeous North Face ski jacket (they have the most amazing ranges) rather than my big parka - um how amazing is the colour? Lots of people on Instagram asked where it's from! I put my Helly Hansen thermals underneath my thick ASOS leggings too to keep me warm!

the north face yellow ski jacket



after a lot of sledging and a lot of cross country skiing, it was time to finish off the day at my favourite Italian, Il Focolaio, I couldn't not end my meal with my favourite crepe and a delicious pizza (no photo because I ate it so quickly haha!)

If that wasn't enough for you, you can watch my Toronto and Montreal Winter vlog below too!



So there we have it, to be honest, as much as I love the beach, I am more than happy to be ice skating and skiing in Canada too because I just love exploring different cultures and different climates - anything active and adventurous is a winner for me! Going somewhere cold? Make sure you stock up on The North Face and Helly Hansen - trust me, it's a massive investment! 

Have you ever visited anywhere so cold (it's colder than Mars in Montreal!), do you like skiing and all things Wintery or would you prefer a beach? Have you ever visited Canada?

Lots of love, Em x

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