Living in Canada: Coldest Cities with the Warmest People

June 9, 2021


  • Kelia Losa Reinoso

Canadians are renowned for their friendly and welcoming nature, often depicted as the epitome of politeness. While the stereotype might conjure images of people bundled up in parkas, shoveling snow with a smile, it's important to remember that the temperature doesn't define the warmth of the people. In fact, some of Canada's friendliest and most welcoming communities can be found in its coldest cities. Prepare to be surprised by the genuine hospitality and vibrant spirit that thrives even amidst the winter chill.

Canada's Coldest Capitals of Charm

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Winnipeg, in Manitoba, proudly wears the crown as Canada's coldest major city, with bone-chilling winters that test your limits. However, step beyond the parka and discover a city brimming with warmth. Winnipeg boasts a vibrant cultural scene fueled by a diverse population and a rich indigenous heritage.

From the world-renowned Winnipeg Folk Festival to the electrifying Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the city offers a calendar bursting with events. But the true heart of Winnipeg lies in its friendly and welcoming community. Locals are known for their genuine hospitality, making newcomers feel instantly at home, even amidst the winter freeze.

Iqaluit, Nunavut

Nestled in the heart of Canada's Arctic territory, Iqaluit embraces its unique position as the coldest capital city in the world. Here, the harsh climate demands resilience, but it also fosters a strong sense of community.

Locals support and look out for each other, creating a close-knit environment where everyone feels connected. Iqaluit's cultural richness is undeniable, with Inuit traditions and art deeply woven into the city's fabric.

From throat singing performances to intricate carvings, visitors are treated to a glimpse into a truly unique way of life. Despite the frigid temperatures, Iqaluit's welcoming spirit shines through, making it a surprisingly charming and fascinating destination. Find out more about living in Nunavut

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

St. John's, the vibrant capital of Newfoundland and Labrador, lays claim to the title of one of Canada's coldest provincial capitals. But don't let the temperatures fool you – this city overflows with warmth.

Newfoundlanders are renowned for their hospitality, readily welcoming visitors with open arms and a pot of tea. The city's lively music scene is legendary, with traditional Newfoundland music spilling out from pubs and filling the streets with infectious energy.

A strong sense of community permeates St. John's, making it a place where neighbors become friends and newcomers feel instantly included. So, bundle up and prepare to be charmed by the warmth of the people and the vibrant spirit of this unique city.

What Makes These Cold Communities so Special?

While the weather might initially deter some, these coldest Canadian cities offer a surprising wealth of unique experiences and activities that go far beyond the winter chill. Immerse yourself in vibrant cultural scenes, explore breathtaking landscapes, and engage in exciting winter sports, all while experiencing the genuine warmth and hospitality of these welcoming communities.

Pros & Cons of Canada's Coldest Capitals of Charm

City Pros Cons
Winnipeg, Manitoba Vibrant cultural scene (festivals, museums), diverse population, friendly community, affordable cost of living Extremely cold winters, limited outdoor activities in winter (except winter sports)
Iqaluit, Nunavut Unique Arctic culture and traditions, stunning natural beauty (Northern Lights), strong sense of community Extremely cold and isolated location, limited access to goods and services, high cost of living
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador Rich history and cultural heritage, lively music scene, friendly and welcoming locals, stunning coastal scenery Cold and often wet weather, limited job opportunities in some sectors, relatively isolated location

As you can see, each city boasts unique advantages and considerations. Ultimately, the "best" city for you depends on your individual priorities and preferences. If you thrive in a vibrant, diverse community and relish cultural experiences, Winnipeg might be your perfect match.

For those seeking an adventure in a remote and breathtaking location, Iqaluit could be an unforgettable experience. And if you're drawn to a city with a strong sense of community, rich history, and a lively music scene, St. John's might just steal your heart.

Making the Move: Embracing the Canadian Winter

Taking the plunge and moving to one of Canada's coldest cities requires preparation, but the rewards are plentiful. While warm clothing is essential, remember that Canadians have mastered the art of staying cozy during winter. Embrace the opportunity to experience new winter activities like ice skating, snowshoeing, and even dog sledding! These experiences not only provide a healthy dose of winter fun but also offer a chance to connect with the local community.

Speaking of the community, one of the biggest advantages of choosing these cities is their welcoming nature. Newcomers are often surprised by the outpouring of support and helpfulness from locals. Whether it's offering advice on navigating the winter or simply lending a friendly ear, residents are happy to help you feel at home.

Immigration and Visa Routes

Canada offers various immigration pathways, with the most popular being the Express Entry System. This points-based system considers factors like work experience, education, language skills, and age. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are another option, allowing provinces to nominate individuals based on their specific needs and labor market.

Remember, navigating immigration procedures can be complex. Seeking guidance from an RCIC is highly recommended to ensure a smooth and successful transition to your chosen Canadian city.


Is the Cost of Living Higher in These Cities Due to the Cold Weather?

The cost of living can vary depending on the city and your lifestyle. While heating costs might be higher in colder climates, other factors like housing and groceries can be more affordable compared to larger metropolitan areas.

How Difficult Is It to Adapt to the Cold Weather?

Adapting to the cold can take some time, but with proper clothing and preparation, it's certainly manageable. Most residents adjust well and even find ways to enjoy the winter season through outdoor activities and embracing the cozy winter lifestyle.

What Are Some Tips for Staying Warm in the Winter?

Layering your clothing is crucial! Investing in good-quality thermals, warm outerwear, and waterproof boots will go a long way. Additionally, staying hydrated and eating well can help your body regulate temperature more effectively.

Do These Cities Offer Any Support Programs for Newcomers?

Many Canadian cities, including those mentioned, have established programs and resources to help newcomers settle in. These can include language classes, cultural orientation workshops, and even job search assistance.