Best time to visit Quebec

Ice Canoeing in Quebec

Try this if you are brave enough and have high cold resistance

Ice Canoeing
Ice Canoeing

Imagine canoeing through the ice and freezing water. This one-of-a-kind activity is definitely for the bravest who are not afraid of the challenges of weather and nature.

Every February an ice canoeing competition take place on St. Lawrence River in Quebec City during the legendary Carnaval de Québec. Although, you can try it by yourself at any time during the long Canadian winter.

St. Lawrence River is the only place in the world that can offer favourable conditions for ice canoeing, with its huge pieces of ice and dynamic water. Participants don't have to be professional athletes but definitely need some training beforehand to complete the race.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Quebec City for ice canoeing?

Ice canoeing enthusiasts should plan to visit Quebec City for the activity from mid-December to early March when the St. Lawrence River freezes. The Carnaval de Québec in February offers a championship, but anyone else may try the activity at this time. The general temperature during the winter season in Quebec City averages between -5°C and -17°C; it is thus important to wear adequate warm waterproof clothing to avoid hypothermia. Show more

Where exactly on the St. Lawrence River does the ice canoeing competition take place?

Quebec City celebrates the ice canoeing competition annually on the St. Lawrence River on the Ice Bridge section that separates Lévis and Quebec City. The 8-kilometer stretch of the river provides a challenging course that can be crossed by the participants. Crossing the St. Lawrence and returning to the starting point forms part of the competition on the Ice Bridge section of the river. Show more

How cold does it get during the winter season in Quebec City?

Quebec City experiences the coldest temperatures in January and February during winter season. The average temperature at this time is between -5°C and -17°C, sometimes as low as -30°C. The recommended items of clothing to carry while visiting Quebec City at this time include warm waterproof clothing, hats, gloves, and socks to avoid being affected by hypothermia. Show more

What kind of training is necessary for someone who wants to participate in the ice canoeing?

To canoe through the water on ice, participants must possess basic canoeing experience and a certain fitness level. The preparations include executing skills such as using an outrigger, steering with a pole, and being in excellent shape. It is recommended to perform cardio exercises and other training routines such as stretching and strength-building workouts before the actual race day, to prevent muscle fatigue and eventual injury. Show more

Are there any safety precautions that one should take before trying ice canoeing in Quebec?

Ice canoeing always requires that you equip yourself with proper gear and exercise caution during the activity. Taking these precautions is essential to ensure safety during the activity. Participants must ensure to have the correct information regarding the weather on that day, wear a personal floatation device, and carry relevant survival gear. During the activity, effective communication is essential among team members to avoid collisions with debris or the river rocks and maintain maximum safety. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin