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Looking for winter activities in Ontario?


Embrace what winter has to offer
Embrace what winter has to offer

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

February 3, 2012 — A mild winter so far has some Ontarians convinced that the season is over. Tourism operators say there's still plenty of winter fun to be had, you just have to look a little further than the city.

Upwards of 30 cm of snow is on the ground in some places
Upwards of 30 cm of snow is on the ground in some places

A mild winter and lack of snow in southern Ontario is leaving some tourism operators frustrated.

"There's tons of snow and lots to do not very far north of Toronto, but because the winter has been so mild, people in southern Ontario just aren't thinking winter activities," says Tanya McCready with Winterdance Dogsled Tours in Haliburton.

"It's always a challenge for those of us to the north and I think this year has been even more extreme because the weather has been so mild."

Despite the fluctuating temperatures however, there is still lots of snow on the ground in several places.

"Recent snow squall activity brought upwards of 20 cm of snow to parts of northern Ontario last week," says Gerald Cheng, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "That combined with colder temperatures has allowed the snow to stick around despite what you may see in the metropolitan areas. There definitely is snow, and lots of it."

It's a great time for outdoor activities without bone-chilling temperatures
It's a great time for outdoor activities without bone-chilling temperatures

Jack Lynch with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture says all of the alpine areas across the province are fully open and cross country centres in the snow belts have their full terrain open as well.

"So if you can get to the snow, it's wonderful because you're not running into these bone-chilling -25, -30 degree temperatures."

Lynch adds that you can avoid dressing in extra layers or worrying about frostbite while partaking in winter activities because of the warmer weather.

"Just think back to your childhood and what you used to love to do in the winter whether it be building snow forts or going tobogganing or the bigger sports like skiing and dog sledding and snowmobiling," says McCready.

"Really all you have to do is drive two to three hours out of the city and you can do it all. I think the message that all tourism operators are trying to get out is just because it's above zero in Toronto, it's not in the rest of Ontario, so come and enjoy winter."

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