Perception of Winter in Canada: A Comparison Between Edmonton (Alberta) and Montreal (Quebec)

TitlePerception of Winter in Canada: A Comparison Between Edmonton (Alberta) and Montreal (Quebec)
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2006
AuthorsToupin, J.
Conference Name74th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 74th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 2006
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationLas Cruces, NM
KeywordsCanada, winter, Canadian Rockies, negative perception of winter, urban, age

Canada, the second largest country in the world, is known namely for its large amount of snowfall, as well as the roughness of its cold winters. From coast to coast, more than 100 cm of snow (close to 1000 cm in certain areas of the Canadian Rockies) is expected to fall every winter. Southern parts of the country may easily see winter stretching over five months. Such a scenario raises the question on how Canadians really feel about winter, snow and cold; this is precisely what this paper examines. Although physical aspects of winter have been studied at length, very little has been done in the field of social climatology, particularly in Canada. In order to verify two major hypotheses: does age, and local winter climate influence how Canadians feel towards winter? Overall, 300 residents (about half of this total in Edmonton, Alberta and the rest in Montreal, Quebec) were interviewed about their perception of winter. This study reveals that there is indeed an urban perception of winter (rather quite negative) that is, to a degree, a function of age (winter is perceived to be worse as people get older) and minor differences according to local winter climates.