Canada, positioned far to the north, has cold and unpredictable winter weather. Climates vary across the country depending on the area's location on relation of geographic features like mountains and oceans.
No matter where you are traveling in Canada in the winter, you will be most comfortable if you dress in layers. This will not only ensure that you are warm enough, but also allows you to remove layers if you get too warm from physical activity, changes in the weather, or entering a building.
Underneath everything else, wear a warm base layer that fits snugly, such as thermal long underwear shirts and pants. You can also wear other long-sleeved, tight-fitting shirts, such as a turtleneck top.
Another shirt should be added over the base layer for additional insulation. A sweater or sweat shirt works well. A hooded sweatshirt will also provide additional protection for your head. This layer will be comfortable for indoor wear, and can easily be shed if needed.
On the legs, long pants are a must. Look for jeans or slacks that are made from heavy fabrics; some jeans are even available with a flannel lining.
Your choice of a winter jacket is critical in a climate as cold as Canada's. Look for a coat that is well-lined and insulated. Canada's winter winds can be bitter, so features like wind-breaking fabric and button-down flaps covering zippers are advisable.
When choosing a coat, keep in mind that you will be wearing several layers underneath. Choose a garment that fits well, but has enough extra space inside for these layers to be worn comfortably. Wearing a coat that fits too tightly over other layers will restrict your movements.
Winter Weather Accessories
Once you are layered up, your extremities are still largely unprotected. Warm accessories are a necessity in Canada's cold winters. Make sure before you go out you put on gloves, a hat, and a scarf.
You should also wear well-insulated boots to protect your feet from the cold. The feet, and the toes in particular, are the area of the body most prone to frostbite and should always be insulated. If you do not have insulated boots, wear a thick pair of wool socks to keep your feet warm.