10 Lesser-Known Winter Sports Found In Canada

FasterSkierMay 1, 2022
You could enjoy a sunny sled dog ride just like this with Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours (Photo: Travel Alberta)

It comes as no surprise that The Great White North that is Canada plays host to multiple winter sports as the country experiences plenty of ice and snow. One simply has to find some use for all of that snow and, given that people just love competition, what better use?

There are plenty of winter sports Canadians engage in during the year’s colder months and some of them are easily recognizable. Ice hockey is, of course, the most popular, with the NHL the biggest hockey league in the world and commanding attention from just about everywhere, from enthusiasts to bettors looking to take advantage of Ontario sportsbooks bonuses.

But there are many other lesser-known winter sports that are just about as entertaining. And they are the ones we’re going to pay attention to in this list. So keep reading to find out how many of them surprise you.


Dog sledding

Dog sledding is a competition that involved packs of dogs being strapped together and pulling sleds through the snow. This used to be a mode of transportation a very long time ago as Canada’s indigenous folk found another use for the canines apart from being pets or protectors.

It’s now a recreational activity as it’s a lot easier to get around.


Ice fishing

You already know what fishing is. Ice fishing is exactly that, with the only difference being that the body of water from which the fish are being sought is frozen. The fishing is done through an opening in the ice, so it is more complicated than regular fishing, as well as a lot colder.



Snowshoeing is another long-ago useful practice that has become recreational. It started out as a way for people to walk around in areas that had experienced deep snowfall but that too has been made easier by advanced years and the term is more recreational than anything else now.



Skijoring is like dog sledding, but with skis instead of sleds. The pulling force isn’t necessarily applied by a dog either, it could be a horse, vehicle or, if you fancy, a snowshoe rabbit.


Sledding & Tobogganing

These aren’t so rare and are pretty popular in Canada. If you’re wondering what the difference is, it’s in the type of sled. Sleds have runners but toboggans do not. Similar sports such as bobsled, luge, and skeleton feature in the Winter Olympics.


Ice Climbing

Ice climbing is as dangerous as it sounds and it could be as hard to watch as it is to do. This should only be undertaken by persons with the right training and equipment.

This activity involves climbing anything icy, from ledges to frozen waterfalls to rock walls covered in ice. It’s not for the faint of heart and is mostly attempted by adrenaline junkies.

Ice isn’t simply ice when it comes to climbing. Climbers put them into two groups, alpine ice and water ice. The former is what’s formed in a mountainous environment and typically calls for an approach. It’s mostly attempted in order to get to the top of a mountain. The latter is found on cliffs or other outcroppings under water flows.

Alpine ice is considered to be frozen precipitation while water ice is a frozen flow of water.

There’s also mixed climbing, which involves both ice and rock climbing as some stretches of rock could be exposed on certain surfaces.



Snowkiting is like kiteboarding and kitesurfing as you’d have to use a wind-propelled kite to glide through the snow. While it’s practiced on snow and ice, not water, you’d need the same type of equipment used for snowboarding or skiing.



The name sort of says it all here; sailing a boat over ice, right? Yes, definitely. But not any boat, these boats have thin metal runners beneath them and one of them controls direction. They harness the power of the wind for propulsion and can reach speeds of up to 200 km/h.



Snowmobiling isn’t only done for sport. It’s sort of like riding a motorbike through the snow, but one with skis beneath instead of wheels. Snowmobiles are a common form of transportation in Canada during the winter. The vehicles are also used for hunting and trapping.



Curling is a pretty popular winter sport in Canada. We’d dare say it’s pretty big – it’s an Olympic sport after all.

This team affair requires players to slide stones across the ice towards a target, referred to as a “house,” so as to keep them close to the center in an attempt to achieve the highest score.


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