Winter Wellness in Hawkesbury

January 30, 2024

Are you thinking of moving to Hawkesbury, but winter conditions are making you hesitate? Or maybe you’re new here and want to learn more about winter. If so, this article is for you! You’ll find essential tips on how to adapt to the cold season and on how to appreciate all it has to offer while maintaining your well-being. You’ll also get to read about an immigrant’s first winter experience in Hawkesbury. Feel free to revisit this page as needed!


As soon as the cold weather arrives, it’s time to break out the warm clothes and take full advantage of the activities on offer in Hawkesbury and the surrounding area! Children make snowmen and go tobogganing as early as the first snowfall, but other activities open up once the season has properly set in.

Ice skating:

There are three ice rinks in the city, two outdoor and one indoor. There’s an outdoor skating rink at Cadieux Park (454 Kitchener Street) and another at Larocque Park (470 Abbott Street). The indoor skating rink is located at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex; you can check out the schedule for free skating on the city’s website.

Rideau Canal, the world’s largest natural skating rink, is a little less than an hour away. It usually opens in late January, depending on conditions, and offers skate rentals.

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing:

In Vankleek Hill Village, just 15 minutes from Hawkesbury, you’ll find an 18 km cross-country ski and snowshoe trail with beautiful views of landscapes and historical sites. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are perfect activities for fans of the great outdoors. Visit their website for more information.

Alpine skiing:

If you prefer alpine skiing or snowboarding, there are mountains to conquer just an hour away, such as Mont Rigaud, Sommet Saint-Sauveur and Mont-Tremblant.

Ice fishing:

Once the surface is sufficiently frozen, the Ottawa River becomes the ideal spot for ice fishing. You’ll see little huts spring up here and there, and even small villages form. You can catch bass, pike and sturgeon. Note that you must obtain a sport fishing licence from the Hawkesbury ServiceOntario office and comply with provincial regulations.

If you’re considering this activity, we’d like to stress the importance of always being cautious when venturing out on the river in winter.


The Prescott and Russell Recreational Trail provides 380 km of varied trails for snowmobilers. To use the trails, you must obtain a trail permit, hold a valid driver’s licence, be insured and have a registered vehicle.


Check the weather:

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the weather forecast throughout the season. Websites such as or keep you informed of expected conditions. Access to forecasts will help you prepare for road conditions and inform how best to dress. No surprises please!

Time change:

Winter days seem shorter, which can affect mood and energy levels. To make the most of daylight, Ontario follows Eastern Time, which means we move back an hour on the first Saturday night of November. This change is reversed on the second Saturday night of March. Mark your calendar!

Road conditions:

In winter, road conditions are more demanding and can be challenging for drivers. Low temperatures lead to ice and snow, creating slippery surfaces, reducing visibility and making travel more difficult. Extra vigilance is a must!

Drivers are encouraged to drive accordingly, use suitable tires and stay informed of weather forecasts in order to take preventive measures, limit their movements and see to their own safety and that of others on the roads.

Snow removal:

In the event of snowfall, the Town of Hawkesbury and the United Counties of Prescott and Russell will clear the roads of snow and apply salt and sand. You can check the city website for snow removal priorities. If you’re responsible for snow removal on your property, it’s important to follow the rules: don’t push snow onto fire hydrants, sidewalks, ditches, the street and other private property. In addition, to allow for proper snow removal, parking on the street is prohibited between midnight and 7 a.m., from November 15 to April 15.


Ahmed Mejri is a young man from Ariana, Tunisia, who moved to Hawkesbury to meet new people and experience a different culture. He has been working at the Déjà Vu restaurant as a cook since he arrived in April 2023.

Experiencing his first winter, he says the cold was his biggest challenge, but that his body got used to it quickly, and that the ease of circulation and proximity to shops made for a pleasant time.

He also mentions being dazzled by winter landscapes and that he can’t help but appreciate this beautiful season. Ever since his arrival, he’s been impressed with the community’s altruism and the wealth of services it offers.

Ahmed adds that he hopes that the adaptation period can go as smoothly as possible for new arrivals. He advises that people moving to Hawkesbury who aren’t used to the cold waste no time in getting warm clothes. He adds that mental preparation is key to accepting and better coping with winter:

“It’s important to appreciate the little things. When it’s snowing, I immediately go for a walk. Those are the things that make me enjoy winter here.”


Items to make life easier:

While it may seem overwhelming, there are ways to keep things simple and make the most of winter. At home, it’s a good idea to keep a bag of ice salt or sand to keep the path to your car clear of ice. A snow shovel is also a must for clearing snow from any areas you may need.

As for your clothes, it’s important to be prepared. Warm clothing, such as a winter coat, gloves or mittens, boots, a tuque, a scarf, snow pants, good socks and thick or woollen base layers are all essential to keep warm.

Under provincial law, installing winter tires on your car isn’t mandatory. However, it’s strongly recommended that your vehicle be equipped with them from October 1 to April 30. Winter tires considerably increase your safety on the road during this period. In fact, there are tires to suit every season. You can discuss the best option for you with an expert at any of the city’s garages. It’s also handy to keep a snow broom and scraper in your vehicle to clear snow and ice from windows and other areas.

Taking care of yourself:

When it comes to your personal well-being, there are several tricks for taking care of your physical and mental health. Get out in the fresh air with your outerwear whether for leisure activities or simply for a walk. This practice has proven benefits for your morale and energy levels. During these months, it’s especially important to maintain a balanced diet and take vitamin supplements such as B, C or D to bolster your immune system. If you have flu symptoms, don’t hesitate to stock up on cough drops and cough syrup, all of which are available in pharmacies. The air is generally dryer over the course of winter. It’s good practice to get a humidifier and to keep your whole body moisturized with cream and lip balm.


You’re not the only one who has to adapt. So do pets! For short-haired animals, it’s best to dress them in a coat and boots when it’s cold outside. When you get home after a walk with them, take the time to clean their snow, salt and any other residue off their paws. Your pet will thank you!

A few tips:

  • When there’s a storm, remember to raise your wipers to make scraping the ice off your windshield easier.
  • Whenever possible, start your car in advance so the inside can warm up before you get going.
  • Don’t forget to dress according to the weather. Appropriate clothing is essential to protect you from the cold.
  • After spending time outdoors, cook yourself up a hot comforting meal. There’s nothing better, and it’s one of winter’s greatest pleasures!

In short, try to enjoy winter instead of resisting it. In Hawkesbury, you can maximize your winter wellness, and enjoy everything it has to offer. Finding something that suits you is just a step outside your comfort zone. On that note, happy winter!

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