Embracing Winter


Snow-covered trees against a brilliant blue sky.

Winter: do you love it or loathe it?  Snowy days and frosty nights make us want to curl up and stay inside.  The weather can put a strain on our physical and mental well-being.  A lot of us get the January Blues: low energy, restlessness, and grumpy or sad moods.  To beat the winter blahs researchers and health professionals recommend activity, getting enough vitamin D, and socializing to give us a boost.

What better way to conquer the cold than to go outside and have some fun?  This time of year, in every region across the province, winter carnivals are happening.  Many of these family-friendly festivals offer wheelchair accessibility too.  Check out the Ontario Travel website – it’s a great source for searching events and accommodations.  Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • The Snofest Winter Carnival in Peterborough, runs from January 6 to 29.  Last year in 2017, twenty-three of the thirty-four events were wheelchair accessible, making it one of the best accommodating carnivals.
  • Chill out at the Icewine Festival, January 26 to 28, in the Niagara Falls region and bask in the glow of the Winter Festival of Lights until the end of January.
  • The Barrie Winterfest, February 3 to 4, the Kirkland Lake Winter Carnival, February 15 to March 4, and the Dorset Snowball Winter Carnival, February 16 to 17, offer wheelchair accessible parking and accessible public washrooms.  Contact the organizers to confirm the range of services they provide.
  • Last but not least, the 40th edition of Winterlude in Ottawa-Gatineau, runs from February 2 to 19.  This year’s event coincides with the 2018 Winter Olympic Games so you can expect some sport-themed activities along with free concerts and loads of winter fun.  Don’t forget to try a Beavertail pastry and skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway.  The universal accessibility includes ramps to the Skateway, accessible heated change facilities, and accessible portable toilets.  While you’re in Ottawa, register for a spot to skate on the Canada 150 Rink.  Wheelchairs and strollers are permitted, and you’ll need a CSA-approved helmet.
Ottawa Tourism

Rideau Canal Skateway. Photo: Ottawa Tourism



With all this outdoor activity, you’re sure to beat the blahs.  Let’s embrace winter!  After all, spring isn’t until March 20.


Wheelchair in Motion’s accessible transportation rentals are available daily, for weekends and more.  With van rentals available in the Greater Toronto Area and most areas of Ontario including Ottawa, we are here to assist with your accessible transportation needs.  Contact us if you have any questions about accessible transportation van rentals.


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