How to survive a Quebec winter

If you live in Quebec, the winter season is no match for you. As Canada’s second-coldest province (behind Manitoba)1, Quebec sees an average of 400cm2 of snowfall each year. And while these conditions are perfect for the slopes and ice skating, it’s important to know how to protect your stuff so you can make it to spring. Below are 12 survival tips to help get you through this winter.

Winter survival tips for your car:

1. Before you get in the car in the morning, remove all snow that may have built up overnight – including snow on the roof and covering your lights! Start your car ahead of time to let the inside warm up – this will speed up the process of clearing the rest of the car. Also, a good quality ice scraper and brush will do the work for you – there’s adjustable ones available that can extend and contract, making it easy to store in your car.

Keep your ride in a car shelter? Proper maintenance will help it last longer. Remove snow build-up with a broom or roof rake, and never leave you’re vehicle with it’s engine running inside the shelter.

Did you know? Under the SAAQ’s Highway Safety Code Opens in new window , if snow or ice from the top of your car hits another car’s windshield, you could be held responsible.

2. Avoid using cruise control on slippery roads, and give yourself enough space for your winter tires to grip the road – these are simple preventative measures to take to avoid fish-tailing or fender-benders.

3. During winter months, the roads are more prone to accidents. To stay safe, work out a plan if you’re ever stuck roadside. Prepare a winter-specific emergency kit complete with a warm blanket, a traction aid and a small shovel for days with heavy snowfall. Know who to call should you need to file a claim, and keep a phone charger in your car.

Did you know? Not sure what to include in your emergency kit? We have an emergency kit checklist and a roadside accident checklist to help you stay prepared on the roads this season.

4. To keep the inside of your car in great shape throughout winter, invest in quality, rubber floor mats to keep moisture out and to avoid salt stains to the carpet.

5. Keep your gas tank full – the more weight in your car the more traction you’ll be able to get when driving on those pesky slippery roads. It also saves you from having to fill up in -20 degree weather on the commute home.

6. Proper windshield care is key this season! Replace a cracked windshield to avoid it giving way or breaking with the cold weather. Avoid pouring hot water on your windshield to prevent any thermal shock from happening, which could cause it to break.

Winter survival tips for your home:

1. Prevent frozen pipes by trying to keep your garage doors closed (if there are water supply pipes in your garage), or run faucets with warm water, every once and a while, to relieve any pressure in the pipes during cold weather.

Did you know? If you’re travelling, keep your house at a lower heat (around 10 degrees) to prevent frozen pipes while still saving on hydro. Ask a neighbour to occasionally check the temperature, and let your insurer know if you’ll be gone for more than 14 days.an extended period of time.

2. Know what to do in the event of a power outage. If your power goes out, first Call Hydro Quebec Opens in new window to report the outage, try and use flashlights over candles to reduce the risk of a fire, and unplug any devices to avoid short circuits when the power comes back on.

Did you know? If you’re using a generator, under the Quebec Construction Code, it must be installed by a master electrician to avoid electrocution, fire, or short circuits.

3. If you’re using your fireplace to keep warm, or even if you just like the ambiance of a fire buring, it’s important to regularly clean it out and vacuum any remaining debris to prevent house fires. If you’re using a gas fireplace, it’s also important to keep the vents and the fan are clean and in good shape.

4. Set If you use space heaters, remember to Sset timers on any space heaters that you may be using. Sometimes they’re handy if warm air doesn’t circulate as well in your house, but by putting a timer on them – or buying ones with an overheat sensor – you will help keep energy bills low and reduce the risk of house fires.

5. This may be a given, but salt and clear your walkway and driveway. It’ll save you and any guests from slipping and falling on any unforeseeable ice.

Did you know? You could be held liable for any injuries due to guests slipping on ice or snow. Your home policy should cover you for this, but it’s always best to properly shovel and de-ice your driveway and walkway.

6. Check up on the caulking around windows and doors to ensure you’re not losing any heat! This will also help keep your hydro bills down.


Bundle up this winter. Insure your home and auto with us and save up to 15%.