10 Ways Vancouverites Are Dealing With The Snow

Posted on December 15, 2016

The first week of December brought with it the opening of advent calendars, a flurry of new shoppers at the mall and Vancouver’s first proper snow dumping in years.

And the weather report says there is more snow to come!

As the rest of Canada laughs at us for freaking out over a couple of centimetres of white powder, we Vancouverites do our best to deal with the frosty forecast the only way we know how. Below are 10 uniquely Vancouver ways to handle the harsh new reality of a cold and snowy winter.


Okay, the rest of Canada may have a point. We do freak out a bit at the first sign of snow. But it’s for a good reason! We as a city are truly unprepared for snow.

The majority of Vancouver drivers don’t have snow tires, schools close, businesses shut down and power outages are rampant. So laugh all you want Alberta, but Vancouverites have a reason to worry when the weather channel calls for snow.

Get to the bus stop two hours early 

We know that snow means huge transit delays. Even if you live right on Broadway and only have to take the 99 five stops to get to work, you better show up at your bus stop at least an hour or two early if you have an important meeting to make. At least most employers are pretty understanding about snow-caused delays, probably because they are running late themselves!

Use an umbrella to protect against snowflakes 

We told you we were unprepared! Many Vancouverites don’t know how to handle snow falling directly onto them.

We’re used to shielding ourselves when the skies decide to open. So it has become a bit of a Vancouver trademark to see people milling about with open umbrellas when it’s snowing. In our defense, the snow here is usually quite wet and turns to rain pretty quickly so an umbrella can be useful.

Wear rain boots to walk in the snow 

Just like the umbrella, we like to pull out more rain gear when we hear it’s going to snow. We know it looks silly to be walking through snow mounds in our knee-high rubber Hunter boots. But they’re the only waterproof shoes we own!

Head to the slopes 

As much as a blanket of snow may stall the city, it also means that our beautiful mountains are ready for winter play. As soon as we can we head up to Grouse, Seymour, Cypress or even Whistler to hit the slopes and enjoy the snow the only place it’s meant to be. Race you to the chairlift!

Freak out on social media 

You know it’s snowing in Vancouver when #snowmageddon and #snowpocalypse are trending on Twitter and your entire social media feed is covered in photos of snow snapped from people’s front doors. We get it, Vancouver. We don’t all need to make a SnapChat story about it.

Run low on snow supplies

Unfortunately, because we’re not prepared for snow, not many of us have the snow supply essentials on hand. So after our first big snow dumping, many local stores were quickly sold out of shovels and ice-melting salt. If you don’t have yours yet, you might be out of luck. This also means adding even more time to your commute as you attempt to slowly skate or crawl across icy and snow covered sidewalks.  

Wear 3 layers of yoga pants 

We told you: we’re not prepared for snow! We don’t own long johns or anything like that to keep us warm. So we bundle up the best way we know how by layering our trusty yoga pants and leggings until our limbs are no longer numb from the cold.

Wish for rain again 

Most Vancouverites love snow…at first. And then we quickly realize why the rest of Canada hates it so much. We embrace the idea of a Winter Wonderland as we stare at it from our windows inside our warm homes. But trying to do anything outside our house when it’s snowing? Good luck! We’ll take the rain back, please!

Pray it lasts till Christmas 

If we’re going to get snow, it at least better last until December 25th so we can finally get that proper White Christmas we’ve always dreamed of!

Stay safe and warm, Vancouver! Longterm weather reports say we have a few more snow dumpings headed our way this winter.

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