winter in nova scotiaWinter is just around the corner in Nova Scotia. In some Canadian provinces it has already arrived but thankfully we have been enjoying a most spectacular November.

This will be our 10th winter in Nova Scotia and from experience, we know that winter will coming roaring in like a lion so we start to prepare for the season early.

The reality of a Canadian winter is that the snow, ice and cold play havoc with our roads and conditions vary greatly across the country.

Certainly here in Nova Scotia, our winters are generally milder than other provinces but the combination of snow, ice and rain can cause slippery conditions and make driving pretty hairy. Which is why we embark upon one of the great Canadian traditions: changing over our summer tyres for winter tyres.

It’s an additional cost you may not have thought about when moving to Nova Scotia but if you want to get around safely in winter, you will need to consider purchasing a set of winter tyres when you buy your vehicle.

Plenty of people will wait for the first snowfall to put their winter tyres on their vehicle. We’ve been guilty of this and I wouldn’t recommend it because you will find it super difficult to find a garage to accommodate you and you’ll be slipping and sliding until you can get that appointment. This year we had our tyres changed over the first week of November and as our tyres are on rims, Rich can do this himself which makes it way more convenient (and cost effective!).

So when is the perfect time to put on your snow tyres?

According to experts, the recommendation for winter tyres is when the temperature consistently dips below 7 degress Celcius. It seems that summer tires are made of a different rubber that becomes stiff below 7 degrees and reduces the friction of the tyres. And as you will see from the graphic below, all-season tyres will not cut it, despite what people may tell you.winter nova scotia

If you’re looking to drive as safely as possible, plan to get your tyres changed over before the temperature starts dropping.

And, if you are new to Nova Scotia living, check Environment Canada for the daily temperature trends and plan ahead by booking your car into a garage well in advance. You’ll be very grateful you did.

Most Canadian cities have a high risk of being below 7C sometime in October, and it’s important to know when exactly that will be in order to be sure you’re driving safely. The graph below will give you an idea of the winter tire seasons throughout Canada.

winter in nova scotia









This October and November has been particularly warm for us in Nova Scotia but any day soon, the temperature will plummet and most of us be ready 😉

One final thing to note, only the province of Quebec has legal requirements for winter tyres, with the exception of some British Columbia highways. And because it’s not law….and possibly because of the additional cost, you will find plenty of people driving with summer or all-seasons. And that is when you need to have your wits about you!

As always, feel free to get in touch!

Life is good in Nova Scotia…even in the winter 🙂

Jane & Rich