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How to Get Ready for the First Snow Fall

Although fall is often considered to be a time of transition, the first snowflakes usually end up falling sometime during the three-month season.

Therefore, it’s important to prepare mentally, but also to ensure your car is ready to take on our northern country’s unpredictable roads.

Here are a few tips to help you get your car ready for the winter season—and everything that comes with it.

Change your tires

There is no Canada-wide law that regulates when to switch from summer to winter tires: the rules may be different depending on which province or territory you call home.


Quebec is the strictest province when it comes to changing your tires. All Quebec drivers must equip their car with winter tires by December 1 and have to keep them until March 15 inclusively.

Elsewhere in Canada

Considering that there are often snowfalls in November and that storms can surprise you in early December, it’s important to be think ahead.

Other Canadian provinces and territories don’t necessary have laws regarding tire changes, but they all have their own particularities.

For example, in New Brunswick, it is mandatory for all school buses to be equipped with winter tires.

The use of studded tires is managed according to different rules: when and how long you can drive with them differs from one province to the next. Please refer to your province’s Department of Transport to find out when you are allowed to use your studded tires.

It is still highly recommended that Canadian drivers install winter tires on their car when the mercury dips below 7° C.

Adapt your driving

Although you may take a little more time hitting the brakes when faced with a yellow traffic light in summer, know that you’ll have fewer seconds to do so in winter. Moreover, braking abruptly risks causing a lot more harm than simply making your tires screech.

The sun starting to set in the late afternoon is also an important sign that winter is well on its way. Changing the time at the beginning of November is helpful as far as getting used to having less daylight: you’ll need to be more careful and alert on the road!

Check your winter car kit

Don’t wait until there is snow on the ground before heading to your closest mass retailer and ensuring you have everything you need to get through the season!

A few snowflakes can quickly turn into a storm, so take advantage of the few weeks left before winter really hits to take stock of what you already have, and make a shopping list of essentials you may be missing:

  • a shovel to keep in the trunk;
  • a snow brush;
  • an ice scraper;
  • an emergency kit;
  • etc.

Winter is just around the corner, so they’re bound to come in handy in no time!

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