Just when I think I'm a seasoned Canada traveller, I am humbled in the face of a relatively routine Quebec snow storm.
Looking forward to a few days on Quebec ski hills, our family loaded skis, boots and too many miscellaneous bags into our minivan and headed east from Toronto to Mont-Ste-Anne.
Ontario's mild winter conditions for the last two years had lulled us into a a false state of security and had not tested our Toyota Sienna's mettle in frigid weather. Sure, we can cram 6 kids into our back two rows, but can we make it up a mild incline in Quebec in February? Turns out, no. We had to re-route our path across the province to avoid steep hills ever since we failed to make it up the hill heading out of our first lodge south of Montreal.
And in Quebec, snow tires are mandatory for all cars on the road, so most of the cars around you are equipped for the weather and don't seem to slow down a bit: makes for a nerve-wracking drive for the chumps from Ontario.
With all the snow Quebec has been getting over the last week, we may have been smarter to rent a four-wheel drive for a vacation and leave the minivan for camping trips.