Canadians have a unique relationship with winter — the season that tends to define us internationally.

For the majority of the country, winter brings snow, ice, cold winds, freezing temperatures, and weather that’s generally nasty.  And yet in spite of – or perhaps, because of – that fact, we seem to have compensated for living in The Great White North by giving the places in which we live festive names to keep our spirits cheery during the winter season.

Festive Towns

Let’s take a look at some of our Canadian towns that may have a bit more holiday spirit than others.

While we can’t lay claim to The North Pole – a place somewhere north of Resolute, Nunavut, which actually lies under the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean – we can stake a claim to Christmas Island. This area is a tiny community on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, that has a post office, a firehall, yet, sadly, not an elf to be found – although there’s no doubt a jolly guy named Nick wandering about.

Reindeer Station, on the other hand, is a tiny hamlet in the Northwest Territories. This town was established in 1932 as the headquarters of The Reindeer Project, which introduced reindeer farming into northern Canada. Given the distance between Christmas Island and Reindeer Station, it made sense for Santa to consolidate his holiday manufacturing operation at the North Pole.

Candyville, Ontario, is a tiny hamlet located in southwestern Ontario. There’s no chocolate factory in Candyville, but if you drive north you’ll find Candyville Mart, which serves authentic handmade pizza. Not chocolate, but almost as good.

Canada also boasts towns called Holly Park, Ontario, Gift Lake, Alberta, Garland, Manitoba, Noëlville, Ontario and Stocking Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador. You can’t have a festive season without a feast, so you might want to visit Cranberry Junction in Kelowna, British Columbia and Turkey Point, Ontario.

Winter Lives Here

There are also lots of Canadian towns and communities with wintery names.

Snowflake, Manitoba is a once-thriving community in the Municipality of Pembina, close to the Canada/U.S. border. When the railway line into Snowflake was abandoned, the writing was on the wall for this tiny village; the school closed in 1992, the church in 1994, and its war memorial got moved to La Rivière in 2006. On a happier note, Snowflake is the birthplace of NHLer Justin Falk, who skated for Minnesota, Columbus, New York, Ottawa and Buffalo.

There’s Sled Lake, Saskatchewan, Snowball, Ontario, and, of course, Winterland, Newfoundland and Labrador, a town considered to be a bedroom community of Marystown – which may or may not have a manger for rent each December.

And speaking of historical families, there’s also L’Enfant-Jésus, Quebec, a former parish that amalgamated with another village in the late 1980s to form the municipality of Vallée-Jonction, Quebec, and the village of Marie Joseph, Nova Scotia, a small fishing community.

Regardless of how you celebrate the holidays, we hope you spend it safe, warm and happy.