Extreme cold puts a freeze on multiple NYE events throughout Canada
Montreal, Quebec City hold steady and say the weather won't affect New Year's Eve plans
Extreme cold weather is forcing cities around Canada to alter New Year's Eve celebrations.
With some places experiencing temperatures that feel like -30 C, many are shortening or reorganizing events in order to keep people warm while they ring in 2018.
Here's a list of some of those cities:
Charlottetown has found a way to hold an indoor New Year's celebration, one day after cancelling its annual outdoor plans.
On Friday, the city announced it was partnering with basketball team Island Storm to host the first-ever family tailgate party ahead of the team's New Year's Eve matinee game against the Halifax Hurricanes.
The city had said Thursday that its planned celebration in Victoria Park was being cancelled due to extreme cold. According to Environment Canada, the high on Sunday is expected to be -11 C, compared to an average high of -2.2 C.
The tailgate will begin at noon on Sunday, Dec. 31, in the Trade Centre building, which is connected to the Eastlink Centre on Kensington Road.
With Environment Canada forecasting a low of -26 C on Sunday, the City of Calgary's outdoor New Year's Eve celebrations slated for Olympic Plaza have been cancelled.
The Family Dance Party in the municipal building atrium will go ahead as planned, however, starting at 7 p.m. and ending with the Kid's Countdown with the Mayor at 9 p.m.
The Countdown Ball in Olympic Plaza will still drop at midnight, followed by the ENMAX Fireworks. The city is encouraging Calgarians to watch the display on television from the comfort and warmth of their homes.
"While we are sorry to cancel some of the events, we feel that public safety is paramount and was the most important factor in making this decision," the city said in a statement.
*Our <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yycNYE?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#yycNYE</a> celebrations are changing due to weather conditions* Join us 7-9 p.m. at the Municipal Building for a family dance party and countdown. The <a href="https://twitter.com/downtowncalgary?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@downtowncalgary</a> ball will still drop at midnight followed by the <a href="https://twitter.com/ENMAX?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ENMAX</a> fireworks. More info: <a href="https://t.co/dWVCKUPAfT">https://t.co/dWVCKUPAfT</a>—@cityofcalgary
Outdoor activities for New Year's Eve have been cancelled because of extreme cold, according to a post from city officials. Indoor activities will be held from 6-9 p.m. in the Federal Building and pedway.
The firewords will continue, but Edmontonians are encouraged to view them online. Anyone who steps outside to watch them is encouraged to dress for the weather.
The party meant to ring in 2018 in downtown Toronto has been shortened, city officials announced on Friday.
Nathan Phillips Square was ready to send off Canada's 150th year on Sunday night with a big outdoor bash featuring features public skating, live music and a fireworks display. But that plan is being reduced by the city over concerns for public health in the frigid temperatures.
Although a high of -8 C is expected Saturday, the brief respite from the cold won't last long. A high of -15 C is in store Sunday and a wind chill of -30 C will make it feel much colder, according to Environment Canada.
The federal weather agency predicts an extreme cold warning will be issued Sunday morning as another blast of Arctic air moves across the province plummeting temperatures well below the seasonal mark.
Some of the events planned for the New Year's Eve party on Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa — doubling as the ceremonial end to Canada's sesquicentennial celebrations — have been cancelled.
While some activities are still happening, such as public skating on the Canada 150 rink, most of the musical events have been called off. There are also some cancellations for the Saturday before New Year's Eve.
Public skating on the Hill, the tipi illumination and the winter lightscape shows, including the Christmas Lights Across Canada display, are still happening on both days. Fireworks planned for New Year's Eve on the Hill at midnight will also go ahead as planned.
A cold spell descended on the region earlier this week. A high of –19 C is expected Saturday with the wind chill making it feel more like –30 C. On Sunday the high is expected to be –20 C, with an overnight low of –24 C.
Montreal, Quebec City
Organizers in Montreal aren't giving in to the weather. The City of Montreal says planned New Year's Eve celebrations will go ahead on Dec. 31 at the Old Port.
Environment Canada has extended the timeline of an extreme cold weather warning for the area, saying that it could feel as cold as -38 C with the windchill through the new year and into next week.
The free event on Sunday, which includes live music and a fireworks display, also coincides with the final 375th anniversary celebrations.
Despite a slow start, organizer André Verreault told Radio-Canada that there is no plan to cancel any of the events in Quebec City.
He said that there will be warming stations where people will be able to stave off the cold.
Organizers of the New Year's Eve party at The Forks in Winnipeg said as of Friday they are going ahead with the plans despite the nasty weather.
"We're pretty used to having some pretty extreme temperatures — it happens every January and February with our programming — and unfortunately it's happening this year for New Year's Eve," said Chelsea Thomson, manager of marketing and communications with The Forks North Portage Partnership.
"For Winnipeggers, if we cancelled our plans for cold weather, I think we wouldn't do anything all winter long."
This year's fireworks show at The Forks will include a dance party at the festival rink (by the Winnipeg sign) with DJs performing, before a pyrotechnic show starts at 8 p.m. and the fireworks go off at midnight.
Thomson says those coming out for the activities should double-check The Forks' website to make sure everything is still going ahead as planned.
She says free horse-drawn wagon rides planned from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, may have to be cancelled or shortened if it's too cold for the horses.
And if it gets too cold for humans, Thomson says chilly folks can come into The Forks to warm up throughout the night.