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Why Winter Tires Canada

Why Should I Buy Winter Tires in Canada?

Winter tires offer the best protection against true winter conditions, such as ice, snow, and slush.


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Winter tires offer the best protection against true winter conditions, such as ice, snow, and slush. Unlike all-season tires, which, despite the name are really only suitable for spring, summer, and fall weather in most parts of Canada, winter tires are specifically engineered to drive in sub-zero temperatures and extreme winter conditions. In fact, winter tires perform best in temperatures of 7 degrees Celsius or below. Some of the features of this tire that make them particularly suited to winter driving in Canada are the soft tread rubber that they’re made of, which allows them to remain flexible in freezing temperatures, as well as high-density sipes, biting edges, and deeper tread blocks. These three features are unique to winter tires and they are critical to the tire’s ability to excavate slush and ice from the contact patch and grip onto snow. Together, the various design features of winter tires ensure better traction, stability, handling, and cornering in any kind of winter weather. Ultimately, winter tires are the superior choice for places in Canada that experience sub-zero temperatures, snow, and slush in winter (and let’s be honest, that’s most of Canada).

Winter Tires vs. All-Season Tires in Canada

Winter tires vs. all-season tires is an age-old debate, especially among Canadians. Many people view all-season tires as being the more convenient, cost-effective option. While the former claim may be true, the cost-effective one usually isn’t. Installing winter tires may cost more up-front, but in the long run, they will ensure your all-season tires last far longer than they ever would if you decided to use them in winter conditions they weren’t meant for. The main difference between winter and all-season tires is their design features, each of which was chosen for specific temperatures and weather. As mentioned above, winter tires are designed to be driven in freezing temperatures and winter weather, such as ice and snow. Meanwhile, all-season tires are meant to be driven in temperatures of 7 degrees Celsius and above and in a wide range of mild weather, such as sun and rain. All-season tires feature a hard tread compound for durability and a fine tread pattern to dispel water. While these features work well in spring, summer, and fall conditions, they become a liability in winter. The fine tread pattern is unable to provide traction on snow or ice and the hard tread compound seizes up, increasing the likelihood of hydroplaning or skidding.

Are Winter Tires Required in Canada?

There are only two provinces in Canada where winter tires are required: Quebec and British Columbia. In Quebec, winter tires are mandatory province-wide between December 1st and March 15th each year, and failure to comply can lead to a hefty fine. In BC, the law works a little differently. Winter tires are not mandated province-wide, but rather on specific highways prone to heavy snowfall. For these highways, winter tires are mandatory from October 1st until either March 31st or April 30th, depending on whether the highway goes through a mountainous pass or not. While winter tires are not legally required in any other Canadian province, such as Ontario, Manitoba, or Alberta, they are recommended for drivers in these provinces. Some regions even offer incentives to motivate drivers to install winter tires on their vehicles. For example, Ontario offers lower insurance premiums for drivers with winter tires, and the Manitoba government will give you a low-interest loan to purchase winter tires if you decide to do so. Further, while winter tires are also not mandatory in any of Canada’s Atlantic provinces, a report found that 94 percent of drivers in the Maritimes and Newfoundland and Labrador use winter tires.

When Should I Change to Winter Tires in Canada?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not as simple as you might think. Though you might be tempted to choose a date and swap your all-season or summer tires for winter tires on this date annually, that could be a mistake. The reason for this is because fall weather is extremely unpredictable in most parts of Canada, and while it might be warm until November one year, snow could come as early as mid-October the next. That is why we highly recommend changing your winter tires based on the temperature. Once you reach an average daily temperature of 7 degrees Celsius or below, it’s time to install winter tires on your car. Similarly, leaving winter tires on well into the spring is also a mistake, as warmer temperatures can degrade the tires, making them less safe and stable to drive. Thus, when the average daily temperature reaches 7 degrees Celsius or above, it’s time to put your all-season or summer tires back on your vehicle. Unless you live in Quebec or BC where winter tires are mandatory between set dates, you’ll generally be installing your winter tires in October or November and taking them off in March or April.

Shop Winter Tires at Tire Warehouse

Shopping for winter tires in Canada has never been easier thanks to Tire Warehouse. Tire Warehouse has been in business for over 40 years, and during this time, we have built a reputation for being the #1 online tire provider in the country. Our extensive tire inventory includes a wide selection of winter tires, with products to suit all makes and models of vehicles. From Bridgestone Blizzak tires to Michelin Alpin tires, we have endless options for Canadian drivers. Plus, our website couldn’t be simpler to navigate. All you have to do is enter the tire size you require or the make and model of your vehicle, and pages of tailored results will appear. Though we’re headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, we can ship out tires all across Canada, including to rural regions and the Territories. Our shipping fee is just $5 per tire and our delivery times are typically between 2 and 4 days. We even offer a mobile installation service, where an automotive professional will install and balance your new tires on the spot. For convenience, unbeatable prices, and quality tires, look no further than Tire Warehouse. Contact us today to speak to one of our in-house experts and learn more about our winter tire offerings.

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