Community & Current Events

Groundhog Day in Canada

By: Robin Stevenson

Author: Canadian Living

Community & Current Events

Groundhog Day in Canada

By: Robin Stevenson

Will it be an early spring or six more weeks of winter?

According to folklore, if a groundhog sees his shadow on Groundhog Day, he’ll beat a hasty retreat into his burrow indicating six more weeks of winter. If he doesn't, Canadians will be treated to an early spring. (Fingers crossed.) A recent study found groundhogs only have an accuracy rate of 37 percent over the past 35 years (based on Canadian weather patterns), but we all still wait for the word on the weather every February 2.

So who exactly are we pinning our hopes on?

Wiarton Willie
Canada's most celebrated groundhog has been the centre of celebrations in Wiarton, Ont., since 1956. Now almost 10,000 people gather each February 2 to witness this albino rodent’s big prediction. Early spring supporters are encouraged to come dressed in their brightest Hawaiian duds while winter fans wear black and white.
Follow Willie on Twitter @willieofficial

Fred la Marmotte
Named for the pioneers (many named Alfred) that founded and developed the Village of Val d’Espoir in Quebec, Fred or Freddy makes his appearance in front of hundreds of fans gathered outside of a church. Fred has been part of the bigger Carnaval of Val d’Espoir since 2010.

Shubenacadie Sam
Pronounced shoo-ben-ack-a-dee, Sam lives at the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park in Nova Scotia making him the first weather predicting groundhog in North America to emerge on Groundhog Day.

And how is his track record? According to his site, his predictions are always accurate, whether the weather agrees is inconsequential.
Follow Sam on Twitter @ScubenacadieSam

Winnipeg Willow
The new woodchuck on the block, Willow made her first prognostication in 2012. Willow lives at Winnipeg’s Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. UPDATE: Sadly, Winnipeg Groundhog Day has been cancelled in 2016, due to the death of Winnipeg Willow on January 29, 2016. 

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Canadian groundhogs to watch

Scubenacadie Sam

Canada's most celebrated groundhog has been the centre of celebrations in Wiarton, Ont., since 1956. Now almost 10,000 people gather each February 2 to witness this albino rodent’s big prediction. Early spring supporters are encouraged to come dressed in their brightest Hawaiian duds while winter fans wear black and white.

By: Robin Stevenson Source: Courtesy Scubenacadie Sam Credits: Courtesy Scubenacadie Sam

Canadian groundhogs to watch

Wiarton Willie

Canada's most celebrated groundhog has been the centre of celebrations in Wiarton, Ont., since 1956. Now almost 10,000 people gather each February 2 to witness this albino rodent’s big prediction. Early spring supporters are encouraged to come dressed in their brightest Hawaiian duds while winter fans wear black and white.

By: Robin Stevenson Source: Courtesy Wiarton Willie Credits: Courtesy Wiarton Willie

Canadian groundhogs to watch

Winnipeg Willow

The new woodchuck on the block, Willow made her first prognostication in 2012. Willow lives at Winnipeg’s Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

By: Robin Stevenson Source: Twitter Credits: Courtesy Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre


And did you know?
Groundhogs, also called woodchucks, are rodents that belong to the mammal group Rodentia, which include squirrels and prairie dogs.

For more February fun check out our 12 reasons to fall in love with February. Or if you're staying home, try our  foods to cook this month. And if you just love holidays, don't miss out on Lunar New Year!
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Community & Current Events

Groundhog Day in Canada

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