As snow drifts in and roads freeze over, getting around can be a problem.
But it's still more difficult, a Lethbridge audience was reminded Friday, if you're relying on a wheelchair.
Recreational athlete and former marathon competitor Ross Sampson pointed out winter can add to mobility challenges for Canadians living and working with a disability. But it's also a good time for wheelchair basketball, sledge hockey and other indoor recreation.
"Let's make life inclusive for everyone," he urged, during an International Day of Persons with Disabilities forum at City Hall.
In Lethbridge, he said, many public facilities have become barrier-free. And the city boasts large parks - like Henderson Lake - with paved trails and barrier-free playgrounds.
"So grandmothers can enjoy them with their grandkids."
Indoors, there are also opportunities for recreation like wheelchair basketball. It's an inclusive sport, he added, with able-bodied players welcome.
"We have a few extra chairs," he said.
Employers have also made workplaces more easily accessible. Sampson is on the staff at Pratt & Whitney, having transferred here six years ago from a plant in Nova Scotia.
A former resident of Halifax, Sampson said he also appreciates the easy grades - Halifax has many hills - and the milder winters. But he asked Lethbridge property owners to clear their sidewalks reasonably soon after a snowfall.
"You try wheeling through that!"
And he reminded motorists to leave "handicap" parking spaces for people who really need them. Ordinary parking spots aren't wide enough, Sampson pointed out, for someone who has to place a wheelchair on the street and then manoeuvre into it.
Corner cuts on sidewalks are important as well, and Sampson praised the city for continuing to make sidewalks more accessible. After contacting city officials to ask if his street would be getting a corner cut, he said they told him it was on the next year's list.
Sure enough, workers arrived and started work one morning - just after he returned home to sleep after working an overnight shift.
"Just as I closed my eyes, I heard the jackhammers," he recalled. "But I couldn't really complain!"