Was that unusual to get snow then? That seems awfully early even for the 54th parallel.[/quote]
In a sense, the Baie James region is further north than it actually is. In Western Canada and Alaska, there are roads and even significantly large towns much further north than that--the Dalton goes well past the 70th I believe, and Anchorage is a town of over a quarter million at about the 61st.
The thing is, eastern North America is generally colder than the west, due to prevailing currents (namely the Gulf Stream, which moves tropical air eastward towards Europe, and the Labrador Current, which moves Arctic air southward.) Northwestern Quebec (and Central-Western Quebec, which geographically the James Bay region is really part of), Northern Ontario, and Northestern Manitoba would be especially cold because of the influence of Hudson/James Bay, which freezes in winter.
More locally for me, NYC (at the 40th) is I believe significantly cooler than even Vancouver (past the 49th.)