The Harsh Reality of Canadian Winter

The Harsh Reality of Canadian Winter


Sugar Beach, Toronto

It’s that time of year again Canada.

After the fun of pumpkin spice EVERYTHING and Halloween, Winter arrives with black ice, dirty snow downtown, and hydro outages.

Lake Ontario

Every time an Australian friend proclaims how lovely a REAL winter would be, I get the feeling they’re thinking of snowboarding for six months straight, with clear days and fresh powder. Not tramping through 5 feet of snow to get anywhere, packed with carefully hidden layers of ice to land you on your backside.

And they’re thinking of après ski beverages, wearing trendy Burton gear, sitting in a bar with a roaring fire. Not dragging 20 kilos of groceries through dirty snow with dampy, white stains growing up to your knees on your Walmart tracksuit pants. Tracksuit pants which are layered on top of more tracksuit pants, and leggings, and socks, and boots.

Lake Ontario, Toronto Harbourfront

They’re also imagining minus 10, maximum. Not minus bloody thirty five – or minus 50-60 if you’re in Saskatoon, Winnipeg or Alberta.  And they’re imagining coming home to hot baths, not coming home to an iced over drive way which you have to shovel off and cut ice away from, giving you crippling lower back pain.

And in their minds, they have heat, lights, and internet. Not entire cities that shuts down during an icestorm.

Yep, that’s the reality of winter here!

Red Path Sugar Mill Toronto

But winter’s not all bad…


I try and remember how beautiful Lake Ontario is in Winter, and the things I do love about this season in this part of the world.

Like the time we had the huge ice storm, and to my astonishment, every tree in Toronto was covered in beautiful icicles. North Nomad laughed at me when I said everything looked like Christmas decorations. Apparently, this is what real winter looks like!


And how cute the little kids look in their winter gear, like little star fishes with their limbs sticking out at angles. And how cute they are ice skating in the many free skating rinks around. And how much better at ice-skating toddlers are than me.

Lake Ontario freezes during the cold(er) temperatures, and a huge layer of snow settles on top, making it look like a cream cake frosting with a dusting of icing sugar. And when it gets warmer, the snow melts, and the ice cracks in cool, geometric patterns, looking like a Picasso creation.

Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario

And it’s just damn beautiful in a way that we don’t experience Winter in Australia. There is a lot to love about your average day in Winter here in Canada.

Sometimes, we just wish it was a bit shorter.

Copyright statement



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *