Published on September 22, 2014
blog.navut.com http://blog.navut.com/fact-or-fiction-the-truth-about-canadian-winters/ Fact Or Fiction | The Truth About Canadian Winters Although cold, Canadian winters can be fun. With the seasons rapidly changing, and the weather unpredictable, it’s safe to say fall is here. The leaves are beginning to change colour, the days are a bit shorter, and the temperature outside has dropped by a few degrees. With the smell of pumpkin spice latte and snow on the air (Calgary’s already been hit with a snowstorm) it’s safe to say that winter is, excuse the pun, coming. However for those of you looking to make the move to Canada, or for those of you having just moved here, the idea of living through a Canadian winter can seem daunting. While some people claim the winter months are some of the harshest in the world, others call them a cakewalk, it can be difficult to know just what you can expect from winter here in the Great White North. If you’ve ever found yourself asking, “is living in Canada easy during the winter months?” or, “what can I expect to face during the winter?” but could never get a straight answer, we at Navut have you covered. We did a little digging on the truth about Canadian winters and found a surprisingly complicated answer for a seemingly easy question. Simply put: yes and no. When we got to the bottom of this question it turned out that there was no right answer to it. Depending on where you’re located and who you are, it can either be the easiest thing in the world or a challenge to bare. For some, a Canadian
winter is easier than a Canadian summer, while others prefer the warmer months. If you were wondering why the answer is so divided, here are some reasons why. Remember to bundle up to prevent frostbite. The temperature. Depending on where you’re located in Canada, like Calgary or Montreal, the temperatures can drop to below -20C on an average day, excluding the windchill. Layers, thick coats, and waterproof boots are key to keeping warm. Covering exposed skin by wearing hats, scarves, and gloves can help prevent frostbite. However on the West coast,like Vancouver for instance, temperatures rarely go below 0C. Depending on where you’re located in Canada, the temperature can either be bone chilling or nothing to worry about. The snowfall, the ice, and the rain. Much like the temperature, the snowfall (or lack there of) can be difficult for people new to Canada to deal with. Depending on where you live, a snowstorm can bring upwards of 30cm of snow, while in some places anything more than 10cm is an average day. Shovelling the driveway can be an exhausting activity, especially when you have to do it four times a day. However it can also be a great form of exercise, and can help give you a sense of community as you and your neighbours help each other out during storms. Be aware though that excessive ice can be a problem and poses a danger to those with gait problems, such as the elderly, as well as the average Joe. Salt stains on boots are commonplace in cities like Toronto as people everything an attempt to prevent falls and slipping. However cities like Vancouver and some cities in the Maritime region experience little to no snow, but heavy rain. Waterproof boots are key to keeping warm and cozy during what can feel like gloomy winter months.
A car finds itself stranded in a snowbank on the side of the road. The traffic is a nightmare. Perhaps the worst thing about the winter months is the traffic. Although it’s important to know the forecast before you leave for work, so you have enough time to be punctual, you never know what to expect. A sudden storm can turn your half hour commute into two hours of standstill traffic. Heavy snow and ice can cause accidents and make driving difficult (especially for those who’ve never driven in it before). Getting your car stuck in a snow drift, ditch, or even having it slide backwards down an icy hill is commonplace. It’s important to make sure you gain some road experience, or take some driving classes during the winter months to help you. Public transit is usually the better option these days, as they have the ability to drive on the shoulder of the street if needed. Although buses are generally delayed during storms, subway systems and trains are normally undisturbed. It’s all fun and games… until the snow melts. Although the temperatures can fall below freezing, there are all kind of winter activities that people living in Canada can enjoy and are sure to take advantage of. Sledding, hockey, and skiing are some of the nation’s most beloved sports and wouldn’t exist without the subzero temperatures or a fresh coat of snow on the ground. Despite the cold, many Canadians find spending time outside (followed by a hot cup of cocoa when they get in) to be great fun, a good way to keep active, and an ideal way to have fun without it costing anything. Snow shoeing and cross-country skiing are interesting ways to reconnect with nature and keep busy.
If you’re looking for something to do in Montreal, try Nuit Blanche. There are festivals to warm the heart. Although the days may be shorter, the Canadian cities in winter can be beautiful places. There are tons of events and festivals, such as Nuit Blanche in Montreal, to celebrate art, culture, and the winter season. There are all kind of outdoor fairs and festivities to enjoy, even in the coldest of Canadian cities. Although the winter can be a harsh and unforgiving season in Canada, it can also be a time of great fun and celebration. There are plenty of activities you can do to keep warm and entertained if you’re able to withstand the cold. If you’re looking to make the move to Canada and want to find the perfect neighbourhood for you, that’s either not too cold or one with the best ski slopes, be sure to try Navut’s neighbourhood finder. Photo credit: 1, 2, 3, 4
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