I’ve been ranting about this to anyone who will listen, so I might as well post it here.
This post is about weather. More specifically, winters in Toronto. First off, I should specify that I’m no weather wimp. Having done most of my growing up in Sudbury, Ontario, I’m well acclimatized to cold winters. Having been at various times in my life both an avid skier and a hardcore snowmobiler, I enjoy snow. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of a controlled four-wheel powerslide through a corner in a 4×4 on a snowy road. Christmas lights reflecting on crystalline flakes look sublime. The white powder makes me giddy.
But in Toronto, winters are ambivalent. One minute, it’s warm and sunny. The next, you’re wading through gray slush as you’re pelted by sleet. And the next, the mayor’s calling in the army to clear the roads. But real snow is rare in T.O. “Slushy” and “wet” are the prevalent conditions, since the temperature hovers around the zero degree (Celsius) mark all season. From December to March, we’re in a constant state of spring melt.
This indecisiveness on the weather’s part is irritating. When do you mount your snow tires? The first couple of snowfalls in T.O. are certain to melt completely away for a week or two before the next. What do you wear to work? The parka you wore in the morning to keep your butt from freezing to your leather seats will have you sweating on the way home.
It also conspires to make many Toronto drivers complete morons when the snow sticks for a few hours. For instance, some folks are experienced enough to know they’ll make faster progress in an SUV, but not quite so much as to realize that 4x4s don’t stop any better than 2-wheel drive cars. Overturned Explorers and Tahoes litter the northbound 400’s median. The more timid type will slow down excessively the instant a flake lands on their windshield, causing traffic congestion.
Don’t you prefer clean, crisp snow crunching under your boots to dirty, salted slush squishing between your toes? Isn’t it nicer to have icy white flakes flutter lightly onto your toque than to have rain drizzling on your eyeglasses? Why complain if the weatherman announces minus 15 degrees all week? At least you’ll know what you’re facing every day.
I tell ya: People in cities that get healthy snowfall and consistent low temperatures in the wintertime don’t realize how good they have it.