Ontario Winters Be Like...

Winter and I have spent a lot of time together. Whether it was growing up in the Yukon, living in Alberta, exploring in Alaska, or spending time in BC, I can say that I have experienced a lot of different types of winter... I too have experienced a lot of different winters and because of past conversations with Janna I know exactly where this blog post is going. Ontario winters you are WILD!

It always baffles me how vastly different everyone’s winter experiences in Canada are...Canada is a VERY large place but knowing people from all across the country really makes you understand just how different it really is...  For some it means more rain, others more darkness, and some it means that snow is finally coming back allowing them to participate in their favourite outdoor pastimes.

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From my experiences, I have learned there are some things that are unanimous across the country when it comes to winter. Winter tires are a must (not those silly all-seasons), dressing for the weather can make or break an outdoor experience, the tingly,burning sensation of your cheeks when you come in from the cold is surprisingly satisfying and there is an irreplaceable beauty in a sunny day after a fresh snowfall. ... fresh snow is truly beautiful and I can’t help but stop, admire and then snap a photo.

Other common things include: mood swings, a major dislike for shovelling ...unless you’re ME. I find shovelling relaxing/soothing/satisfying... , unpredictable road conditions...This I’ll agree with... and continuously cold extremities.

This is my first winter in Ontario and when I tell people where I am from they’re usually curious about what the comparison is between a Yukon winter and an Ontario winter. Despite being told that this has been an extremely abnormal Ontario winter, I have still been able to find quite a few differences between the two.

So here’s my quick rundown of a Yukoners perspective on Ontario winters:

  • There’s a lot of moisture here - coming from all the bazillion lakes and rivers around I guess. This makes two things happen: a) snow is sticky thus being extremely heavy to shovel but awesome for building snowmen and snow forts (a luxury I never had growing up) and b) cold weather feels really cold even when the thermometer feels like it’s not that cold. AKA -10°C is a lot different here... It really is a bone chilling cold, I can agree spending winters in Alberta the cold here is a whole different cold...

  • Snow does not fall down, it falls sideways - there have been a lot of days where I have watched the snow “fall” horizontally because of the wind. It falls sideways until it hits something, and then it drifts.

  • Snow drifts are a major driving hazard - I have never experienced driving along on a bare road only to all of a sudden be floorboard deep in a snow drift. It is an art form being able to navigate going through those things effectively and safely.

  • There are snow days here - I have never experienced a snow day in my life. Since being here I have experienced at least 6 days where the buses did not run thus making it a “snow day”. I suppose that is because it is cold in the Yukon but doesn’t necessarily snow a ton, and definitely not all in one day... I was blown away when I moved west and talked about snow days and everyone looked at me like I was crazy. Snow days are some of the best memories from my childhood...

  • The weather is bipolar - no snow, tons of snow, rain, freezing rain, tons of snow, warm spring weather, freezing rain, and a snow squall warning. That was last week. What?!? I am used to consistency. It gets cold and snows at the end of October and stays that way until May. None of this up and down, what season are we in, crazy amounts of snow, no wait it’s raining, buried in a snowdrift kind of stuff. Phew. I can’t keep up... It’s not always like this but it’s never as consistent as you get in the west...


Despite all of the differences, I am learning that a beautiful sunny, snowy, brisk day is still the best kind of day in the winter, regardless of what part of the country I am in ... 100%! sun and snow combined together are the greatest days, perfect days for outdoor winter play...