let it snow on our reputation

3 Feb

A dear friend that I grew up with sent me a text on Friday, telling me that she was coming into the city and that we should visit. Yes, during the storm. I called and asked her if she was crazy and she asked me to remind her where I grew up…

I’m always reminded of our inability to withstand a little snow and a little cold. Wimps they call us! Mind you she has a good point, being raised in a small town called Elliot Lake, where we had this much snow (if not more), almost regularly during the winter months – this really should be second nature to me. I remember having to walk in the middle of the main road in a blizzard, with mounds of snow to get to school. And I remember it being so cold, that icicles would form on the tips of my eyelashes. It’s marred (or prepared) me for life, either one.

Torontonians are branded! We may love the idea of snow, but we just can’t stand how it ruins certain aspects of our lives. We enjoy making it seem overly crucial, as though our ‘survival in the city’ is deeply affected by it. Do you remember the year when we called in the Army? Maybe you had to live here to understand…

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7 Responses to “let it snow on our reputation”

  1. Jo. Chen February 4, 2008 at '1:23' #

    Yes, Torontonians are considered babies by other parts of Canada when it comes to dealing with the natural elements. Urban living and its conveniences has spoiled us. We can’t deal with nature when we’re used to having everything at our near disposal. I think also, our need for instant gratification has something to do with this attitude too. When I was young, my parents would constantly tell me stories about the way they lived (without conveniences like running water or even a toilet) back in their day, so in some subliminal way I don’t have a lot of sympathy for people who decide to stay at home because of a snow day. When I had no car and depended on the TTC, I went to work on bad weather days. I was late, but at least I showed up. Last year, when there was a major storm, the office closed early so that people could get home. Driving home from the east end to the west end took a total of 7 hours on the road. I took a break at a local Petro-Canada because the snow on my car had to be cleaned off before I could continue on. If you weather the storm, you can only become stronger.

  2. N February 4, 2008 at '2:02' #

    That’s right, sista!
    It was hardly snowing at ALL by the time I got into town! lol. I think it’s really just poor planning. Toronto doesn’t have the resources or space FOR natural elements, which was poor planning because this is Canada…. snow happens.

    I miss snow. Winter is useless without snow! I want to go sliding, make snowmen, go snowshoeing or snowmobiling.

    I’m homesick. 😦

  3. staffeen February 4, 2008 at '2:19' #

    JC – Thanks for posting…I know you’re a trooper! There’s a sense of great satisfaction when you can weather the storm safely…

    N – You raise an excellent point – we don’t have the space to move the snow to (downtown anyway). In EL, you could just push it over the cliff, or down into a ravine, or into the neighbour’s unused back yard or something. If you tried that here, it wouldn’t go over so well. 😉

  4. chipper HO February 5, 2008 at '1:29' #

    be blessed that toronto has public works…
    when living in montreal…we never had such a luxury…
    calling in the army aint as abusrd as you may think…you just never know…
    and well it NEVER snows here in london…i miss the fluffy white stuff…
    oddly enough staffeen…
    i feel more cold here than ever in canada…
    and its above 0 here…
    rarely dips below 0…
    a friend has suggested that ive yet to aclimatize…
    does that make any sense???? i visited berlin too recently…
    where the weather is much like toronto…
    i was used to it…didnt feel cold even on the blizzardiset of days…
    hmmm…come to think of it…
    my body is playing games w me…thats the prob :p

  5. miss sasha February 11, 2008 at '23:45' #

    agreed…torontonians are whiny babies when it comes to the snow…but i think it’s the stark contrast with the summer that makes all this snow such a bitter pill to swallow, come february…
    just think, it’s 38 degrees one day, and all of a sudden there’s a nip in the evening air, then the nip pervades the day, and ultimately we’re clutching at our scarves and hoping that our cars won’t get stuck in the driveway (or a nearby ditch) as we try to go about our normal lives…but in our normal lives we’re already tired and stressed and trying to keep up our social lives, work lives and home lives in check…
    so perhaps it’s more a time mgmt issue than an innate torontonian weakness? heaven forbid we have to find the time in the day for yet another task…shovelling…or wake up an hour earlier so we can drive 40 on the road to work instead of pushing 80…
    out in eliot lake there’s not much to do, i know…i’ve been there…i think they’re just glad for the distraction, perhaps?

  6. staffeen thompson February 12, 2008 at '0:01' #

    CH – Hm, wow, I can’t comment on your body’s tendencies at the moment. Maybe you’re used to the Canadian Winter – and perhaps it’s a different type of cold you’re experiencing? Who knows… You’re in London one day, Berlin the next, maybe your body is just trying to figure out where it is! 😉

    Miss Sasha – Yea, I think it comes down to survival skills. And yes, our lives are definitely more hectic here than in EL, but up there it is still business as usual on all levels, regardless if it’s -20 or -40. If EL closed schools for every snow storm or cold day they’d never go to school! And I believe Calgary currently has temps like that…

  7. Stuart February 15, 2008 at '16:20' #

    I have to agree with some of Chipper’s comments from a London perspective above. I’ve returned back to England from Alberta or BC where it’s been down to around -30 and felt a couple of degrees of frost here to be most uncomfortable still. People like to say it’s the extra dampness in the atmosphere here that gets through your clothing and chills your bones.

    I love the snow as long as I don’t have to take drive any crucial journey’s in it. We get it so seldom here in Nottingham unlike years ago. People here treat winter weather with little respect. In Nottingham and similar cities younger revellers run around the city centres in t-shirts and crop tops in the depths of winter!

    On my visits to Canada I’ve really enjoyed the snow but I have to admit that resurrecting the car from the dead every morning and shovelling Albertan snow twice a day I can live without! Canadian hallways at home are such a menagerie of boots, scarves, mittens, coats and hats that often there seems little room for people!

    Stu

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