Growing up in Ontario Canada you get used to having to live through 4 seasons but every year you dread that last one, winter.
It is the only extreme weather we really get here. We get the odd tornado and earthquake but only in winter does there seem to be always something not open due to the weather. Winter began on December 22nd, 2013 and it didn’t take long for it us to be reminded that old man winter has a sick sense of humor. On December 24th, 2013 most of southwestern Ontario was encased in ice, not just a little bit of ice here and there I mean huge mature trees started to bend from the sheer weight of it. Toronto Ontario (the capitol of Ontario) and about 99km away from where I live seemed to be hit the hardest and a lot of people lost hydro for well over a week. The actual dates of the outage in some cases went from December 22nd 2013 to January 4th, 2014 and wouldn’t surprise me if there were still a few people still without power.
In the Kitchener-Waterloo area we were without power for a shorter period of time. Hydro crews worked around the clock to restore power and pulled 16+ hour long days and for the first few days there were struggling to stay ahead of the damage and for the most part they didn’t, more people were losing power than they could reconnect.
I was extremely lucky in my area of Waterloo as it’s one of the only areas where the hydro lines are buried under the ground and this protects from ice build up on the lines which makes it less likely to be affected when this type of weather. I have to say when it does go out because the lines are buried it takes longer to restore we have had a few outages since moving to this home but the outages both happened in the summer months so there was no danger as there is in the winter. I couldn’t imagine how people coped without heat in the winter and all the food that was spoiled because of the extensive outage.
There were many downed tree branches all over the city also downed mature trees that just couldn’t stand any more under all that ice. That was really the only thing I had to deal with personally we had a few branches down that I had to move as they were blocking the sidewalk. Also trying to find salt in the city became near impossible as a result trying to get out of my house and get to work became an Olympic event.
After surviving the ice storm and thinking we are good for a bit we get dumped on with over 25cm of snow. It started coming down Monday January 6th in the late afternoon. By about 7pm we had a full on blizzard something my area hasn’t seen in a long, long time. It was NUTS you couldn’t see very far ahead of you. I was thankful to get an early shift that day because it would have taken a very long time trying to get home.
All that snow is pretty but it is not at all fun to shovel. Between my sister and I we were out shoveling about 8 times in order to keep ahead of all the snow coming down. It got to be so much we were wondering where we were going to put it as the snow piles were getting so high we didn’t think we could possibly throw the snow up high enough to make the piles any bigger.
With all the snow behind us we entered a deep freeze where temperatures plummeted from about -12°C all the way down to about -30°C however with the wind chill it felt like -40°C which meant more time off for students as schools closed. The weird weather continues as it go to 7°C today when only a few days ago it was -30°C that’s a huge difference. But we Canadians are a hearty bunch those out west think people from Ontario are a bunch of complainers since -30°C is a standard for them during the winter months. I will admit the last few winters it does feel like we have been spoiled it hasn’t been horribly cold and but for one big snow fall we have not got a normal amount of snow. I have to say growing up I remember way more snow than what we have been getting these last few winters, than again I was a lot smaller so maybe it’s all about perspective.
I asked my local friends to send me their pictures so I could share them with all of you. Here is a snap shot of both the ice storm and resulting snow storm in the KW area of Ontario. If you wanted to see how Toronto looked I encourage you to google it and look at all the images it’s quite a sight and if you have never had snow before consider yourself lucky as the novelty wears off really quickly. As I have said before it’s all pretty until someone throws a back out trying to shovel it. I vow this spring when they go on sale to get a snow blower because I do not think I can shovel another 25 cm of snow….
Here are some pictures of all the snow and ice we got in this and surrounding areas.
My backyard at night during our blizzard
We had an ice storm in April 2013 my friend Candice L sent me this really cool picture she took.
My friend Cindy M sent me the following of all the snow around her place just a bit north of me.
It is really nice to live in Canada and if you want to ever visit and help me shovel after one of these lovely snow storms you are more than welcome to!