Wednesday, January 1, 2014


January is a month of temperature swings in Ontario.  Right now it is very cold. It will go down to -25C tonight.  But the upside is that it will be sunny.  When the temperature rises to about zero on the weekend, we will have some snow.
 I always feel most Canadian when winter is well upon us , and it has got me thinking about some Canadian ways of speaking.  For instance, you go down east, out west, up north and, simply, south.
Now, east usually means the Maritime provinces, west means the Prairies and British Columbia, north means anything north of the 401 highway that connects Montreal and Toronto (often ski country), and south usually means Cuba or Florida.
 If you live in Ontario or Quebec, skating on The Canal means skating on the several kilometer long skateway in Ottawa (a great outing).   Winterlude is a winter festival  that takes place in Ottawa in early February that features ice sculptures and ice slides, and entertainment, and all kinds of other winter games and fun.  Carnaval takes place in Quebec City and features Bonhomme Carnaval, a man dressed up as a big snowman.  Again, lots of wintery amusements. Quebec City also has an ice hotel where you can actually sleep and eat in a giant ice building - be sure to wear your woolies.
Some Canadian vocabulary:
tuque: necessary knitted woolen cap aka ski hat
double-double: coffee with two cream and two sugar, usually at Tim Horton's, our ubiqitous
 coffee shops.
poutine: particularly in Quebec - French fries( I guess that's another Canadianism. It means deep-fried potato sticks) with gravy and cheese curds.  Are cheese curds also primarily a Canadian thing? Not sure.  Anyway, hot poutine is very yummy, if not very healthy.
two-four:  a case of 24 beer
loonie:  one dollar coin that has a loon on it.
twoonie: two dollar coin that has a polar bear on it.  Should be a beary, but that doesn't go very
 well with loonie.  Nobody ever calls them one or two dollar coins.
toboggan: a wooden sled that is several narrow boards joined together and curved up at the front.
 No runners.  When well waxed, it can take you for a very wild ride down a hill.
I really like having two very distinct seasons (snowy, snowless) because it's almost like living in two different countries depending on the time of year.

1 comment:

  1. We have only gone to Montreal one time since moving to New York, but loved it. It was winter, and cold, but not like today. Stay warm and enjoy the activities. Quebec City is on my list, but I think summer time is more practical for us. Happy New Year Jenny!