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Something to warm the hearts of all Canadians

November 30, 2015


The rest of Canada may enjoy knowing that Vancouver, British Columbia — Canada’s tropical outpost — has been suffering through winter, just like a real Canadian city.

The overnight low in Vancouver was a brutal -4° C (felt like -10° C with some imagination)  and the city awoke this morning (November 30) covered with the white stuff — that’s right…frost, and plenty of it!

Vancouverites takes a blast of winter in their stride

A Vancouverite takes winter in her stride.

This morning, on South Granville Street, it was winter in both sun and shade.

As I was waking up in my icy parkade at 6 a.m. I could hear emergency sirens screaming through the Fairview neighbourhood. They were headed away from me; likely as not, I thought, toward the intersection of West Broadway Avenue and Oak Street, in order to block off the steep north Oak Street side of the intersection, before any SUVs accidentally slid to their doom on smooth summer tires.


Not a white Christmas but we did come close to having a white Black Friday.

Crunching through frosty side streets at 7:30 a.m. I could occasionally hear big delivery trucks spinning their wheels in the distance, southward up the slope of Hemlock Street and looking northward at any point along my way, I could see the downtown skyscrapers on the far side of False Creek nestled in the thick cotton batten of an icy fog.

By 8 a.m., I was sitting down to breakfast in the McDonald’s in the 1400 block of West Broadway Avenue, while across the street, in the westbound lane, a New Flyer transit bus was temporarily stalled by the cold and being ministered to by both its driver and two Coast Mountain Bus maintenance crews.


Frost may look harmless but close up you can see just how sharp it is.

And by 10 a.m. I watched a City of Vancouver dump truck spreading salt in the eastbound lanes of West Broadway Avenue, in time to protect motorists from the watery remains of the thick road frost which had all but melted by 9:30 a.m. under the wheels of rush hour traffic and the warming sun.

The salt truck had actually been preceded by a city plow truck, likewise speeding eastward — its plow safely raised so as not to scratch the pristine asphalt.

The cold comfort of shared Canadian experience

I think that we Vancouverites are better off for having endured the hardship of this blast of winter — the need to wear an extra layer of fleece and to drink our double-doubles that much faster before they cooled off.

It has allowed us, I think, to better understand the rest of Canada (a winter nation after all) — those few of us that are not from the rest of Canada, that is.

And I also think that when it’s known that we can take real winter in our stride — known by all Canadians — Northern British Columbians, Albertans, Manitobans, Québécois and Quebecers, Ontarians, Maritimers, Yukoners — not to mention residents of those parts of Canada that are not blessed with endearing terms of belonging, including Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories and Nunuvut — that..

I forgot what I was saying.

Oh, that’s right, rain is in forecast for tomorrow, along with substantially higher temperatures.

Our long, cold nightmare is over. Hallelujah! Click the images to enlarge them.

From → Fairview

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