Why I now like Canadian Winters

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by Lena Usovich

Before moving to Canada, my knowledge about the country was maple syrup, hockey, beautiful nature, and extremely cold and snowy winters. But now that I have survived one winter of freezing weather, I would like to tell you my impression about Canadian winters, the difference between the Canadian and Ukrainian climate, and my tips to stay warm in winter time.

I grew up in the Ukrainian city of Odessa, where the average temperature in winter reaches +5 to +10C and snow is rare . So naturally, when I told my friends I was moving to Canada, everyone asked me the same question “How are you going to survive the winter?” To be honest, I had never dreamed of living in Canada and hadn’t thought too much about it. I thought that if there are people who live there, I should be able to survive. What surprised me when I arrived in Canada in April 2022 was finding snow on the ground and feeling the terrible cold. Looking back, I wasn’t ready for winter in April and I didn’t even have warm clothes. Fortunately, it wasn’t cold for long, as it was already starting to get warmer in May. I thought that I had enough time to prepare for the freezing cold, but I was wrong. When winter actually arrived, I wasn’t absolutely ready. I didn’t have the desire to leave the house. No matter how warmly I dressed, I felt frozen down to my bones all the time. Do you know someone who loves winter? I’m not even sure “winter people” exist. All I know is that I’m definitely not one!

I can definitely say that my first winter in Canada was rough and I hated this season. To me, winter was the most depressing time of the year. It is always cold so you can’t do much outdoor stuff and you spend a lot of time inside, feeling bored and depressed. Winter weather in Canada starts in November and lasts through late March or early April, a total of approximately five to six months of chilly snowy weather. I realized that I was wasting half of the year hating this inevitable season, so to save myself from six months of depressing thoughts and boredom, I found ways to enjoy this period of the year and would like to share my tips to stay warm during this cold weather season.

The first reason to love winter is Christmas. I don’t know anyone who actively does not celebrate Christmas. It’s a magical time of the year! It feels like people are just more generous, understanding and kind at this time of year. And it’s the snow that makes Christmas magical. Can you imagine celebrating Christmas in the summer? I can’t! In Ukraine, I would dream of having snow on Christmas, but it was very rare. So this is my first reason for loving winter.  

Wintertime is absolutely perfect for shopping, ice skating, driving around to look at the winter lights, movies, hot chocolate and forgetting about dieting. I do think that winter is the most beautiful time of the year. Of course cold weather can make life a little tricky, but there is nothing more beautiful than a fresh snowfall. People don’t like cold inclement weather, not winter itself, but you can easily find ways to stay warm and cozy indoors or outside. Wearing the right clothes and maintaining my home’s temperature keep me warm in such a cold time of the year. Besides wearing warm clothes, it’s also important to warm yourself from the inside. Hot meals are the best way to keep yourself warm. There is a reason why everyone makes soup in the winter. I drink a lot of tea and spend a lot of time at home by the fireplace; it helps me keep warm in the winter time. Just find your way to enjoy winter and stay warm during the cold weather.

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