Lived (not visited) in Canada

Welcome! Another Winter

Welcome! Another Winter

I arrived in Montreal (from the mid-atlantic US) in December of 2007. It was already much colder and icier than the usual February in Washington DC. "That's ok", I thought. After all, I had spent a month in Canada during the two of the previous Januaries, and was familiar with windy -20 degree weather. Even more so, I loved winter and snow.

However, It became evident that it would be a bit different to endure the whole Canadian winter rather than only one month of it. By the time March came around, I was more than ready for the cold to leave. Little did I know, warmth (and leaves for the trees) would not come until May. MAY! I thought "That's ok" (again). I expected the summer to be hot enough and that it would make up for the extreme winter.

Little did I know (again) that there would be days in June when I would have to wear a jacket! I know Canada is supposed to be cold and everything...but c'mon, a jacket in June!? We didn't actually have consistent warmth until sometime in July. By consistently warm I mean to say that I could walk outside in a t-shirt and leave my jacket inside knowing that I would be comfortable. And even then, if the day was cloudy or rainy, the temperature would simply be "neutral" - neither warm nor cold.

Only August was the month that really qualified as "summer" in my mind. I don't think there really is a summertime in Montreal. "Summertime" in Montreal is springtime for me. The average high for Montreal in July (statistically the hottest month) is about 79 degrees (26 Degrees). When you add the wind which is consistent in Montreal all year round, that makes a very, very, "iffy" summer.

The place is extremely humid though, and I found myself sweating even when it wasn't really hot out. I was, however, happy to see the warm air stick around until early October. I was surprised by that, and very grateful for that. Now it is November again, and I don't think I have to explain what the weather is like. Witnessing the "summer" disappear so quickly led me to having consistent dreams of being from where I come from, just walking around in a t-shirt and jeans and enjoying sunny skies like I would for most of the year. Luckily, I'm moving back there in December.

I have never in my entire life been so appreciative of warmth as that May day when I first felt the warm air. Before living in Canada, my reaction to the coming springtime would be one of mild gratitude. But in Canada, my gratitude for that first feeling of warm air caressing my body is a feeling that is forever enshrined in my memory (and I really honestly mean that!). Warmth is something that cannot be replaced by anything. Money, Sex, Drugs, I don't care what it is - Nothing can replace decent weather. It affects your emotions, your personality, your wants and your needs.

I have learned 3 valuable things:

1. Real summer does not exist in Canada, despite what your Canadian friends tell you. Don't believe them. Kids in Montreal go swimming outside if the temperature is 70 degrees (21 Degrees). If you are from Not-Canada or Not-Scandinavia, be prepared for the "summer".

2. Canadians talk about Vancouver, BC like its the Hawaiian Islands or something. Instead of getting a meter of snow for six months, Vancouver just has cold and rainy weather almost all year round.

3. The sun does not exist in Montreal from mid-November until March. There is a possibility that this may depress you.

Thanks for reading, and in all reality, check out Canada in the winter. It is a very beautiful country.

Barry's Response - Out west, in the prairies, you will find a different character. It is rarely humid and the winter snow more often resembles the spring and summer dust, especially when the winds pick up. The damp heavy snow shown in the photo above usually falls in Calgary in March, April and May instead. At other times, though, it can be very pleasant out here as well. Visit Calgary sometime.

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One Canadian's Response
by: Darrell

I think it is interesting how we all diferent in our thoughts and feelings when it comes to our preception of the weather.I, myself was born and raised in southeren Alberta, so I would more than likley find winters in Washington pleasent to warm and summers unbearably hot and muggy.
Montreal is not Canada, but one location in Canada. I'm sure after one month in Winnepeg, Yellowknife or Newfoundland in the winter you would find Montreal alot more enjoyable.
We can get very cold here on the praries in the winter. -40c plus winds. But in southeren Alberta in the winter, when the winds come from the west it can drive the temptures up. Also, Alberta has more sunny days per year than almost any where on the planet. In the summer, Medicine Hat has been known to spend 2-3 weeks at a time in temptures of 37c to 42c and Feburary to be in the high teens to low twenties.
I hope you could have the opportunity to see other areas of Canada before you think we are still living in an iceage climate.

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