I love winter! It is my most favorite season. I love the crisp air! I love the sports! I love the World Juniors! And I love the hair weather and the snow! But with this season’s arrival, I’ve come to notice some cultural difference between Canada’s capital and Ontario’s. Now, this doesn’t mean that one is better than the other; it’s just that they are different. Here are my top two cultural differences for the winter season:
1) Perception of distance
Apparently I am what you call “a walker” or at least that is the reaction I get whenever I mention that I am walking somewhere more than 15 minutes away: “Oh you’re a walker.” At first I thought people assumed I was a member of the living dead. I checked my breath, my heartbeat and my lunch cravings and I realized this was not the case.
In Ottawa, perhaps because of the less intricate transit system, it seems that people are more inclined to lace up and take a walk instead of hopping on a bus. Before, walking was a staple in my life. Without thinking I would probably walk at least an hour a day. Since moving to Toronto, it is now something I have to make an effort to do. I have managed to do this by getting off a few subways stops early and walking the rest, or walking one way and taking the subway back the other. But it’s definitely different.
2) Winter wardrobe
In Ottawa, I survived six winters with a green marshmallow jacket, some fury black snow boots, toques, mitts and many many scraves. It wasn’t about how I looked while getting there; it was about how I looked under all those layers once I arrived. There was no need to balance the needs of fashion with the demands of walking on ice or through snowstorms. Weather was a not a reason to stay inside. Winter was the time to be out and about.
In Toronto, the winters are less brutal but still cold. But people seem to become recluses once it hits minus 10. However, when people do decide to venture out, it seems that it’s not just the warmth you need to be concerned about, but also your level of fashion. People still wear heeled boots in the middle of winter! And such nice belt fastened jackets. My green marshmallow coat has been retired unless it’s for a ski trips with my Ottawa friends.
Come to think of it…maybe it’s the winter wardrobe that directly influences the aversion to walking. Bingo!
C’est tout for now!