The Mindful Merchant

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Give Wiarton Willie a Do Over February 4, 2010

Filed under: Canada,Ontario,Ottawa — MindfulMerchant @ 12:42 am
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450px-Writers245 When you live in a city that experiences winter for half the year you figure out ways to make the most of it. The people of Ottawa are good at that. They bundle up, dress properly and rarely complain. I am working on the complaining quality.

We moved here 4 years ago from Toronto mid December.  It was a bit of a climate and culture shock. We had to get used to the extreme cold/snow and the pleasure Ottawans receive reminding Torontonians about the time Mayor Mel called in the ARMY to help shovel snow in 1999.  Good times.

The truth is that living in Ottawa and the Valley gives you a few bragging rights. Ottawa is in the top 7 of coldest capital cities in the world. Frigid temperatures, snow that sticks around forever and crazy winter conditions do not deter most people from being active outdoors.  It is the most amazing thing.  Children play outside (unless it goes below –20 degrees Celsius then schools have indoor recess) cross country skiers glide along sidewalks, kids toboggan, runners run, walkers walk and some freaks continue to pedal around on bikes. (?)

Yesterday Wiarton Willie, Canada’s famous Groundhog and prognosticator saw his shadow. This odd tradition steeped in fun and superstition “officially” means we have six more weeks of winter. Of course there is nothing scientific about Willie’s prediction…but it made me slump in my seat. This is a mild winter by Ottawa standards and yet a recent cold snap made me grumpy. In order to cope with the possibility of a long season I am trying to come up with positive thoughts about winter.


Winter is about playing the great Canadian winter sports. (Does that include curling?)

Arctic temperatures make my rings to fit better.

Snow is pretty and looks like icing on the trees.

Garbage and compost does not stink.

Snow tires feel wanted and appreciated.

Skating on the Rideau Canal.  Awesome.

Winterlude = ice sculptures, beavertails, hot chocolate, fireworks and dog sledding -  oh my!

Bad hair days can be blamed on wearing of a tuque.


I am grasping at straws. Here’s hoping the Club Med song or commercial does not cross my path any time soon (reaching for my vitamin D supplements).  I vote we give Wiarton Willie a do over.  Who’s with me?





4 Responses to “Give Wiarton Willie a Do Over”

  1. Lisa Says:

    I hope that includes curling – it’s my most favourite of winter sports!

    I’m from Edmonton, and actually, I love Winter (even though we were the second coldest place in the entire world for one particular day this past December, -50 if I remember correctly). Curling, skating, hockey, pretty snow everywhere, warm fleece mittens and cosy boots.

    It could be worse.

  2. – 50? Yikes. Thanks for putting that into perspective. 🙂

  3. LH Says:

    Hey – we may have called in the army (not a Toronto high point), but you folks voluntarily live in one of the 7 coldest capitals in the world??? For mocking purposes, can we call it a tie?

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