A tale of two thermometers

Toronto’s extreme temperature swings

“I thought Canada was covered in snow all year,” my friend joked when I told him about the sweltering heat in Toronto last month. This area of North America was hit by a blistering heat wave that saw temperatures soaring to 40ºC on July 21, 2011. With high humidity and ultra-violet rays, the intensity was even worse. I bike to work at around 8am and return before 6pm; usually the weather is bearable around that time. But it was a different story last month!

However, that’s not the only weather extremity we faced in the recent past. Few days during this past winter, it was so cold that even the mercury barely made an appearance on the thermometer scale. I was glad I went on a vacation to Mexico and missed four snow storms! On my way home, the aircraft circled over Toronto for a while before landing. The city looked white, bright and beautiful in the evening sky. The pilot reminded us how Cancun also looked white, bright and beautiful when we had taken off earlier that day; however, Cancun’s brightness was due to its sandy beaches while Toronto’s glitter came from the snow blanketing it.

Want snow…

So when I had nothing better to do the other day, I started looking for gateways around the city for winter sports. The City of Toronto maintains two ski and snowboard centres in the city – Centennial Park and Earl Bales Park besides a large number of ice rinks for skating. The topography around Toronto is more or less a flat, and there aren’t any dramatic mountains around. As a result, unlike the Western coast of continental America or most of Europe there are not many resorts that are ideal for ski holidays. Wish there was an indoor ski resorts on lines of the one in Dubai, but then we don’t have oil money to splurge.

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↑ Timmins, Northern Ontario

Where did you spend your last summer holidays? Any ski resorts?

Photo credits: colin.jagoe (heat wave), BugMan50 (cold wave)