Archive for the ‘weather’ Category

Deep Chillin’

Few thought it could happen but Toronto is suffering through a deep freeze and will be into the weekend. Double socks, hats, mitts or gloves are advised (by more than just your grandma!). I’m sure the brave at heart will be seen leisurely skating on outdoor surfaces or puffing on cancer sticks in front of their office towers. I for one will be looking to stay in with a few good movies or perhaps take in some music at the Cadillac Lounge. Praying that the arctic chill subsides and that any people on the streets can get decent access to shelter during these frigid days to come.

Snow Tires NOT Mandatory In Ontario

Snow tires do work better in cold and snowy conditions. They are composed of a different rubber that freezes at a lower temperature. This means that braking performance is far better than all season tires in cold weather (snow or no snow). Quebec’s mandatory snow tire legislation kicked in this year and close to 90% of Quebecers already used them. The law is expected to cut accidents as much as 20%. Toronto doesn’t often get the amount of snow that much of Quebec receives BUT snow tires wouldn’t hurt in the winter. Premier McGuinty has listened to public opinion and won’t be mandating snow tire use and said that people should use good judgement.

No matter which tires you choose driver discretion and caution is often your best defense. With over 250 reported accidents being reported yesterday as a result of just 5 to 10 centimeters of snow some care and snowtires wouldn’t be a bad idea. As would riding the TTC or GO Transit instead (if at all possible). While delays are sometimes unavoidable on a heavy snow day, transit can be a time and life saver. Whatever fare you pay for transit it would be way cheaper than your insurance premium and car repair post-accident.

Wakestock Saturday = WETstock

tj_treflip.jpg  wake_slide.jpg Toronto Island’s weather turned ugly Saturday.  What originally appeared to be a cooler sunny day soon changed.  Much of the qualifying runs were laid out on the skateboard and wakeboard courses and then it happened.  A fierce afternoon thunderstorm started and many took shelter. The quick and the lucky scattered to pavilions around Toronto Island, others bolted straight to the ferry docks.  Some however were not so lucky.

Not everyone had the piece of mind not to hide under trees or lucky enough to be away from some of the metal fences.  At least two people were struck by lightening, one right across from the booth where Silverstein were signing autographs.  Thanks to the Emergency staff on hand as well as the Police and Fire boats dispatched to the island everyone was OK and the event was able to continue.

A few hours later you could hardly image how bad the weather had been moments before.  Barring the drenched pavement and grass of course.  Everyone had to make the most of it.

puddleparty.jpg tactics.jpg  wetwalk.jpg 

Classified dusted off the crowd and kicked things off on the main stage once the rain subsided.  Silverstein were awesome and powered through a shortened but intense set.  Hot Water Music were also a treat to see live.  The good weather whether held out into the early evening and RZA and GZA gave the masses a long awaited and stacked set, just fashionably late.

wu_5473.jpg  wu_5509.jpg

So glad that the sun came back, even if the puddles were far from gone.  Wasn’t keen on mud sliding/diving, just thankful no puddles or muddy sinkholes claimed my footwear.  Tomorrow is another day.  Hoping WETstock ended Saturday and Wakestock continues where it left off…

The Missing Art of Weather Forecasting

The weather is weird. Even the forecasters can’t forecast in the moment!

Yesterday, as the meterologists I’m watching are saying it’s plus 30 and humid out, I had the windows open, revelling in the cool air blowing in from the “tornado-watch” winds. Today as my weather forecast is saying the temperature has dropped about 6C to something more comfortable, I stick my head outside and find it’s still hot as Hades out there. The thunder is grumbling threats, and I see evidence of rain on the ground, but where’s the cooling air?

I’m used to weather forecasters not getting it right even 12 hours earlier — night-time forecasts totally off the mark from the morning reality — but not getting it right in the moment?! Sheesh!


On a totally unrelated note, I seem to be the only one showing up sort of regularly these days here on Toronto Metblogs, yet I’m ready for my summer hiatus from blogging. We are looking for new, energetic authors, and if you want to spout off regularly about Toronto, give us a ding. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to keep some sort of presence here on the web.

Snowy Days

This February has seen triple the usual amount of snow falling on our streets, lawns, trees, and heads. Snow started falling last year, and at first, Torontonians were none too happy and slipped, slided into cover. Now we shrug over 10 cm, as we did yesterday. Perhaps, too, Torontonians finally discovered the usefullness of snow tires and relearnt how to drive in the snow, and so it no longer fazes us. I hope white winters continue. There is nothing more depressing than looking at brown on the ground and grey in the sky.

Things Get Pretty Loose at CIBC

The latest freeze-to-thaw-to-freeze has kept the winds howling downtown. Winds were so high in the financial district that the police closed Wellington Street west of Yonge Street. Parts of the CIBC sign have loosened so its probably best to steer clear from Commerce Court for awhile. Well there’s always the PATH.

City Policy

I’d vaguely paid attention to the city’s interesting new snow removal policy — let nature do it — but now I understand their new attitude. If you look out from way up on high, the sun seems to be melting all that snow, not much of the white stuff left…compared to a couple of days ago anyway. And then you walk out the front door and enter a tunnel of snow, banks knee-deep high, then hip-high, and finally waist-high. You step out onto your friendly neighbourhood road where surely the going will be easier, the snow ruts being only calf-high. But mushy is harder to walk on than packed.

The weather forecasters said there would only be a few flurries on Saturday, just lake effect flakes, they said before the big storm would hit. I’m not sure who underestimated that lake effect more: the forecasters or the city, for the city thought it wasn’t worth hauling the plows out for, according to the media, until well after the real storm hit, leading to more and more interesting driving on the day the forecasters said go out and shop for tomorrow shall be impassable. And today as we face more flurries this week, we’d better get used to those snow ruts rising as the city believes that if there’s a sun, even if it’s behind crying clouds, there’s no need for a plow. Their years-old policy of not clearing laneways has grown to encompass side streets. Our tax dollars are far better spent on parking lots and growing capital debt than on basic city services. Well, at least there is one good thing — the struggle to walk out of our side streets to the cleared main streets should build up those flabby thigh muscles and burn that spare tire. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Yes Virginia, There Really is a Winter in Toronto

In honour of Environment Canada coming in 8th in Yahoo! Canada’s top searches for 2007, I shall blog about the weather.

It’s so cold here in Toronto, the weather forecasters are overestimating the temps by several degrees because they can hardly believe it’s winter in December. It’s so cold here in Hogtown, it’s bringing back memories, memories of snow from November to March, memories of cold so sharp your breath froze right in front of you, memories of a sun so bright it hurt to look at its reflection in the snow, memories of real winters with real white Christmases, memories of snow angels and snow forts, memories of red-tipped noses and cheeks glowing and hands warming around a mug of hot cocoa. It’s nostalgia time here in T.O. for people of a certain age and for a time when cold wusses didn’t live in the city, but snow fans who couldn’t wait to ski and skate and throw snowballs at glowering adults who promptly threw back, and for a time when the city plowed the streets so fast one could hardly believe there had been snow on them, except for the thin conga lines of tracks down the sidewalks. Yes, Torontonians, it’s winter time again.

Spring Lethargy

Although today is cold and grey, it’s spring, a time when a person wants to leap out of the house and plonk oneself into a nice comfy muskoka chair and soak up the sun; when a person wants to switch off the computer and pick up a book; and when, once having drunk in enough rays, been mooned by a few birds, and become comatose over a trashy novel, a person will join a friend on a newly opened outdoor patio for a European-style coffee break, preferably one that affords a view that morphs from people watching to watching smashing pink sunsets.

Easter weekend

Well, the long weekend has come and gone. My wife and I really wanted to get out of the city. The weather was atrocious. We had been stuck in a rut for a while. We were bored out of our skulls from socialising and sipping tea with friends and needed a road trip. Thought about going to Montreal. The weather was worse there and for a couple who don’t enjoy partying and going out to clubs, it was a bit futile since walking around the city was out of the question with the weather. Then we thought of driving to Boston. Same scenario. Then we’re like fine, lets go somewhere even warmer than that. And we picked Myrtle Beach. The whole week leading up to the weekend it had been 25C in South Carolina The whole week after the weekend was being forecasted as 25C. Just the entire weekend was going to be below 10C. That really pissed me off. I had been prepared to drive fifteen hours to be in a different environment with my wife where I’d feel like I was away from Toronto and it was just too damn cold. Then I started wondering if other Torontonians were stuck in the same conundrum. Were you guys stuck with the idea of wanting to do something and not having anything to do? My question to you all is, what are my options? Where else could I have gone. Skiing season is over so I couldn’t do that either. It wasn’t just the cold, I knew as long as I was in Ontario it would be cold. So at that point I’d settle for doing even touristy things locally within an hour or two’s worth of drive. Are there any parts of Southern Ontario that are worth visiting in times like this? As a purebred city boy, I pose the question out to you readers. Are there any areas worth visiting at the edges of Georgian Bay for example? Or anywhere else for that matter.

Eventually, I ended up with a generic weekend of going bowling with a few friends, playing some trivial pursuit and ending up at the Ontario Science Center. But all that didn’t solve my solution of getting out of the city. If you guys were stuck in the same situation, where all could you/would you go for a weekend within a few hours drive?

For all who care, this is the forecast for the next 5 days.


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