Let It Snow: My First Winter in Canada

By Toronto Metropolitan University Modified on December 18, 2023
Tags : Campus Life | Fun & Games | Student POV

Find out how a TMU student survived her first winter in Canada as she shares her tips for how you can do the same.

 Let It Snow: My First Winter in Canada

This article was written by Dumebi Osadebe, a computer science student at Toronto Metropolitan University .

I recall my first winter being a chilly blur of unexpected events with a snowfall starting it off. While I was still trying to navigate Canadian culture and all Toronto had to offer, I also had to adjust to the new season.

Preparing for a winter in Canada

Looking back, I wasn’t very prepared for my first winter. For starters, I purchased a winter jacket from my home country, Nigeria, where it never snowed. I wonder how I considered that a good idea! A short stroll under the snowfall left me cold and drenched as the jacket was not suitable for Canadian winds and was neither water-resistant nor waterproof. A new coat sprung to the top of my purchasing list, along with waterproof snow boots, and some salt repellent spray to keep them clean.

Not too long after, I had other items added to the list — a phone case with a hand strap being one of them after I had an unpleasant experience losing my phone in the snow. You can imagine that by the end of winter, I had spent a good amount of money preparing myself to face Canadian winters, but it was well worth it because these items have served me for years and will continue to do so.

Following this, I could focus on enjoying winters in Toronto by being fully prepared. With that in mind, I had put ice skating, the Toronto Winter Village and end-of-year mall sales on my list of things to look forward to during the winter. I could conveniently skate for free on Lake Devo, right on campus!

Tips for making it through the winter

One of my favourite things I enjoyed in the winter was my holy grail combo of a Tim Hortons French Vanilla drink and a slice of banana bread. I was heartbroken to find out that the banana bread was only a winter special when spring rolled around!

My craving for banana bread led me to discover other cafés that offered it all year long and other hot drinks perfect for the wintertime. To name a few: Starbucks, Balzac's Coffee, and Second Cup became close substitutes, but I always find myself running back to Timmies every winter.

By now, I’ve learned some never-failing winter hacks:

  • Stick to the subway for transportation over streetcars and buses.
  • Add spikes to the bottom of your winter shoes, so you don't slip and fall.
  • This one is new: wear a mask to keep your face warm (in addition to staying safe)!

With a page full of activities, winter gear, and life hacks, you can look forward to your first Canadian winter!

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