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January 2nd 2009
Published: January 9th 2009
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Canadians make no attempt to hide the fact they live in cold weather conditions. It actually seems like a pissing contest at times to note who lives in the colder climate. This recently happened to me during my first visit (ever) to the next door province of Saskatchewan to visit Saskatoon. When travelling abroad, I smugly tell other travellers that it's normal to have temperatures dipping to -20 Celcius. This seems to be the mark where residents will plug in their cars at night so they start in the morning, others will break out the long johns and Sorel winter boots and the cities open their emergency warming stations and temporary homeless shelters. I suppose its all relative as a few weeks prior on a trip to Las Vegas, I happened to get stuck in the worst snow storm the city has had for the last few decades (or the only snowstorm?) Local news stations reported community workers were busy handing out pamphlets advising the homeless on these temporary shelters and warming stations to get out of the cold. The temperature in Vegas was only around zero degrees celcius during this snowstorm .

Thankfully in Calgary, this unpleasant weather only lingers for about two weeks of every winter. Most of the time, I end up complaining about the brown slush found everywhere downtown that seems to get my shoes dirty when the temperature fluctuates to just below zero. Here in Saskatoon, I was told by a friend matter of factly, that snow blizzards are a common part of winter with the snow building up on occasion to the height of a semi-truck. This is something I always glaze over during the weather channel reports on across the country. During my time in Saskatoon, the temperature reached a low of -40 degrees (without windchill?). If it weren't the holidays, one might still be expected to go to school/work/university.

Random observations:
To most I know, a sweater with a hood is called a "hoodie" whereas in Saskatoon, the going term for this is a "bunny hug"

The soup of the day in restaurants seems to be some variation of chicken lemon soup.

Its a good idea to live next to a bus route (they'll actually plow your road in the winter)

Saskatoon seems to be known for wide left turning (the art of driving a combine never leaves you even when driving a compact car).

Additional photos below
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10th January 2009

The deep cold broke after you left. It's only -25C (-35C with wind) now! And car plug in is at -30C here in toon town. But if it helps any, in summer it can get to 40C.

Tot: 0.325s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 14; qc: 26; dbt: 0.0089s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb