More tales from Canada’s cold snap

Snowy forest Photo courtesy of Barry Burgess

In the past month, Canada has seen all kinds of cold weather: temperatures far below freezing, snow bombs, and blizzards of every variety. And in the coming days, there will be freezing rain in Southern Ontario, snowy squalls on the east coast, and ice creeping over the Great Lakes. It seems Canada’s cold snap just won’t quit.

But while the cold weather may not be welcome, no one can deny it’s a newsmaker. All kinds of stories, from personal anecdotes about iced-over cars to tales of rescuing animals from the snow, come out of the cold weather.

Here are a few more stories from Canada’s cold snap that are making this winter one to remember.

Toronto broke its own record for freezing weather

As it turns out, this January 5th was Toronto’s coldest January 5th on record. The temperature dipped down to –23ºC, which broke a record set in 1959, when the temperature was –20.6ºC. While –23 may not seem so impressive to residents of some other parts of Canada this month, the fact remains it is unusually cold for early January in Toronto — in fact, the coldest ever.

Nicole Kidman got snowed in in Canada

The snow stops for no man — or woman. This is what Nicole Kidman learned when almost didn’t make it back to her home country in time for the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts International Awards on  January 5. Apparently, Kidman was snowed in at a cottage in Canada. Stars: they’re just like us.

The cold weather means it will be a good ice wine season

Frozen grapes on the vine
Photo courtesy of

Icy weather makes for good ice wine. As it turns out, ice wine isn’t named for the way it’s served (chilled), but for the way it’s made. This flavourful dessert wine is made from grapes that are frozen while still on the vine. The juice is pressed from these frozen grapes and used to make the wine, which is sweeter and more concentrated than regular wine. The earlier-than-usual freezing temperatures in Niagara this year should mean a bountiful ice wine season, oenologists (AKA wine scientists) predict.

Lake Erie reached almost 90% ice coverage

Lake Erie didn’t even start getting icy until December 11. But as of January 7, the lake was 87% covered in ice. For a Great Lake to freeze over so completely is an impressive feat of nature, considering that Lake Erie is nearly 26,000 square kilometres.

frozen-over Lake Erie
Photo courtesy of NASA]

Car washes in the Montreal area had to shut down

Winter is usually a big season for car washes, and the regular cold weather doesn’t keep them from functioning since the chemicals used to wash cars don’t freeze at 0 like water. However, at around –25ºC, it’s a bit different. Apparently, the cold weather led most car washes around Montreal to close, as the cold weather was even keeping garage doors from opening and closing. You know it’s cold out when even inanimate objects can’t handle it!


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