Cultural Differences in Snow

UPDATE: Classes are cancelled tomorrow because it’s cooooold. Brrrr. Places outside London seem to have been hit even harder than here with the white stuff.

Today is the kind of day when I enjoyed being a Victorian: yes, it might be cloudy and there is a good chance it is at least lightly raining, but it is above zero and the grass is still visible. I may have also been was one of those Victorians who enjoyed flaunting that in the face of the rest of Canada.

Now I really don’t like those people. Rest of Canada: I’m sorry for being like that. (Though I will probably return to that once I move back to Victoria!)

In semi-atoning for my gloating, I’ve come to some conclusions.

(Southern) Ontario freaks out about snow just as much as Victoria does. Which is strange, because they KNOW it is coming – it snows EVERY YEAR, whereas it usually catches Victoria by surprise. (“Will we have snow this year?” “I don’t know, we didn’t last year.”).

The difference of freak out is to about a magnitude of 10:

1cm of snow: Victoria freaks out and wishes they still had a snow plow in town. Police advise people to stay off the roads and some schools and businesses will likely close for at least part of the day.

10cm of snow: London finally deploys its full fleet of snow plows (this is the threshold that the city managers reported on the radio this morning), long after police have advised people to drive carefully if they have to leave the house. But they should probably stay home. Schools might be cancelled, depending on how much the snow is blowing.

Contrast this with my memories of high school in Lethbridge:

Cancelled school?!? What are you, a wuss? We’ll only cancel snow if the temperature is below minus 30 C. And then only if the busses can’t start.

…Or my college days in Prince George:

Why would we cancel college? You can still get here right? So Gillian cross-country skis to school.


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