My Snow Day is Bigger than Your Snow Day

freeimage-4030213 Friday brought the GTA a blast of winter, with a 25-35 centimetre dumping of snow in less than 24 hours.  So, some might ask, what’s all the fuss about T.O.?

Well, first of all, I can say that my fellow citizens took it all in stride. Some stayed home from work, or kept their children home from school.  Buses were cancelled but the Toronto District School Board remained open.  As far as I could tell, most businesses remained open and transit ran (mostly) smoothly.  The snow plows and salters were out, in what looked like, full force.  But for a city of a significant size, we all know that it will take time for the big cleanup.

I spoke to a few neighbours shoveling their walks during the peak of the storm.  They were cheery, knowing the task must be performed.  I heard not a grumble from my fellow passengers on the TTC, some who waited in the bitter cold, with delays of buses and trains on the return trip home early Friday evening.  I was able to leave work early, but like one of my fellow commuters, waited over 40 minutes at Spadina Station for a transit bus that never came.  Did I hear one complaint?  No.

So I ask the rest of the country this. Why do you assume that because we live in Toronto, that we are all a bunch of pussies?  Sure, we live in a weather bubble in this city, and have warmer than average winters compared to other parts of the country.  On every news site, where weather in southern Ontario is reported, there is always some curmudgeonly Westerner or Easterner or Northerner who wants to know why this is news or why Torontonians and those living in the GTA or Golden Horseshoe can’t just suck it up. They have some kind of news envy, where the media doesn’t pay any attention them or where other regions don’t get the same kind of attention. Part of the news is reporting the weather, and that’s what the media does.

They make a big deal out of it, because that’s their job.  It doesn’t mean that we do.  And it doesn’t mean that we are not sensitive to your storms or forest fires or droughts.  We are.  In fact, we would never even think (well, maybe a few jerks would) of telling you to suck it up.  Or that the few people who were killed as a result of the storm aren’t any big deal, or that the partial closure of the 401, the main artery leading into the GTA isn’t news worthy. And while I’m at it, and others have caught onto this as well, the comparisons between regions by posters are sometimes preposterous – I mean in that they just make crap up.

I’m not sure why those that live outside the GTA assume that we have never stepped outside of our proverbial bubble.  Sure, there are some newcomers to Canada, who might have experienced their first winters in Toronto, but I can state with almost certainty, that many Torontonians weren’t even born in this part of Canada, me included. I lived and spent many a winter in Winnipeg, a city cold as hell, but dry with no more precipitation than Toronto, Nova Scotia, where coastal winters brings cold and damp conditions and Montreal, with huge dumping of snow.

So other parts of Canada or Ontario, I think it’s time for you to suck it up.  You did, after all, choose to live where you do.  But if you ever want to live in the most awesome city in Canada, you’re welcome to come here.  After all, we are merely an assembly of citizens of Canada and the world.

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