By Rachel Muenz
Back in January 2009, an article in the Toronto Star said Toronto should to do more to help its citizens love winter. The city should celebrate the cold and snow instead of complaining about it, the story said.
I couldn’t agree more.
Coming from the boonies, there’s always been a ton of fun things to do in the winter. I’ve always looked forward to it and was surprised by how much people hated the snowy season when I moved to Toronto. But, after finding out how little there is to do outdoors, I can see why Torontonians dread the first snowflake.
With winter already in the air, here are some pursuits from the country that should be imported to the city:
A sugar shack:
I’m not sure how it would be done but I’m sure someone smarter than me could figure it out. Put a sugar shack in the middle of downtown Toronto. Or at least snack stands to sell maple syrup products. What’s more fun than eating vanilla ice cream drizzled with maple syrup or a box of maple candies? Children and their parents could learn about how maple syrup is made and stay warm beside the boiling vats of sap.
Torontonians are just too fashionable to keep properly warm. No wonder they hate the cold. In the country, people dress to stay warm even if they look like complete idiots. For just one day – Ugly Snowsuit Day – Torontonians would have to dress up in the most awful-looking, but warmest, clothes they own. At the end of the day, prizes would be given for the ugliest outfit.
Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing:
Toronto’s parks should be made more welcoming for both these sports. Stations could be set up in existing buildings where people could rent skis or snowshoes and warm up with hot drinks and snacks. Workers would be on hand to lead a nature ski or snowshoe through the park and get newcomers more comfortable on their skis. You could also buy birdseed to feed the birds along the way.
I’m sure kids in Toronto’s schools have snowball fights just as often as children from the country, but it should be made into a city-wide event. For a Saturday afternoon, if there’s enough clean snow, Toronto should shut down part of Yonge Street and have a free-for-all snow brawl. There would be rules for safety, of course, no head shots, but anyone could enter. Registration fees could go towards supporting homeless shelters and there would be food and prizes afterward.
Cardboard toboggan races:
An annual event in my area, cardboard sled races need to be brought to Toronto. Teams build, decorate, and then race their toboggans down park hills and get prizes based on design and number of races won. Sometimes the creations are pretty ridiculous and it’s great fun to watch with a hot chocolate in your hand, especially when people go for a tumble.
How could you not love winter with activities like these?