After Immigrating from Colombia, I Quickly Fell in Love with Canada. Its Winters? Not So Much

I have an adversarial relationship with winter. Basically, the season torments me.

Toronto winter in 2015Photo: mikecphoto/Shutterstock

My first Toronto winter

I moved to Toronto from Colombia to be with my partner in 2015. I love my husband, but winter and I have a far more adversarial relationship. Basic­ally, the season torments me.

My first year here, I developed a serious case of the winter blues. There was a time when I didn’t leave the house for 10 days straight. I’d stick a pinkie finger out the door and be like, Nope! Too cold! But I’d also see all these other people just walking around like it was nothing. I made it my mission to survive the season.

First, I tried to join my partner for an after-work stroll. It was minus-35 C, so I got bundled up in more layers than I’d ever worn. I was determined. Ready. I barely made it to the top of the street before I had to give up and duck into a restaurant. I was so dizzy and short of breath that one of the staff members came over and asked me if I was okay.

My next bright idea was to turn on my oven for extra heat. That worked for a while—but eventually I used it so much that it broke. I tried diligently taking vitamin D (not as transformative as I’d hoped), staring at a lamp that simulated the sunrise (useless) and taking time to appreciate the beauty of winter scenery (best done from indoors, in my opinion). I’m still not on great terms with the season, but I haven’t given up. This year I plan to try ice skating and winter cottaging. Eventually, we’ll work things out.

Don’t miss this heartwarming story of one family’s first Prince Edward Island winter.

Reader's Digest Canada
Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada