Report & photos by Isabel Raupp
Toronto, February 1st: 17 degrees below zero
When I found out I was moving to Canada, I couldn’t help but go online and check the weather forecast and the climate of the region I was about to move to. Yes, I was about to arrive to Canada, more precisely to Toronto. Not only is the weather forecast an essential part of a travel list but it is also part of the city’s everyday life.
Many said it would be too cold for a Brazilian, shivering with fear, rather than from the cold. When I arrived, it was a typical 1st of February: 17 degrees below zero, gray skies and snow throughout the day and the first night. But I must admit that I liked it. As a gaucho, (someone from the south of Brazil) who is passionate about the winter season, I had no trouble adapting. That became more evident when I realized that the snow hid other virtues of the city. As soon as the sun melted the white blanket that took the streets and the rooftop of each building, it was then possible to discover a fantastic city. Spring brings mild temperatures and an incredible power: the thermometer changes the mood of the city. The colours of the flowery streets are reflected on people’s faces.
A new rhythm in the summer
Unlike winter, summer is lively and exciting. One thing that strikes me is how much people try to enjoy the city during the summertime – they don’t travel. They know Toronto takes on a new rhythm in the summer with hundreds of events happening around town. There are beer festivals, bikes everywhere, beach on the lake (something different for Brazilians), bars with tables on the sidewalk and the much anticipated patio season (you’ll only understand that when you’re in Toronto).
High Park: a multi-coloured painting
The icing on the cake is the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF), the renowned international film festival that shakes up the city center while the first signs of fall appear on the streets and squares across Toronto. That’s when the city turns into a multi-coloured painting, where every day Mother Nature’s incredible artwork is on display. Fall colors are painted everywhere. The best fall foliage can be seen at High Park, on the west side of Bloor St, at Queen’s Park in the heart of the city and on the islands of Lake Ontario. A must see! That’s when one realizes why the maple leaf is Canada’s national symbol. It’s everywhere reminding us of how beautiful Canada is!
Isabel Raupp is a journalist with 25 years experience in Television and Radio and expertise in Public Relations and Government Relations. She writes the blog “Dessert” about cooking from five different countries (Italia, Estados Unidos, India, Africa do Sul e Canadá), where she lived the last decade.