March 26th. A primer on enjoying a Canadian spring day in Toronto with plenty of sunshine and a temperature of -12 ºC (10 ºF) with a windchill of -24º C (-11 ºF).
Step 1. Avail yourself of the following: boots, winter jacket, gloves, touque (winter hat), camera. Head to the harbour front, enjoy the colourful kayaks at the frozen marina, appreciate the delightful sarcasm of a sand beach and bright yellow parasols with snow patches nearby, envy sun-bathing ducks, and admire the beautiful tundra swans with their elegant black beaks and legs. [Yes, locking yourself home and binge-watching series would seem a more rational choice, but unseasonable cold seems to trigger irrational responses in some...]
Step 2. Catch a cute ferry to the Toronto Islands and note the resilient civility of the inhabitants of said islands who, after their toughest winter in years, still find the time to leave friendly and grateful messages to the ferry operators in the form of a communal greeting card. [Frankly, by this moment, not finding almost suicidal or homicidal messages at this winter's length and strength is a sign of almost absurd sturdiness, or maybe signs of the onset of some dreadful mental condition?]
Step 3. Is there ice? snow? Appreciate the strange forms leaves, plants, branches and the like create on a ground that has frozen and unfrozen countless times. Embrace a snow-cased spring. Like those buds, you too shall emerge victorious. [Or it could be that you won't, like the dead duck I saw floating upside down by the frozen water, but let's not go there...]
Step 4. This should cheer you up. Bright blue skies. The second oldest lighthouse in Canada at Gibraltar Point. Dashes of colour thanks to red bushes. No sarcastic comment needed here. It's really pretty.
Step 5. It's really nice out here in the islands. Really do take a moment to appreciate the colours, the skies, the scenery, and Toronto's landmark, the CN Tower. No, really, do enjoy this.
Step 6. Head to the northern shore of the island. Like an archaeological dig, see how layer after layer of snow and freezing rain have temporarily transformed the shoreline. A stark reminder of a crazy winter. But crazy is good too. We remember crazy. We don't remember meh. You might not see such a brutal winter in many years. [Fingers crossed, nailed together so they won't uncross, chopped off and put in a safe, just in case].
Cheers to Canadian spring! [Or not]