Winter Christmas

Photography by Angela McConnell

So winter in Toronto has been really interesting and fun for us. Given Geoff and I both originate from the Southern Hemisphere we have always celebrated a summer Christmas. Of course coming from New Zealand there have been many Christmas days where the weather has been so crap that we have actually needed to put the heater on, not so much an issue in Australia. I have for the most part had a BBQ Christmas dinner (the weather doesn’t normally impact too badly, rainy Christmas days mean we move the BBQ to the conservatory to cook), Geoff’s family have nearly always had a traditional turkey dinner (his mum comes from England) which is amusing in 35 plus weather ๐Ÿ™‚

The weather leading up to Christmas was chilly but not so chilly that I couldn’t keep my weekly running routine on track (which has sadly fallen behind post Christmas), and it was starting to look like there wouldn’t be a white Christmas. But on Christmas morning we woke up to a really light dusting of snow which was a bit exciting – we still find tiny flurries really awesome and I pretty much do a happy dance and make excuses to go outside whenever it happens.

Christmas Eve was spent on Skype with the family back in NZ and Australia since it was already Christmas Day there – NZ was absolutely sweltering in one of the hottest Christmases on record and Australia was warm as usual. It was a very quiet Christmas Day but we had a Netflix Christmas movie marathon and a massive roast beef and roast chicken dinner, with pavlova, jelly and berries for dessert.

Here are some photos from our Christmas

I decided on a teal and silver themed tree – and of course I am obsessed with anything covered in glitter

Rastus checking out the decorated tree

Our little tree – complete with plush kitten on top instead of a star

Pretty lights in Yorkville prior to Christmas

A cold gloomy day down at the Harbour front

4pm in the afternoon and already getting dark – on the plus side the city lights look really pretty

My Tui and Piwakawaka tree – a Christmas present from home

Our first dusting of snow

Christmas morning and Father Christmas brought us some snow – this made me pretty happy

Snow dusting the bushes at our house

Boxing Day brought the first winter storm to Toronto – of course we had to run around in it as soon as it started snowing

The snowstorm rolls into Toronto on Boxing Day evening

Out in the snowstorm on Boxing Day evening walking back through our favourite park

We visited the Christmas Bengal Tiger in Koreatown during the snowstorm

Geoff with the Christmas Bengal Tiger

After the Boxing Day snow storm – we thought 10cm was awesome until we saw the 45cm Montreal got!

View from our front porch

Geoff in the snow

The first day of wearing snow boots

Snow on the fir trees – quintessential Christmas image that we normally see in the Southern Hemisphere

Our favourite park around the corner – so different from lounging on the grass in Summer

Our snowy street with our house in the middle of the image

Our snow covered house

Top of our street after the coffee run

You could tell the people who didn’t leave their houses for a while – unfortunately for some people that made it easy for the parking inspectors to issue tickets!

Of course since there was a good amount of snow on the ground we thought it would be a great idea to introduce the cats to snow. Perrin is definitely not a fan, although Geoff said it probably wasn’t a good idea to drop him in the middle of a snow drift. Rastus as with most things took it in his stride, and then decided to christen the snow by peeing in it.

Perrin says no to snow!

Rastus takes the first opportunity he can to make some yellow snow

Walking to Yorkville to run some errands – streets not yet plowed

We decided pretty much at the last minute to take a trip to Montreal for New Years. It was a great opportunity to take the train to see some countryside and it was actually a really great experience. So much more legroom than the plane, power plugs next to the seats to charge the phone and free WiFi – it made the 5 hour trip seem pretty easy all in all. Also the scenery was pretty amazing – it snowed the entire way to Montreal and you could how much snow had actually fallen during the storm.

On the way to Montreal – the train follows Lake Ontario up the coast

Lake Ontario from the train to Montreal – this is just before Oshawa

Halfway to Montreal – on the train at Kingston

Dorval train station in Montreal – lots of snow!

It was very chilly in Montreal – most days it didn’t get above -15 and it was pretty challenging walking the footpaths that hadn’t been plowed. But it was nice to get outside in the fresh air and work off the wine and cheese from the night before…couldn’t resist sampling cheese and wine every night we were there. It was so much fun hanging out with old friends, cooking, drinking and having a great time picking up from where we left off in Melbourne.

The view from Steve and Cari’s apartment after the street was plowed

Massive snow banks across the road from Steve and Cari’s apartment

Sunny but extremely cold supermarket trip in Montreal – it was -15

Cheeky Jesse feeling a bit under the weather after he found our stash of snacks, including my NZ Jet Plane lollies ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I love this face!!!

Jesse loves his mummy and daddy’s bed

Pretty buildings in Montreal

Jesse loves to roll in the snow – his snowy muzzle was super cute

Roll, roll, roll in the snow – check out his awesome snow boots

Trees covered in snow

Brockwell stop on the train from Montreal

Sunny trip back to Toronto on the train from Montreal

So now we are back to reality in Toronto, Geoff is back at work and I am back to job hunting again.

Snowing again on my weekly grocery trip – at the bottom of the stairs to Casa Loma

Snow covered bushes at Casa Loma

Pretty winter scene

Looking back towards the city at the top of the hill at Casa Loma

Casa Loma in Winter

Looking towards the city which is invisible because of the snow falling

Great tobaggan runs on this hill

Hoping everyone had a happy holiday season and like me you are looking forward to a productive and exciting 2013 ๐Ÿ™‚

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