Frosted Flakes


Like most Torontonians, I am only too aware of the fact that our fellow Canadians think we’re all a big bunch of wimpy winter snow sissies.  Well, STICKS AND STONES PEOPLE!  (Actually, we’re not really well equipped to handle that kind of flying branch and rock debris, so … you know, please don’t.)

It all started with “Snowmageddon”, the uber-storm of ’99 when another of our illustrious mayors, Mel Lastman, called in the army to dig us out of an accumulation of white powder (no, not the kind our current Mayor dabbles in) that would have been considered frosty-foreplay in neighbouring Quebec, barely worthy of a swipe of their fancy French windshield wipers. But Mel feared emergency vehicles wouldn’t be able to get through our clogged city streets, so he strapped some snow shovels onto a few Sherman tanks, et voila!  Snow problem obliterated … along with our civic pride.

But we’ve been given the chance to redeem ourselves this weekend by showing a staunch resolve in preparing for the ice storm that’s been hammering our city since Saturday afternoon.  Power is now out in more than 250,000 homes across Toronto, including every street in our neighbourhood except ours.  I’m not really sure why we’ve been spared this pre-Christmas trial, but I’m eternally grateful  we have been, not only for the privilege of heat and power, but because I never did get around to putting together a household Emergency Kit.  I know, I know … baaaaad homeowner.  In my defence, I would have asked Andrew to do it last month, but I just knew somehow that his list of emergency needs would start and end with this:

  • The love of family

No, seriously, he could coast on that for days … because he’s basically a better human being than I am.  Or perhaps he just thinks he could, until hypothermia would eventually set in (which, given his lame-o attempt at packing an emergency kit, would likely be caused by me).

My kit, on the other hand, would simply start and end here:

  • One strapping, young Hydro worker (No, not for THAT … to fix the power!)

Oh, sweet Mother of God, my lights just flickered.


  1. Reese Speaks
    Reese Speaks says:

    Being a Torontonian myself, I know how you feel about the the whole Toronto = sissies label. It sucks, and I wish people would leave that moment in the past, and, like you’ve stated in your post, look at how Toronto is dealing with this ice storm now!

  2. musingmar
    musingmar says:

    Sorry to say we’re still sniggering at Toronto calling in the army to clear snow; it just came up in conversation in the past week. That said, your ice storm sounds awful, especially so many people without hydro. No laughing now. We were very lucky to be spared here in London. Stay warm!

    • Andie Duncan
      Andie Duncan says:

      My sister texted last night to say her power had FINALLY been restored, after 50 hours. A little too close for Christmas comfort, but we’re all grateful for them. Now for the rest of the city …

  3. Carolyn Cook
    Carolyn Cook says:

    Oh please. You are not sissies. I live in Georgia, USA. We can beat you at sissiedom any day of the week. Snow paralyzes us. 🙂 You have my respect (if no one else’s).

    • Andie Duncan
      Andie Duncan says:

      Thanks Tia – there are still people without power here, but the majority are back on the grid. However wind gusts have caused more power outages now as frozen tree branches snap. I feel so bad for the elderly, but neighbourly good deeds have been much in the news thankfully. Have a happy new year! 🙂

  4. Susan Edelman
    Susan Edelman says:

    I trust all has been restored to normal. The next storm has blown through already probably. This is my first time to your blog. I love your writing! Have a Happy New Year!

  5. AnaSpoke
    AnaSpoke says:

    Wow, brings back childhood memories from frozen Russia. Not to brag, but when it was -25 Celsius and the school was out, I happily went outside to play. I was 10, of course, I have no idea what my parents thought about it…Hope it’s all back to normal now!

  6. rbachholzer
    rbachholzer says:

    Hello Andie! Greetings to you in beautiful Canada and many thanks for Liking my blog. Appreciate it. You certainly do amuse, made me smile, and at the fear of sounding a total narcissist – try saying that after you’ve been to the pub; spelling it proved difficult enough – your style of writing reminds me a tad of someone daft as a brush but has been known to hold a pen and not a million miles away. I think it’s the self-deprecating bits. Love ‘em. Absolutely delighted you found me! Be well, stay warm. Best to you, R.

  7. seaangel4444
    seaangel4444 says:

    Hi Andie! During the Christmas holidays, my husband and I were enjoying a 25 hour powerless party up the road in Cambridge, ON! As for the (un)coveted award bestowed upon Torontonians for their alleged wimpy winter ways, I say, “Poppycock!” (does anyone EVER say that?) As a Canuck living in Chicago, I must report that with even the slightest sighting of snow particles dancing in their heads, CHItown folks begin an all-out assault of parkas so thick the likes of which I’ve only seen in, “A Christmas Story”. Grocery stores are swamped with people vying for their ‘right’ to stock up on anything. God have mercy on the souls of those city alderman who dare not get snow removed IMMEDIATELY. I have it on good (or perhaps since this is a “second city”) second-hand authority that powers-that-be have been removed from office for not succumbing to the public pressure of clearing streets immediately. Torontonians are wimps? Not in my snowy book! 😉

    P.S. I love your blog and am so happy to now be following! 🙂
    P.S.S. Happy New Year, Andie! 🙂