If there’s one thing Ontario folks love to talk about, it’s the weather. Even more than our friends across the pond. That’s because we have four very distinct seasons, and each one brings with it some wild and wacky weather at some time.
Winter (December to mid March)
Of course, we should start with winter because that’s what people usually think about when they mention Canada. After all, we are known as The Frozen North. And they are not wrong. We have cold, we have snow…..and lots of it. We also have the most magnificent days where the sky is bluer than you have ever seen, the snow hangs heavy on the trees, and the air is so fresh and invigorating, you’ll understand why we fully embrace the winter. Even at -25c (without the windchill).
To really enjoy winter in cottage country you need to dress for it. Good insulated boots, thick socks, fleecy leggings underneath snow pants, and several layers on top. And gloves of course. Remember though that all stores are cosy and warm so if you head out shopping to a mall, prepare to divest yourself of all the layers and get a little more comfortable.
Spring (March – May)
Mother Nature can surprise us by throwing in a couple of 20c days in early April which will hasten the departure of the dirty snow piles in the Tim Horton’s car parks, and boost the betting on ‘ice off’ ( the date the ice finally sinks on the lake). By the third week of April, most lakes will be open water again, the marinas start opening up, and the trucks that were towing snowmobiles a month before are carrying canoes and kayaks instead.
This is the best time to see moose on the highways as they come to lick the salt off the roads – Hwy 60 through Algonquin Park is renowned for this.
With all the ice melting, cottage roads can be very muddy so rubber boots become the footwear of choice. Lighter jackets replace parkas, and once into May temperatures begin to rise, with the occasional days where summer definitely feels on the horizon. By June, the mosquitos make their presence known and the month is probably the ‘buggiest’ of the year. Make sure you have repellent if outside early in the morning and at dusk.
Summer (July – September)