Homeless in Vancouver: Canadian winter makes it over the Rockies

As office workers in Fairview picked up their morning take-away, they could be assured their steaming hot double-doubles would be closer to iced coffees by the time they sat down in their cubicles.

Vancouver is experiencing a novel patch of cold, dry, winter, and Vacouverites appear to be enjoying it.

They’ve certainly taken to wind chill like ducks to ice water.

This February in Vancouver is a perfect time to enjoy some iced coffee.
Stanley Q. Woodvine

At 8 a.m. this morning the temperature was a modest -3° Celsius. But the McDonald’s at Broadway and Granville was abuzz with various estimates of how cold it really was when you factored in “the wind chill”, and that was just the customers; radio hosts audible in the background were likewise entranced by the magic multiplier.

Sure it was only -3° but with the wind chill, it was… almost Canadian winter cold!

Not really—not even close. As I write this it’s -5° C in Vancouver, but east of the Rocky Mountains it’s -22° C in Calgary, Alberta, and -24° C in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Farther north in Iqaluit, Nunavut, it’s -25° C (“feels like -38″).

Vancouver’s idea of winter is always good for a chuckle in the rest of Canada but if they’re laughing at us now, it’s hard to tell through all the layers of clothing they’re wearing—the scarves and toques and balaclavas, parkas and moon boots. The “laughter” may just be muffled whimpering.

Meanwhile, here on the West Coast, there’s breathless anticipation of real snow on Monday (February 10). That being the second Monday in February, here in beautifully brisk, British Columbia. it will also be Family Day.

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