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Vancouverite needs cold weather advice

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Vancouverite needs cold weather advice


I've lived in Vancouver (and area) for my whole life, but am moving to Saskatoon at the end of the month because of a job offer.

Silly question, but is there anything I need to know about living in below freezing temperatures? I've never been anywhere like Saskatoon before. Obviously I will need to buy some warm winter clothes, but not sure how else I should prepare. Can I let my cats outside in the winter or could their feet freeze?

Any advice from someone living in Saskatchewan/Saskatoon would be much appreciated.



Cold Weather Challenged :)

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1. Re: Vancouverite needs cold weather advice

I like in Saskatoon. My advise is a warm winter coat will be fine. You may want to get a block heater in your vechile for plugging it in on cold winter days/nights. Our cats are outdoor cats and they do just fine in the winter (they have a heating coil in their outside house).

You'll like our winters as they can be cold but the still shines which will be a nice change from Vancouver. The weather is only nasty when their is a wind chill (in that case it'll be quick trips from the car to the house!).

Lots of things to get involved in Saskatoon... you'll like it as most people find it very friendly and welcoming city.

Anything else I can help with just let me know.

Saskatoon, Canada
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2. Re: Vancouverite needs cold weather advice

You will eventually adjust and think -10 is a warm day :-)

As for your cats, they do have a by-law in effect and cats and dogs must be leashed and licensed if you live in the city. If your cat is found roaming, it will be impounded and you will be fined. However, if you cats are going to stay on your property, they will be fine for short trips outside. You don't want to leave them out too long, as cats like to crawl up under vehicles that have been used - because the engine is warm - it is a potential death sentence for them. The barn where I keep my horse have several feral cats that do fine over the winter months - but we always bang the car hood before we leave.

Do get a block heater for your car if it doens't already have one and an extension cord. Car starter is also nice - not enviromentally friendly, but still nice. Warm jacket, warm footwear, mitts or gloves, toque and scarf. If you are just staying in the city and not walking any great distances, you will be fine. However, if you plan on traveling out of the city on some of the back roads, it's a good idea to purchase or make up a winter travel emergency kit.

Saskatoon tends to only have a couple of weeks of really cold weather, otherwise it is not too bad. Of course, you won't have flowers growing in your garden in Feb....

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3. Re: Vancouverite needs cold weather advice

Good Day to Saskatoon, possible moving in the new year from Toronto. Can anyone tell me the general attitude of this westernn city? Night life, restraunts, people,in general prices of food gas accomodations.

Kimberley, Canada
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4. Re: Vancouverite needs cold weather advice

With what is predicted to be the coldest winter in several years, you need to be prepared for a "prairie winter".

1. Ensure the anti-freeze in your car's radiator is good to -40 (Celcius and Farenheigt par out at 40 below) + make sure your windshield washer fluid is "winter mix" + "good" wiper blades. Make regular use of your engine's block heater - you never know how much the temp will drop at night, so "plug it in" = everynight. Having dependable transportation is a key to beating back winter - snow tires would be a "good idea" - even though many experienced locals likely run all-season tires. . . :"everybody" sells "snow/ice" tires - WalMart, Canadian Tire, Costco, + +. Key to winter driving - slow and steady! Also, make sure your car battery is not "past prime" - most get tired out after three years of use - very important that your vehicle has the "juice" for cold weather starts.

2. Dress in "layers" - if you are going to be shovelling your driveway and moving around outside, purchase fleece clothing, toque, gloves/mitts (mitts are warmer), and a pair of "bib" type overalls to wear as the top layer over your long underwear/clothing (thinsulate is lightweight modern material found in most winter wear) and fleece garments. A good pair of lined winter boots (high top) + keeping your "extremities" warm - head/hands/feet will keep your body's core temperature "warm". There are "stylish" options for winter foot wear - keeping your feet warm and dry will make your life more comfortable. If you using public transit - be prepared for cold waits and unpredictable service on "blizzard days". . .

3. If you travel long distance pack your winter clothing and boots with you - you never know when you may be stranded. . . Pay attention to weather forcasts, if/when you leave town - common sense may well be to delay a trip due to winter road conditions.

3. Your cats will be fine - try not to leave them out at night - they will freeze the tips of their ears before their feet will be "bothered".

4. To "fit in" - join a Curling Club - incredibly social game + "locals" will appreciate your efforts "to belong". Will be lots of local hockey to get out and see/mix. Other ideas are cross country skiing/snow shoeing/skating/tobaoganning - if this suits you, buy the appropriate clothing and make everyday use of "specialized" underwear and the waterproof outerwear that should be considered "to go with" the sport.

Remember, winter never lasts forever - some daze it just feels that way - the worst thing you can do is move to a new city and go into hibernation. Get out and mix with the friendly prairie folk - you will notice that when it is cold out, and I mean cold - the "local" people tend to like to look strangers right in the eye, chuckle, and say "damn cold out isn't it" or give one another a quick smile as they pass on the street. Dry cold of prairie is beatable by dressing warmly - vs. wet cold of Vancouver/Toronto. I'd rather be in -40 with blue skys and sunshine than -10 with continual days of doom and gloom cloud cover. . .

Best of luck!

Regina, Canada
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5. Re: Vancouverite needs cold weather advice

Get a good jacket with a hood. I prefer the type where the inner fleece can zip out and be used as a light summer jacket. If your winter jacket doesn't have a hood, get a warm toque and neckwarmer.

Definetly agree with the block heater comments, and plugging in every night. Also part of this is get a GOOD extension cord. Some of the smaller ones will freeze and it makes it difficult to coil them up nicely to put in your car. Actually, I suggest plugging in at work as well if you have that ability.

I like a good pair of Sorrels to keep my toes warm, although they are heavy if you are walking long distances.

Your cats can go outside, although they most likely won't be willing to stay out there for very long.

When listening to the weather report, listen for the windchill factor. It can be -10 but feel like -30, and there is a world of difference between those two temps. I dress for the windchill since to me it's all about how cold I feel, not how cold it actually is.

Regina, Canada
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6. Re: Vancouverite needs cold weather advice

To Juddster - I would think that life here is considerably different than Toronto. I've lived here my entire life and had 1 snow day (last year, big big blizzard). We don't go clubbing, we go to the bar. We have all sorts of restaurants ranging from decently priced ($15 for a meal & pop) to expensive, all depends on what you want.

Same with accomodations, there are dives and there's the place that royalty and big politicians stay.

The cost of living here would typically be considered to be less than Toronto. Rent is cheaper (but going up every day), taxes are cheaper etc. Last I heard we were paying about the same for gas.

I think the people here are in general nice, welcoming people. Saskatoon is cleaner than Toronto, no smog alerts here. We have more trees than the southern portion of the province and are much closer to all the lakes. With a 1-2hr drive you can find beautiful lakes for fishing, swimming, boating etc. Also nicely located for a weekend roadtrip to Calgary or Edmonton. You could include Winnipeg in there but I don't know anyone that does.

Oh and Saskatchewan kinda has it's own language. Not that we aren't understandable or anything, we just have some words that no one else really uses. Such as the ongoing debate over whether it's a bunnyhug or a hoodie.

7. Re: Vancouverite needs cold weather advice

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