- Posted by Gilleen Witkowski
- On August 29, 2016
- 2 Comments
- children, dog-walking, heat warning, heat wave, kids, outdoors, petcare, polar vortex, summer, Toronto, Toronto dog walker, Toronto zoo, wildlife
When you think of typical Canada you might think of this:
Barren trees, snow for days…looks about right
But we also have the polar opposite of the polar vortex.
Literally hotter than Burning Man
It is difficult to remember the other side of the coin exists when we’re dealing with the other, but both can be great, both can be difficult, and both can be totally absurd.
And while Torontonians may be famous for being particularly used to our nice things, between our brave but faltering transit system, our days packed with the work obligations that allow us to live in our pricey shoeboxes, and our millions of people, those extreme weather days have an impact on our city’s flow.
Here are some observations about that flow. As a sequel to Emma’s 10 signs you’re a dog walker, you know you’ve worked outside…in Toronto…in the middle of summer, when:
- Your skin and body changes
This is obviously different for everyone, but for me it means despite putting sunscreen on half a dozen times a day, my freckled ginger skin is noticeably darker and frecklier, and it feels like it’s aged in a hard-working, sun-kissed way.
I should be living where the sun never shines
You are also bathing in your own sweat most of the time, and have to constantly be drinking water should you ever hope to ever pee again after the levels of dehydration that you are now experiencing.
- People talk to you
People’s reactions are overwhelmingly positive when you are walking dogs (we have written about how dogs break down communication barriers in Toronto). Office workers on breaks appreciate the chance to smile at and maybe pet a friendly dog, and other outdoor workers know you’re one of them and greet you as you cross paths. Truck drivers, delivery folks and couriers, landscapers, concierges on their rounds, camp counsellors and caregivers, moms and dads with their coffees and strollers, fellow dog walkers – you exchange friendly nods with those who toil in the outdoors as you go about your day.
How can you not smile at this little face?
- Downtown summer camps are in full swing
Speaking of camp counsellors…
You start to notice that large groups of children are walking the streets and playing in the parks with their camp counsellors. Each camp adorably wears same-coloured t-shirts so the kids can be easily spotted. All summer they play their camp games in the park, twirl around in kayaks in the harbour, and make the rest of us a little nostalgic.
- Wildlife is a part of city life
You don’t need to visit the Toronto Zoo to spot different animals in the City (although it’s always worth a trip!).
I narrowly missed crossing paths with a skunk, while in the company of an excitable dog who likes to stalk small animals. Nut-burying squirrels run the streets, Canada geese are in charge of the waterfront. There are possums. Bunnies and groundhogs live at Fort York.
Whether you’re working in a park or sticking to the pavement, you’re always keeping an eye out for Toronto’s wildlife because you never know when you’ll see a deer, snake, coyote, capybara, monkey, or peacock, and you like it that way.