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Winter in Toronto can be a depressing season. Fresh snow seldom lasts in the core, but the slush never leaves. Traffic inevitably deposits all sorts of foul substances into the slurry that coats every road, and after a few heavy snowfalls the city is one bleak grey mess. Deep downtown the skyscrapers block the sunlight much of the time and the snow will remain well into spring, dull char-spotted heaps perched at the cusp of sidewalks. Those same towering buildings channel cold winds to fierce velocities, sapping warmth and moisture from shivering bodies bound for work, home, or elsewhere. The last month of winter is usually the worst - salt has stained cars and paved surfaces, hardened clots of ice remain in shadowed locales, and the populace is so sick of the weather conditions that they are liable to grimace in passing or snap at the slightest provocation. Though the heaviest snowfalls usually drop further down the Golden Horseshoe thanks to wind patterns and the "lake effect", Toronto is still hit hard every few seasons.

Urban Canadians seem to have difficulty taking advantage of the cold season - they tend to simply tolerate it for months, awaiting those harsh and humid Toronto summers when the cycle of complaint begins anew. Skiing is an option for the well-to-do, though Ontario's hills aren't much to speak of. Skating can be had at neighbourhood rinks, and each winter the pond at Nathan Phillips Square is iced over and open to the public. I've not found much to do during winters here - usually the procedure is to wait it out by staying warm inside and getting plenty of coding or composing done over hot cocoa. Winter in Canada may be an enjoyable time for many, but the density of the big city works against what charms it may have. Nonetheless, the diversity of citizens in Canada's largest city makes certain the notion that there are those that fully enjoy winters in the metropolis.

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