Visited two of my favourite Canadian cities (it’s a short list 2/4 in 24 hours) Ottawa and Kingston as they both shook off the winter blahs and celebrated the season.

Winter no matter how long is always too long in the mind of most Canadians and despite modern homes, central heating and non frozen pipes reaching spring is seen as a hard won victory for that same majority.

Pretty sure every Canadian municipality offers up some sort of festival, celebration or party in late January or early February as we attempt to get over the hump of the season we all love to hate. In ottawa it was Winterlude and in Kingston FebFest.

Winterlude in Ottawa is a big deal and the crowds on Saturday reflected it and our National Capital was at it’s sunniest finest as people filled venues both indoors and out. From the National Gallery to the Rideau Canal people were out celebrating survival and adaptation.

Walking about the market and downtown towards the canal (and Beavertails) it was easy to bask in what makes this country awesome. People from many differing backgrounds, speaking many different languages all enjoying the beauty of this country and what it offers.

It is too easy for us to forget what exactly this country is and stands for to the rest of the world and the people we welcome. This, among other things, makes this among the best places to live and a country full of potential and possibilities.

Somewhere in that crowd, someone, despite the snow and despite the cold was thankful that of all the places in the world they could have ended up they ended up in a cold country on a frozen canal eating a sugary pastry.

They were full of joy and I was too.