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Baby, it’s cold outside!

January 14, 2009 Leave a comment

I’m at Lagoon City on Lake Simcoe where I spend most of my time now that Deborah and I have given up our Toronto town house in favor of a pied-a-terre in Cabbagetown.

And we’re in the deep freeze – minus 30 Celsius tomorrow – as the jet stream pumps cold air across the country and deep into the States.

The cold got me to thinking about how the homeless endure this kind of ordeal. It’s a challenge for folks who work with the homeless to get them off the street. The fact many prefer to hover over hot air vents rather than go to a shelter tells us something of the complexity of this issue. I view homelessness as more a health issue than a housing problem.

Rae Bridgman, an expert in city planning, has written on this in Safe Haven: The Story of a Shelter for Homeless Women. She writes eloquently of life at Savard’s, a Toronto shelter that serves women who have resisted using shelters, or have been barred from other shelters.It’s here.

For the rest of us, there’s a variety of winter distractions. I think the silliest among them is ice fishing. Sitting in a little hut, drinking cold beer, and dropping a line through a hole in the ice.

You Tube has an especially stupid ice fishing video shot on Lake Simcoe. It shows three hosers boasting of their catch, which they’ve dumped on the ice in front of them like so many turds.

 When  the weather warms up this weekend (if it does!) I’ll get out my cross-country skis and take a turn on Lagoon City’s canals. Better than boozing it up in an ice hut!

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