Growing up in Nantes, close to Brittany, I became quite familiar with rain. A popular local joke claims that “in Brittany, it only rains twice a year, first from January to June, and then from June to December.” Our winters are grey and damp, spring and summer are scattered with showers and fall is often synonym to thunderstorms.
Yet, once again, Canadian weather surprised me. In France, I was used to showers, i.e. a little bit of rain throughout the day and greyish weather. Torrential downpours and severe thunderstorms are all in all quite rare. On top of my head, I can only remember the two Christmas 1999 storms when wind speeds reached around 200 km/h and caused major damage across the country.
In Ottawa, it doesn’t rain, it pours. You barely get any warning at all—one minute, the sky is grey and you feel a drop of water, the next one you are as soaked as if you had taken a shower. Similarly, thunderstorms can be quite impressive in the area—flash floods and power outages are not that rare. It’s part of our severe weather-prone country, I guess.
Last Saturday, I was taking pictures downtown Ottawa when it started to pour. I couldn’t even cross the street to go inside the Byward Market—I would have been soaked in seconds. So I took shelter under one of the fruit stalls and snapped pictures of people around me, trying to capture the atmosphere of a rainy day in Ottawa.