“Happy to go back to Canada?” the bakery assistant asked when I mentioned we were flying the following day.
I wasn’t, so I just shrugged.
“I mean, I can see why,” she went on, correctly interpreting the classic gallic gesture. “The weather is still lovely here, and what’s waiting for you? Close to 24-hour darkness and snow! Wow… the transition is going to be brutal.”
It wasn’t the time nor the place to start educating yet another French on the many differences between living in Southern Ontario and the Arctic Circle. There was a long lineup of hungry customers behind me and it doesn’t take much for French society to descend into chaos when bread is involved—I assume you’ve heard about the French Revolution.
So I shrugged again, grabbed the baguette that would be my sandwich for the flight, and I au revoir’ed the empathic yet geographically challenged assistant.
“It’s not going to be cold in Canada, is it?” Mark immediately asked after we stepped out.
“Of course, not! It’s only September!”
“Oh, good. Cause I need to go to the park. That’s where my friends hang out, you know.”
“You should be able to. Honestly, I don’t start worrying about cold weather and all until at least after your birthday. Fall is gorgeous in Ottawa. Indian Summer is probably my favourite North American meteorological phenomenon.”
But the weather is just a game of probabilities. The September 2018 tornado outbreak was a complete surprise, and flurries aren’t unheard of in late October. Still, usually, the temperature goes down very gradually in Ottawa, with hot and sunny days and cooler nights—the best of both worlds.
Except for this year.
“Feels much colder than in France!” I noted when Feng picked us up in Montreal.
“It’s just today because it rained overnight,” Feng quickly assured. “It will be warmer tomorrow, I promise,” he added, probably worrying I was already considering flying somewhere reliably hot.
We did have a few nice days here and there, but it got cold, windy, damp and rainy really fast.
No Indian Summer this year.
No “I can’t believe I’m still wearing shorts!” moments either.
But on the positive side, colder weather brought us amazing fall colours this year.