What Canadian winter feels like to immigrants and visitors

posted on March 5, 2015

By CBC News | Link to Article

By CBC News | Link to Article

“It was bad,” said Fatemeh Palizban, about this winter, echoing what people across Canada are feeling as the weather breaks long-term cold records. Palizban moved to Canada 13 years ago, and meets with others who want to practice their English at the Downtown Community Centre in Kitchener, part of the YMCA’s Immigrant Services.

Palizban worked as a lecturer in electronics at Laurier University for three years and did project management for Waterloo University, helping professors coordinate projects. Now she volunteers with the YMCA.

“Tehran is cold, it has four seasons but Canada has only two seasons,” she said.

“I feel terrible,” said Palizban about when it gets cold, -30 cold. She says that kind of cold isn’t good for your health.

The shovelling and heating for a full house got to be too much for her, she says, so she moved to an apartment.

“It was terrible, the days — the years that I was living in a house,” she said.

Amin Haidary arrived in Kitchener from Afghanistan about 8 years ago. He lives in Kitchener with his children, and has a brother who lives in the city as well.

Haidary was born in Bamyan province, and says the climate there is similar to Canada.

“Sometimes colder than Canada,” he said.

Haidary has seven children, four daughters and three sons, and one grandchild, a three -year-old girl.

He says that people who move to Canada should work hard and make sure to go to high school and university.

Ryan Tanaka arrived in Canada from Japan about a week ago. He is visiting family in Waterloo Region before heading to Toronto to study English.

“Compared to Tokyo, it’s a nice city here,” said Tanaka.

“Too cold,” is how Tanaka said he would describe the Canadian winter. “I can’t believe it,” he said.

“Compared to Japanese food, Canadian food is easy to cook,” said Tanaka, who explored the Kitchener market, a supermarket and hung out with his host family during his time in the region.

Read Full Article