Snow, Cold, and Winter: What Does that Mean for Canada in the 20th and 21st Centuries

TitleSnow, Cold, and Winter: What Does that Mean for Canada in the 20th and 21st Centuries
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2017
AuthorsToupin, Jerry
Conference Name85th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date Published2017
Conference LocationBoise, Idaho

Canada and Canadians are known throughout the world namely because of snow, cold and winter. At the
beginning of the 20th century the vast majority of the population was still rural (1901) and continues to battle against
winter, snow and cold. People remained isolated. Following the Industrial Revolution, expansion of cities was
inevitable in developed countries and by 1921 more than 50 percent of the Canadian population was already
migrating to cities. Urbanization was in place yet winter remained a difficult season for most people.
The 20th and the 21st centuries brought major changes in how Canadians faced the cold season. This article
depicts how technology, to some extent, changed the way people live through winter in Canada. The 20th century
saw the introduction of cars, and snowmobiles, the St. Lawrence Seaway, commercial aviation and improved roads,
as well as better government policies (services). The 21st century offers more accurate long-term and short-term
weather winter forecasting. The applications of more and more “apps” for smartphones and other electronic devices
are now major tools to possibly improve the quality of life during the wintertime in Canada. Nanotechnology or the
engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale (including graphene: the material of the future) could lead
to nanomaterials and major change for the 21st century and beyond.