Friday, January 23, 2009

Canadian Snowbirds

The term Snowbird is used to describe people from Canada and the Midwestern United States who spend a large portion of winter in warmer locales such as Florida, The Carolinas, California and Arizona or elsewhere along the Sunbelt region of the southern and southwest United States, areas of the Caribbean, and even as far away as Australia and New Zealand.

It is also used for those who migrate to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada for the winter. Victoria is known for having very mild winters by Canadian standards, and has an annual "blossom count" in mid-February to prove its warm winter status. Residents of northern Europe also flock to the warmer areas in the United States, establishing second communities of seasonal residents.

Snowbirds are typically retirees, and business owners who can afford to be away from home for long periods of time or have a second home in a warmer location. Some snowbirds carry their homes with them, as campers (mounted on bus or truck frames) or as boats following the east coast Intracoastal waterway. It used to be that snowbirds were the wealthy who maintained several seasonal residences and shifted residence with the seasons to avail themselves of the best time to be at each location.

Well Paul and I, now being retirees, are on the first leg of our first winter as Canadian Snowbirds in South Carolina. Unfortunately we are not the wealthy type to afford a second residence so we are renting. We left Beresford New Brunswick on 21 January at 8 a.m. and drove to Brockville Ontario, arriving at 8 p.m. It was a long drive but we are happy to report that we had a very uneventful drive and the winter weather was very cooperative. As always the drive in the Montreal area was stressful.

We will spend this coming week here in Brockville visiting with my family and celebrating my Mom's 89th birthday on Monday. We also hope to visit with some of our Ottawa friends later in the week. More to come....


  1. Well, I learn something new every day - I didn't know the snowbird term is used for folks from the US Midwest as well. Makes sense though.