It may be the coldest day of the year but it’s not actually the coldest day of all time in Toronto. Although chances are you may have been around when we had it – it wasn’t really that long ago.
According to Environment Canada, to reach our ultimate low of lows in this city, you have to go back to January 4, 1981.
On that gusty day, the thermometer at Pearson International Airport plunged to -31C. It was also the day we set a new wind chill mark, when the blowing breezes made it feel closer to -44.7.
But that still doesn’t beat the all time record for Canada. To experience the biggest of the big chills, you would have had to be standing outside at a place called Snag in the Yukon back on February 3, 1947. According to the record books, that was the coldest it’s ever been in this country, when temperatures bottomed out to a stunning -62.8C.
Cold air from Siberia flooded into the remote area, which was little more than an abandoned airstrip, and the snap went on for a week. About the only good thing you can say about that historic day: there was no real wind chill.
Not only does that record stand, it also gives the tiny dot on the map the rather dubious honour of having the coldest temperature ever record in North America.
That may not make you feel a lot warmer about what’s going on in the GTA Thursday, but it should remind you that there’s no place like home – especially if you’re inside with the furnace on.