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For the Record

For the Serious Weather Watcher...

Weather Online

You may wish to check the weather on the web before you arrive. A good popular choice is:

But for the weather geek, Vegas odds maker, or meteorologist manqué, Environment Canada maintains the web site for you. To compute the likely weather scenario for the upcoming USITT Conference and Stage Expo:

  • Send your browser to
  • Select "Past Weather" from the left-hand side.
  • Select "Climate Normals and Averages."
  • Type "Toronto" into the location bar and hit "Search."
  • Of the choices offered, the closest is "Toronto Island A," the Island Airport, which is a moderate walk and a short swim from the Conference Centre.

A large table will appear which you can browse to your heart's content. Here are a few interesting historical and geographical tidbits to be gleaned from this treasure trove of data:

  • Toronto sits at latitude 43° 37' N, this part of Canada is actually closer to the Equator than the North Pole.
  • The average daily temperature in March is above freezing.
  • On average, 24 days of the month reach temperatures above freezing.
  • March has more days with rain than it does with snow.
  • Historically, temperatures in March have ranged from a high of 22.5° C (72.5° F) to a low of -20.6°C (-5°F).

The Metric System

Like most countries outside the United States, Canada uses the SI system of measurement, also known as the Metric System, that includes meters, grams, liters, and degrees Celsius. The changeover occurred in the 1970s. This means that Canadians younger than 40 generally find Imperial measurements quaint and unfathomable, middle-aged Canadians are either completely fluent or totally lost in both systems, and senior citizens are perpetually annoyed.

Because of trade between Canada and the United States, lumber and other building materials are still defined in feet and inches. Plywood, however, is sold in sheets that are eight feet long, four feet wide, and 19 millimetres thick!

Theatre work is still largely done in the old Imperial system. This means that the first day of the first stagecraft course in every theatre school in Canada consists of teaching bewildered young adults that there are 12 inches to the foot, and how to read the half, quarter, eighth and 16th marks on a tape measure.

Celsius and Fahrenheit Temperatures

The temperature in Canada is given in Celsius degrees, although some web sites will offer you the option of using Fahrenheit. The Celsius scale (also known as Centigrade) uses the freezing and boiling points of fresh water as its references. Here is a short conversion table with explanations:





The freezing point of water or the melting point of ice, depending on your degree of optimism or pessimism.



The boiling point of water. No, it doesn't get that hot in Toronto

ca. -273°

ca. -459°

Absolute zero. No, it doesn't get that cold in Toronto either.



Where the two scales converge. It gets that cold in many places in Canada, but not in Toronto, despite spurious claims based on wind chill.



Nostril hairs freeze. A temperature that most Canadians - and all Torontonians - will admit is cold. Hasn't happened in Toronto in March for decades.



Chilly. One should probably wear a coat.


Ah, this is promising! No need to actually button the coat up.



Shorts and T-shirts appear. Heaters appear in outdoor patios.





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