Winter of Change

Yes, yes, I’m yet another person mentioning this brutal winter just passed. As Winnipeggers we’re all aware, and oddly proud, that we’ve survived the worst winter anyone alive could have possibly experienced. We even won the award for worst winter across Canada… Yyyaaaaaaaayyyyyy!?

One of the many things I wondered about this year was how sales and other markets were affected. Obviously people are slightly less interested in going to look for homes in -52 C with 5’ of snow everywhere. Homes still sold though! I would often be driving home (usually in some sort of snow storm) and see people peel off one after the other into the Liquor Store parking lot. It occurred to me that they MUST have sold more alcohol this winter than ever before, right? Call it celebrating, drowning sorrows, or simply trying to keep warm, but it seemed a fair assumption.

The Winnipeg Free Press recently published an article about Home Renovations being super high this year. Last year was busy too, but this year is already booking up fast and keeping trades hopping. Check it out at: . My own network of contractors has the exact same story to tell. See, my theory on this is that, yes, Winnipeggers renovate a ton because we generally have older houses than many other cities. I think that this year is bringing on more renovations because people were cooped up inside for WAY too long. Sitting in your house, getting cabin fever, finding things you want to change. Maybe the size of the kitchen has always bugged you a bit, or you’re not a huge fan of the flooring, but spending a solid 5 or 6 months STARING at things (probably while watching home improvement/renovation shows) will definitely be an incentive to make a change. When I was a painter my boss always said the paint job in a bathroom, particularly around and across from the toilet, must be flawless. The reason being that you sit and stare in that area. Same rules apply here, in my humble opinion.

Apparently hair dressers are also experiencing a bit of a boom as well. People are wanting to change their hair style or colour just to brighten things up and make a change. It makes me wonder if maybe other industries are experiencing this too. Maybe flower sales are up because people want to bring something springy into their homes. Maybe gyms are getting higher attendance. It certainly seems that way at my gym, and how great is that?! I like to think that live music performances have picked up too. People still crowded into Festival du Voyageur this year, despite the cold. Heck, maybe car sales or trade-ups went up too. I know I thought about trading up more than once, when my teeny wheels on my teeny car got stuck this winter for the umpteenth time! Now we just have to think “hybrid”…

At any rate, I think it’s nice that people are looking for ways to brighten their lives. You’ve gotta love Winnipeggers for that. Give us mountains of snow, and the harshest winters (and sometimes summers), but we will just find a way to laugh. We will find a way to be joyful, even if it’s only planning changes for spring – and that’s something.


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