In the UK I used to to get excited when the puddles froze solid – usually there was little more than a thin layer of ice on the surface. I’m once again stunned by how alien our own planet can seem within the context of previous experience.
We have just returned from a much needed long-weekend away. We chose to head an hour or so north of Toronto, to Jackson Point on Lake Simcoe. In the township of Georgina, this area lays claim to being the ice-fishing capital of the world. Although not a ‘Great Lake’, Lake Simcoe is an expanse of water so huge that you cannot see the far shore. And at this time of year, it is not water, but a vast, blinding whiteness of ice. Not only can you walk on water, you can drive on it (though this is not covered by your insurance, so we didn’t!). Peppered across the ice are clusters of ice-fishing huts. A constant traffic of skidoos and the strange vehicles that offer transport to the fishermen traverse the lake. But, in a couple of weeks or so, there will begin to be air patrols to ensure that everyone leaves the ice before it starts to break up.
There are ice roads out to the Chippewa territories on Georgina Island. A few years ago some people strayed off the road in a whiteout and were lost. An ice-breaking ferry was brought in, but Simcoe’s ice was too deep for it and the ice roads remain the only viable form of winter access.
“The next ferry leaves in April . . . “
You can see the full collection of photos from out trip to Lake Simcoe and the Briars in the Sightseeing section of this site.