Celsius: Canadian #AtoZChallenge

CThis is a fun one!  I call it “Canadian Degrees” to my American friends down here.  I also use it to make it seem colder than it is.

For example:  “Wow, it’s really mild today, it’s only -5° out!”

The look on their faces is priceless.  Especially since they actually believe that Canadians think -5° is warm!

Now how is it that two countries so close together, use completely different measures of temperature?

Forty-one years ago, the weather was the first to go in Canada’s efforts to shift to metric measurements and coincidentally, the switch from Fahrenheit to Celsius happened on April 1, 1975.  What an April Fools joke!

The people of the United States on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with this crazy method of measuring temperature.  Congress passed an act allowing the voluntary conversion to the metric system. Voluntary. It seems when faced with change, people are content to stick with what they know.

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Here in the states, I have difficulty knowing what the temperature will “feel like” when I hear it announced in Fahrenheit.  I often have to switch my weather apps back and forth when checking the weather and when talking with friends about the weather.

In Canada, we usually discuss weather in Celsius, however for some strange reason, we mix between the two when cooking and baking. Many Canadian ovens either either display Fahrenheit only, or both.  This is a side effect from the metrification of Canada and varies among generations.

My weird metrification quirk is referring to the temperature in Fahrenheit when it’s above 80°F and Celsius when it’s 26°C or lower!  I do appreciate having 0°C represent the freezing point and 100°C representing the boiling point. That makes  a lot of sense to me.

Oh, and when it gets to be -40°C, it’s also -40°F.  Which, essentially means it’s so ridiculously cold that you shouldn’t bother even going outside unless you want instant frostbite.

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6 thoughts on “Celsius: Canadian #AtoZChallenge

  1. I spend a lot of time explaining to my students why we use the metric system but still sell butter by the pound. I then go on to explain other inconsistencies–which, when you get right down to it, is pretty Canadian in itself.
    More worrying for me is that my favourite hotdogs are sold in packs of five, but I have to buy six buns.

      • We definitely like making things difficult for ourselves–of course we also like giving ourselves a pat on the back for coping with things so well too. I guess we’ll call that a wash.

  2. We use celcius in Malaysia too so when I lived in Canada, it was no problem for me to gauge the weather since we had the same “temperature language” 🙂

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