A Smell Tour of Ottawa

There is something magical about the smell of Ottawa in the spring. Here is a description of the climate of Ottawa from climatemps:

“Ottawa, Ontario has a humid continental climate with severe winters, no dry season, warm summers and strong seasonality (Köppen-Geiger classification: Dfb).
According to the Holdridge life zones system of bioclimatic classification Ottawa, Ontario is situated in or near the cool temperate moist forest biome.”

What does this mean?

This means that there are swamps just about everywhere, that it rains consistently nearly every month of the year, that it’s as humid as it can be every month of the year, that you feel the winter’s cold WAY more than you would in a drier climate… and that it smells amazing.

Every season of the year, there’s a fantastic smell relating to be outside. There’s a smell for Halloween, there’s smell for freshly fallen snow, there’s a smell for the warmth of summer and there’s a smell for spring.

The thing is, every year I forget about them and every year I’m reminded when they come around again. I used to go on trips for my work. I would leave the city and go travelling and I would end up on an airplane with its cold, stagnant air. I’d go to airports which try very hard not to smell like anything. I’d end up in different cities. (Like that time that I went to New York and could only smell urine and garbage the entire time that I was there. I understood why people would go to Central Park, at that point.)

Then I come home, and it’s almost better to do that, because then it’s like a happy reminder.

I decided to say this here, because every season I’m like a broken record. “Oh! I love this smell, don’t you love this smell! Look, it smells like spring/fall/snow/lilacs!” And then the people around me roll their eyes. I don’t think that a lot of people appreciate smells the way that I do.

The point is, that it smells like spring, finally. We had some late March/early April snowfall, but it’s melting. I can see my driveway!

Oh well, at least it stretched out the Maple Syrup season. One must always appreciate a good Maple Syrup season. (Not for the smell, but for the taste)


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