Winters in the north can be long, cold and long. There’s a lot of time spent indoors binging on Netflix and eating comfort food, whilst dreaming of those long summer days on the lake. So what’s a Northerner to do?

Get Outside!

I know we all want to stay warm but why not make the most of the situation you are given. This area has tons of things to do outside. You have many choices for the area, but here’s a few. First off try snowshoeing or Nordic skiing at Hiawatha Highlands. The rates are reasonable and the scenery is magnificent as well it’s quite the workout. If you need something a bit more intense Searchmont resort is the place for alpine and snowboarding.  Make a weekend of it! Rent a chalet, invite your buds, have some drinks, and catch some entertainment in the lodge. If skating is more your thing, the Sault has many outdoor rinks. Join a pickup hockey game, do a few laps at the Oval, or test out the new ice at Mill Market. If pressed for time, just get out for a walk, take a buddy and some whiskey for warmth!


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Eat Up and Warm Up.

Alright so you’ve been outside all day, you’re tired and cold maybe a little hungry? Well the Sault has a new cafe to warm up in! The Gore Street Cafe formerly The Rock and Roll Cafe, is fresh and clean. It’s a laundromat with an adorably funky cafe attached. Sam and Nicole are the proprietors and are more than happy to make your day. Their simple daily menu (usually vegan & gluten free), consists of freshly squeezed juices, tea and coffee (locally roasted). Sam mixes it up in the kitchen, with such dishes as Beet Gnocchi with Beet Stem and Red Onion Pesto with Fresh Market Cheese, or Banana Bread French Toast with Berry Compote and Maple Syrup. For a small fee Nicole will wash and fold your laundry for you too! The cafe is small with only one booth and a few tables but it’s one of the best booths in town. Not to mention their taste in music and art is spot on. Grab a book and your dirty clothes and get on down.

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Get Dancing.

Dancing shouldn’t be a thing of the past. Nothing should stop people, young and old, from getting out on a Friday or Saturday to dance the night away. Earlier this month I had the pleasure of attending an AlgomaTrad dance. Held at the community centre in Desbarats (40 minutes east from the Sault). I knew none of the dances, but it didn’t matter, the caller taught as we went. It was the most fun I’ve had dancing in the longest time, with so many spin your partners, and do-si-do’s, it was simply amazing. Not to mention the impressive music from The O’Schraves who are a local family that excels in fiddle, bagpipes, Irish flute, tin whistle, piano, guitar and cello. Click the link for video of the 2015 dance, P.S I’m in it busting a move,


Photo Credit: Ahmad Ibrahim 

Eat Meat. 

There’s this nice little place in the west end called the Esquire Club. In the winter it’s probably the only bar will you find packed on a Saturday afternoon, why? Porketta Bingo! Here’s a little run down of the event and a step by step of what to do and what to expect (for all of you Porketta virgins out there). The first step is to go early if you want to get a seat, especially if you have a big group. “Porketta starts at 3!” is what will be yelled at you if you step through those doors a minute after 3p.m. Buy a card, and get a drink. Many people bring some snacks and sauces along with them just to add to the experience. At 3pm sharp, the owner and Pork Boss extraordinaire, Boomer, will start reading the cards.  Some cards have funny “expressions” to go along with them, which aren’t exactly PG (this is not a child friendly event) and you’ll learn them as you go along. This is a sharing event, if you win you should share with your neighbours, it’s just proper Porketta etiquette. The meat is brought out hot and then sliced in front of you by Sam The Butcher. Tip: Never yell “BINGO!” It’s “PORKETTA!” If you make this mistake or any others for that matter, you will get yelled at. This event will last all afternoon, so you best have a DD. Lastly, the money raised from Porketta goes to various charities throughout the city, so get out do your part and eat some meat.