Time for a hot tub

January 25, 2018

By Sarah Sobanski

I recently found myself killing a rare bit of down time with a Panama Jack’s kicked up hot coco – because I have a “hot chocolate phase” every winter according to my partner – and senselessly scrolling through some mind-numbing social media posts. To my surprise, a new page appeared: Explorers’ Edge. According to the page, it’s dedicated “to see[ing] you come and visit Algonquin Park, Almaguin, Loring-Restoule, Muskoka and Parry Sound, Ontario again and again and again” and to inspire people to come to “the great Canadian wilderness just north of Toronto.”

But it wasn’t so much the page that caught my eye – though I couldn’t miss the opportunity to give a shout out to a website keeping our tourist populations out and about in all seasons – as much as an article about “Hot Tub Fever in Ontario’s Cottage Country.” It talks about spaces to go for a hot dip in the aforementioned places.

A few weeks ago I talked about Canadians ignoring the cold as a rite of passage – this is what I’m talking about!

I don’t know what it was. Maybe the pictures in the article shocked my system as I curled tighter on the couch under a fleece blanket, but I had to ask, “Whose idea was this?”

Who started the mid-winter hot-tubing trend?

Through junior and senior school many of the kids at my bus stop were my age – friends. Every snow or freezing rain day for many years running, we would walk back to our friend’s parents’ house – which had a hot tub. Some of us – cough – almost never made it to the bus on time. (I wanted an excuse to drive to school.)

Come a snow day, however, we were all there, assuming, waiting, and praying that bus wouldn’t actually come. If it didn’t, we’d be in that hot tub by 7 a.m. Nowadays the advertisements that are selling Hot Tubs For Sale make me want to get one so I can feel that nostalgia all over again.

What is it about looking out a window, seeing the steam rising up off a big basin of water and freezing instantly to the windows, that is appealing?

The average Canadian pre-hot-tubbing conversation:

“Hey Bob, looks like it’s about -40 degrees out there today.”

“Yeah Jim, probably shouldn’t be going out to the workplace, too cold for that. Days like today you can lose your fingers in a heartbeat.”

“I agree, Bob. Safer indoors on days like these.”



“How about a hot tub?”

“You bet, Bob. Got an extra pair of swimmers in the pick-up.”

I’m a three comforters on the bed, slippers in every room and space heater under my desk kind of girl, and I’ve had that conversation. I’ll wager you’ve had it too. Senseless the pair of us.

The point of all of this is if you need a hot tub, Explorers’ Edge recommends heading out to the Algonquin Eco Lodge or Couples Resort in around Algonquin Park. It also lists a number of other places that offer finger pruning opportunities or a place for a winter retreat.

The winter often threatens to lock us inside and subdue us with seasonal depression. It’s important we remind ourselves there are still opportunities to get out, enjoy and take time for ourselves.



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