Canadian winter sports, necessities and fun memories

This is the second in the series from The Canadian Embroiderer’s Guild of Guelph for Canada’s 150th birthday and is all about the winters here in Canada.

Winter in Canada

What is more Canadian than hockey? Canadians love their hockey. Hockey is played most of the year – and some centres – all year. I have seven grandsons – six of the seven play hockey – so I could almost always be at a hockey game.

Winter In Canada

Hockey skates

When I was young in the 1950’s, hockey was an exclusively male game. Even years later, when my daughters were grown, I remember stopping at a local arena and marveling that there were girls on the ice, not figure skating but playing hockey! Now, my grand daughters take hockey for granted, and will be given equal ice time, equal teaching and equal encouragement. My Canada is a country where girls’ hockey is commonplace and thriving.

Hockey Skate

Our hockey lives

Our family grew up with hockey. Gord (Dad) played hockey as a teen then coached for 30 years. Our two boys played from ages 7 to 16. One son refereed through teens and University. Now in retirement we are season ticket holders for the Guelph “Storm” team.

Our Hockey Lives

Tuques and baseball hats

I made a piece with a tuque and a baseball hat. It represents winter and summer. Being a mother of 3 boys, it is what I see all the time. They either wear a tuque or a hat. Both are a Canadian necessity.

Tuques And Baseball Hats


During the 1970’s, I spent most of the decade in the Northwest Territories. I was teaching in Inuit communities. One of the first pieces of clothing I made was a pair of moosehide, beaded, blanket lined and fur trimmed mitts. I learned the 4 string braiding to make my “idiot” strings. Hung around my neck, the mitts could then be twisted behind me when not needed. Mittens were an absolute necessity!



Growing up in Sudbury in the 1950s, kids played outside all year round. I have many happy memories of outdoor skating rinks, tobogganing, broomball,
building snowmen, snow forts, snow ball fights – girls against boys, walking home from school at lunch time for a hot meal. I remember all this with great fondness.


What Canada means to me

Canada has always meant the true north strong and free. Montreal born in the 30’s, I grew up on lots of snow, ice and sunny skies typical of Montreal winters. A common sight was Montreal girls in Red River coats (navy) with red tuques, sashes, mitts and leggings crusted with snow balls. Would they dry by morning? We wore black overshoes with four buckles and the leggings had feet to cover our shoes and keep us warm. Snow forts and snow ball fights kept us outside. My father flooded the backyard for a rink – brave man. I still have his wooden shovel. In the spring, we had matchstick races to the sewers with the riverways chopped by big brother in icy streets. Oh My! We had lots of carefree fun.

My world expanded from sea to shiny sea by reading everything from Sgt Preston of the the Yukon to the Anne of Green Gables books. My background was Maritime and a natural segue to World War 11 and shipping overseas without the responsibility of adulthood. We were safe, and, yes, I did toboggan down “Cow Hill”. We are truly blessed to live in this country. We stand on guard for thee.

Canada Means To Me

Snowshoes and skis

This piece reflects the childhood memories of snowshoeing with my family and now as an adult, cross country skiing. Enjoying the Canadian winter and seeing the wonderful changes in our beautiful landscape is what being Canadian means to me.

Snowshoes And Skis

Tags: Canada 150

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    • Marg Gillies
    • June 30, 2017

    These lovely images are so Canadian and bring back my own memories.

    1. Reply

      Thank you Marg, the series will be continuing till next Saturday.

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