Living aboard in a Canadian winter was not part of the plan. I have to say, however, that I have really warmed to the idea (pardon the pun!).
I didn't realize that I was harboring a lot of stress about where we were going to end up this winter, but now that the issue is settled I have felt a weight lifted. We were on a waiting list for Marina Quay West, the only marina that has live aboard winter slips in downtown Toronto, but were not hopeful of getting in. We were offered a spot in Pickering, but the location was so remote that Henry and I would have been stranded on the boat most days. That would definitely not be ideal!
Everything always has a way of working out for us, and this time was no exception. It turns out that Marina Quay West also runs a smaller location at Pier 4, and we were accepted for their last available slip! We found out just over a week ago, and had to be in last weekend before they brought the tall ships in for the winter.
We have settled in nicely and I'm just thrilled with the location! There are three grocery stores within easy walking distance, the closest being right across the street. The fast food, restaurant and coffee shop selection on our block alone is outstanding. We can walk downtown in any weather, with easy accessibility to the indoor path system just a block away. And the very best part...the view through the v-berth hatch is the CN Tower!!
Pier 4 has only eleven boats wintering, as the electrical demands are substantial. We are on a dock with three other boats and our neighbours are very friendly, especially the couple two boats over. who rushed out onto the dock as we were walking by because she was so excited to meet Henry. Deirdre is suffering from empty nest syndrome since her 19 and 22 year old sons have recently left home. She even offered to babysit!
We have been cozy in our little home so far, with two heaters keeping us toasty warm. The next step is to build a frame over the deck to cover in shrinkable plastic. This keeps the deck dry and insulates the boat, preventing the escape of heat as well as preventing the inevitable leaks from snow and ice. Then we will install a bubbler to keep the ice from freezing around the hull. It's not Florida, but out adventure continues.
Life is good.