Faster construction but — no snowmobile fun — with Windsor's warm weather

It sure is warm in Windsor. But is that a good thing?

Is the weather good or bad? It depends who you ask

Construction companies are finding the warm weather to be a big help to their work. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

For at least a few hours Friday, Windsor, Ont. was the warmest place in Canada with 13.4 C. 

Mild weather lovers have been taking the opportunity to enjoy the unseasonably warm temperatures, as are construction workers.

"The weather's gorgeous, couldn't ask for more," said Robert Blais, owner of Blais Construction in Windsor.

A year ago in the city, on Dec. 28, there was a low of –18.6 C. With the wind chill, it reached a low of –25. 

The warmer temperatures mean contractors don't have to work with gloves on and they can get ahead of their construction schedules, he said.

Savings for construction

Getting ahead of schedule would mean companies could save thousands of dollars, according to Brent Klundert with BK Cornerstone.

Brent Klundert says the high temperatures mean huge time savings on their projects. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

"Time savings is huge, people don't realize," he said. "Just a snowfall for a framer, what that can cost in a day."

He said what they're experiencing is a "significant difference" compared to last year.

"When we can get weather like this, you see a lot more smiling faces on the site, let me tell you," said Klundert.

No trails for snowmobiles

However, not everybody is as excited about the warmth.

"I don't think you'll see anybody that has a snowmobile in their garage smiling today," said Graham Snyder, president of the District 5 region of the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs. The district covers trails in southwestern Ontario.

"We keep thinking it's still early and it can only get better from here, but history of the last three years, tells us that oh, it's possibly another one of them type of years," he said.

According to Snyder, people used to be able to start going out to trails in the middle of November and the season would go right through to March about a decade ago.

Even so, this year's warmth isn't affecting their permit sales as most were sold before November.

For the federation to be able to create the snowmobile trails, Snyder said it needs about two to three nights of –10 C or lower.

The forecast doesn't indicate that it'll be quite that cold in the next little while, but Snyder thinks there is still a chance for a cold snap to bring snow to southwestern Ontario.

"We're optimistically cautious," said Snyder.

With files from Chris Ensing