Summer is almost over. At least that’s what it feels like whenever Labour Day weekend comes around each year. The mass exodus of cars jam packed on the 401 eastbound into Durham right now confirms this too.

But then again, if you live in Durham, you know that every Friday evening (and sometimes Saturday morning) during the summer months there will be A LOT of traffic on the 401 eastbound. It’s the cottage ritual that most Durhameers are used to by now, and that we try to work around. We find alternate routes on our drive home from work in Toronto. We try to leave at different times (either earlier or later) to avoid the weekend traffic. Or for those of us lucky enough, we decide to work at home on a Friday and avoid the hassle altogether.

But sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we just aren’t able to avoid the crazy 401 eastbound traffic. And sometimes this could be for reasons that aren’t cottage related. For instance, one weekend, my husband and I were driving westbound to my parents house. We were so relieved that we were going against traffic! Yes!! We breathed a sigh of relief of living east of our parents and having to drive west whenever we visit them. …Until we realized we had forgotten something and had to head back. Now normally I wouldn’t bother making the trip back. It’s not worth it for me. But when the thing you forget is diapers and an extra change of clothes for your little one, you just have to go back. And so, what  normally would be a 5-10 minute max turnaround drive home on the highway became a 20 minute snail crawl.  It’s not fun being part of cottage country traffic, when you’re not going to the cottage!

The past few weekends I went up to the cottage, I was part of the mass weekend exodus. Somewhat. We left slightly later, so traffic had calmed a bit by then. This long weekend though I happen to be at home. So I don’t need to worry about cottage country traffic at all. Unless of course, I forget to bring diapers again on my way out… Let’s hope not!


About the Author

Wendy Chiavalon is the Editor-in-Chief of The Local Biz Magazine. She lives in Ajax with her family. She loves watching Pixar movies, salsa dancing, road trips and of course, baking and eating cakes (who wouldn’t)?! In her spare time, she doubles as a cake decorator, baking and decorating cakes and other goodies for special occasions. You can check out some of her work at and follow her on Facebook at