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Warmer weather means hot savings for winter clothes at Ottawa stores

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Thursday marked another warmer than average winter day in Ottawa, making it feel like it's time to put away that winter gear – or it might be the perfect time to buy some.

Sonia Leroy and her daughter Rowan Hughes are heading to Mont Tremblant for a ski trip this weekend.

"It occurred to me that since my daughter is wearing my snow pants, I don't have anything to wear," said Leroy. "So I was going to rent some."

But to her surprise, renting snow gear was even more expensive than buying it brand new.

"We were going to rent snow gear and everything at Tremblant for our ski trip this weekend for $75, a jacket and snow pants," said Hughes. "But you could just buy an amazing pair of snow pants instead."

Almost all of this year’s winter clothing is on sale at Bushtukah, a winter store with three locations in Ottawa.

The wall of skis at the store has never been this full in mid-February. On Thursday, it was all on sale.

"From a pure winter enthusiast standpoint, it's been a bit of a disappointment," said Bushtukah's CFO Dave Morton.

"It's looking like it will be an early spring, which means that, there are some great deals for consumers still looking for some winter clothing," said Morton.

That "early spring" feeling is getting many to start thinking about warmer days ahead.

"Yesterday, there was a lineup of 10 people and they're all bringing their bikes in," said Mike Osborne, Bushtukah's head service writer. "They all know the warm weather is here."

Cyco’s, an outdoor sports shop located near the Rideau Canal, relies on skate rentals all winter. It’s been a rough two years, with the Skateway being only briefly open this year and not at all last season.

"It’s a major hit not having the canal," said Bruce Martin, Cyco’s co-owner.

"We’re looking at probably $30,000 to $40,000 that we lose without the canal. This year won't be as bad because we've been able to have some canal time."

Luckily, they too are seeing cyclists already lining up in for early spring tune-ups.

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