‘Really helping our business’: Canadian snowbirds return to Broward

After the U.S. reopened the border with Canada, snowbirds are returning to their regular hangouts in Broward County.

HOLLYWOOD BEACH, Fla. – After the U.S. reopened the border with Canada on Nov. 8, snowbirds with proof of having received the COVID-19 vaccine have started to return to Broward County — where businesses and neighbors missed them.

At a mobile home park in Pembroke Park, Lorna Gray said life without them and their recreational vehicles there during the coronavirus pandemic was just not the same.

“It has been very lonely without them,” Gray said. “They keep the place lively; they have parties.”

Pio Civiero didn’t waste any time. He was enjoying the weather on Thursday in Hollywood Beach. He said it’s really nice to be able to socialize again.

“I see a friend of mine just now from Quebec ... we all meet here every year,” Civiero said.

In Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, potato gratin dauphinoise was popular again at Frenchy’s Table. The parking lot was full of Canadian license plates again.

“Eighteen months we were closed, so we have to start again,” Huguette Germain, a server at the restaurant, said.

According to the Canadian Snowbird Association, about 90% of snowbirds will travel south this year. At nearby Untoasted in Pembroke Park, Leonardo Oriolo was happy they were back.

“During the season, they are a big part of our business,” Oriolo said. “It was a little rough over the pandemic, but now that we are getting a lot more Canadians it is really helping our business a lot.”

About the Author:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."