I have lived in many communities around the world, but Edmonton winters are like nothing I have ever experienced. Throughout periods of deep freezes or heavy snowfalls, many municipalities simply shut down. But not our thriving city. Edmontonians carry on with life, albeit taking certain precautions that they’ve learned to be accustomed to. They adapt to the long winter season by enjoying the outdoors with festivals and activities that are designed with our weather in mind.
Here is how I make the most of winter:
- Many of Edmonton’s neighbourhood parks are designed with winter sports like tobogganing in mind, thanks to landscape architects like Frank Gasparik, who designed sliding hills in many parks, and who shared that “sliding hills can accommodate sledding, tobogganing, snowboarding, and skiing in winter while the terrain difference could add challenge for athletes stamina training or cross country running”. Jackie Parker Park has tobogganing hills big and small, and my daughter and I have also found paths in the Mill Creek ravine that provide an exciting toboggan experience.
- Skating at Jackie Parker and Victoria Park:
- It’s a right of passage to learn how to skate when you move to Canada! Victoria Park offers beautiful views of the river valley and a large, oval rink. Make sure you visit at night to admire the beautifully lit path through the trees (the Iceway). Jackie Parker Park’s outdoor rink is my favourite in Ward Karhiio.
- Skiing at Snow Valley:
- Not many cities in the world have three downhill ski outlets right inside city limits with a more extensive resort just outside the city. Our go-to is Snow Valley.
- Exploring the scenic river valley:
- Whether that’s by foot or skis, Edmonton’s river valley is a sight to see in the winter, as the trees are blanketed in snow and the river is coated in ice that looks like glass.
- Winter festivals:
Even throughout the winter, Edmonton has bright, sunny days that make it easier to find motivation to participate in these activities. If you have more winter activity suggestions, I encourage you to reach out to my office at email@example.com, 780-496-8142 or through social media!