Ice Castles and Flashing Blades


In the lull between Christmas and New Years Day many in the city either have the week off outright or work reduced hours.  It seems to suit the character of Winnipeg, families get a chance to spend time together and enjoy a little break before things start back up in earnest.

I took a little drive one afternoon to check out one of my favourite haunts, The Forks Market.  It was alive with activity skaters as flew by everywhere on the icy paths that are converted for the season. The chilly temperature of -18c seemed warm in the afternoon sun.  People walked and skated laughing just enjoying the day.  Children held mom and dad’s hand or ran with friends everywhere.  The centre of activity for the little ones is an ice castle, complete with 4 entrances and an ice slide in the middle.

Ice skating under the canopy at The Forks.

The big tent, I helped build and install this canopy in the early 90's.

The Ice Castle.

Even adults can't resist playing with the kids in the castle

A nice day out for families in the sun.

Just past the central courtyard various footpaths have been covered with ice to form a series of skating paths.   They crisscross through the park passing the Oodena Celebration Circle which resembles a shallow bowl or amphitheatre.  In the centre one can gaze through star markers that pinpoint celestial events throughout the year.  Each one marks a cosmic event that aligns the stars through a series of hoops that you can look through at the bottom of the bowl.

Entrance to Arctic Glacier Winter Park.

Skaters glide by past a warming shack.

The Oodena Circle from a distance.

Blades flash past a starry lookout.

Crossing the frozen Assiniboine River is a decommissioned lift bridge.  The skating path brings skaters over the river and into St. Boniface.  On the river yet another winter playground awaits the young at heart.  Curling rinks and hockey ice are already taking shape on the frozen waterway.  Also the beginnings of a long distance skating path is plowed from the drifting snow that has fallen earlier.

Skaters on the old lift bridge crossing the Assiniboine.

A map of The Forks Trail-head.

A Spirit Stone, legends say there are faces in the rock.

Can you find the faces in the Spirit Stone?

A maiden in stone.

Sunshine and skating.

Hockey on the river.

A nice day to walk by the Assiniboine.

I wasn't the only one taking pictures.

Canada in Winter.

Long trail on The Assiniboine River.

I hope you enjoyed my day at The Forks as much as I did taking these photos.

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6 responses to “Ice Castles and Flashing Blades

  1. Great pics, Bob! Looks like a lovely day… Canada is lookin’ better and better… 😀

  2. Wow it looks fantatic there.
    As it should be in Canada, you have a beautiful winter playground!
    I think I could spend the day there skating for hours!!!

    Thanks for the tour Bob!

    • I almost feel ashamed to tell you that I can barely skate at all. Every few years I lace them up and nearly kill myself on the ice. Takes me forever to get any feeling back in my toes afterwards. But if little kids can do it so can I.

  3. It looks amazing! I love those kind of winter days, nothing beats a clear crisp sunny day in the snow.

    • It’s these types of days that make our 5 months of winter bearable.
      After all of the shovelling and plugging in the jeep to make sure it starts in the morning, bam we get a weekend like this and it becomes magical!