One great city, one great river trail

 (A dispatch from Winnipeg)

the Winnipeg river trail winds down the frozen Assiniboine River.

The Winnipeg River Trail winds its way down the frozen Assiniboine
(photo: misha warbanski)

One of my favourite things about Montreal winters was skating at Parc Lafontaine. There are outdoor rinks all over the city, but the Parc Lafontaine rink had enormous charm (maybe it was just the classical music piped out over the speakers).

Well, a few years ago Winnipeg started getting in on the action. They flooded trails around the Forks National Historic Site and then expanded the skating network down to the river. Move over Rideau Canal, the Guiness records people have recognized the Winnipeg trail as the longest outdoor rink in the world.

The perspective right down on the river is not one you usually get, (unless you canoe to work in the summer). Down below the banks, you skate past people’s back yards, and the apartment buildings looked just that much taller.

The speed limit tells boats (and speed skaters?) to slow down at night.

The speed limit tells boats (and speed skaters?) to slow down at night
(photo: misha warbanski)

7 comments

  1. If there’s one thing I miss about Winnipeg, it’s being able to skate to work. I used to walk five minutes from my apartment to the Hugo Dock on the Assiniboine River, and then skate all the way to the quai Taché on the Red River, and then walk another five minutes to work on boulevard Provencher.

    Now if only I could do that here in Montreal, this place would be darn near perfect…

  2. Nice to see a place I’ve walked (though I wasn’t there long enough to go skating.)

  3. I’m just waiting for the Lachine canal to be turned into a skating rink

  4. Some people down in the Pointe used to shovel off part of the canal there by the des Seigneures bridge. Someone should check down there…

  5. Winnipeg is a lovely city with a wealth of history, that has not, as yet, become an overpowering bloated metropolis strangled by expressways and smothered in smog.

  6. The Peg has actually had the river skate trail for quite a lot longer then a few years. Its been done for at least 15 years if not 20 at this point. I used to skate on it when I was in my teens and I am about to turn 30 now. I used to create my own rink down on the river in front of my house and dream about them connecting it to the larger trail. One of the many things that make the peg great!

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