A balmy afternoon at the Westboro Beach winter carnival

By Molly Gatt – 

Walking under the bridge to get to Westboro Beach for the annual carnival on Feb. 6 was like entering a winter wonderland. The weather was a mild -1°C with a sprinkle of snow. Over 150 people attended this event from all over the city.

Children were painting snow with spray bottles, filled with pink, blue and green dyes, drinking hot chocolate by the fire and sliding down the hill on toboggans they brought from home. Parents and other adults joined the fun or spent time enjoying each others company with friendly chit-chat.

The annual event is hosted by the Westboro Beach Community Association. Organizer Peter Bruton said what made this year different, was how heavily advertised the event was on social media. Facebook and Twitter posts brought in a lot more people from outside the neighborhood that otherwise would never have known about it.

Peter also said the snow was very icy around the hill an hour before the carnival started and was afraid it wouldn’t be safe for the kids to toboggan or anyone to even walk around without slipping and hurting themselves. Luckily everything fell into place, as the hill melted just in time for when the carnival opened at 1:30 p.m. Kids were running up the hill almost as fast as they were sliding down.

Kitchissippi residents Patty Mosher and her daughter Kayleigh Mosher, 6, spent some time decorating an igloo with coloured water. Patty has been to the carnival before and reading about it online served as a timely reminder. “I was looking online for Winterlude events and I found this.”
Kitchissippi residents Patty Mosher and her daughter Kayleigh Mosher, 6, spent some time decorating an igloo with coloured water. Patty has been to the carnival before and reading about it online served as a timely reminder. “I was looking online for Winterlude events and I found this.” Photo by Molly Gatt
Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper says he tries to go to all the winter carnivals in the ward. It’s an easy way for him to talk to people about what’s going on in the community without the political pressure. “On a day like today it’s about the snow and the marshmallows and the hot chocolate not the politics.”
Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper says he tries to go to all the winter carnivals in the ward. It’s an easy way for him to talk to people about what’s going on in the community without the political pressure. “On a day like today it’s about the snow and the marshmallows and the hot chocolate, not the politics.” Photo by Molly Gatt
Peter Bruton lives in the Westboro Beach area and volunteered to organize this year’s carnival. He says the heavy use of social media on this event made the crowd much bigger than it had been years before. “We’re getting a lot of people who wouldn’t usually show up. Someone called this morning from South Keys.”
Peter Bruton lives in the Westboro Beach area and volunteered to organize this year’s carnival. He says the heavy use of social media on this event made the crowd much bigger than it had been years before. “We’re getting a lot of people who wouldn’t usually show up. Someone called this morning from South Keys.” Photo by Molly Gatt
Camp director Quinn Keenan, 23, from Pro + Sports was playing soccer with the kids in hopes of getting parents of the Kitchissippi community interested in signing up for their programs. The local business offered to give a free demo at the carnival.
Camp director Quinn Keenan, 23, from Pro + Sports was playing soccer with the kids in hopes of getting parents of the Kitchissippi community interested in signing up for their programs. The local business offered to give a free demo at the carnival. Photo by Molly Gatt

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