Fundraising for winter frolic 

By Jacob Hoytema – 

An online fundraiser has been launched to bring back the Sir John A. MacDonald (SJAM) Parkway Winter Trail, a 16 km route along the Ottawa River for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or just walking once the snowy months arrive. Provided the fundraising goal of $20,000 is reached, the trail will stretch along the River from Dominion Transit Station to the back door of the Canadian War Museum.

The trail was launched for a short season as a pilot project last February as a collaboration between the National Capital Commission and the Westboro Beach Community Association, with support from Nakkertok Ski Club in Quebec and local volunteers. Dovercourt Recreation Association is providing support as well.

Money raised by the fundraiser will go towards paying the trail’s groomer, as well as buying the necessary components for the grooming equipment, which last year was borrowed from Nakkertok.

Dave Adams is returning as manager and head groomer of the SJAM Winter Trail. A groomer at Nakkertok and a former full-time ski racer, Dave says he is passionate about making the trail a community fixture in the winters to come.

“I have a deep history with the sport. It’s something that I want to pass down to my kids, it’s something that I want to pass down to my community,” Dave explains. He also stresses that the trail is open for all who wish to traverse it, not just skiers.

Starting the operation from the ground up last winter carried with it a number of challenges. Aside from administrative hurdles, Dave had to spend longer than normal hours grooming the trail.

Because this was the first time a trail had been made at this location along the Ottawa River — “virgin snow” as Dave calls it — the process was a difficult endeavour. Dave says the grooming sessions became ten- to twelve-hour days as he laboured to clean the unkempt land for public use. Dave says it will be much easier this year for the trail’s second iteration and says he expects to be able to maintain the trail with several three- or four-hour sessions a week.

Despite how “heavy-duty” the grooming process may sound, Dave says it’s entirely environmentally friendly: the heavyweight groomer doesn’t emit salt but rather cuts the snow with special knives and then presses it with a corduroy carpet.

This photo was taken on the trail’s first Saturday in February. “Luckily the weather was great and I had just finished grooming the day before and word got out on social media,” says Dave Adams, manager and head groomer of the SJAM Winter Trail. “That picture says it all.” Photo by Dave Adams
This photo was taken on the trail’s first Saturday in February. “Luckily the weather was great and I had just finished grooming the day before and word got out on social media,” says Dave Adams, manager and head groomer of the SJAM Winter Trail. “That picture says it all.” Photo by Dave Adams

Visitors to the trail can access it through one of the several bordering transit stations, or the parking lot at Westboro Beach, Champlain Park or the Canadian War Museum.

If the fundraiser brings in enough money, Dave says there are plans to set up ski racks so visitors can make a day-long excursion and stop for a snack or tour at the museum.

Edited to add for clarification: If the fundraising goal falls short of the $20,000 mark, the SJAM trail will still move ahead this year but there’d be fewer grooming sessions and/or other cutbacks.

For more information on the SJAM trail and to donate, readers can visit wintertrail.ca.

 

Opinion: Winter cycling as a family in Kitchissippi and beyond

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Maayke Schurer and her daughter, Yfke Schurer-Napiorkowski (2), are all-season cyclists. Read on to see what they’ve learned about winter cycling as a family. Photo by Michael Napiorkowski.

Special to KT by Michael Napiorkowski and Maayke Schurer

A few years ago we voluntarily changed our mobility habits to make the bicycle our central transportation choice. As fairly new parents of a toddler (and another on the way), we wanted to adopt a lifestyle that allowed our family to grow without the daily need, cost or burden of automobile ownership or the negative impact this places on others who share our streets. We wanted to be outdoors, active, healthy, connected, feel alive and of course, save money. These are all things the bicycle easily brings into ones’ life. With this choice however, we also needed to be practical and learn how to embrace and love the winter climate in Ottawa with its heavy snow, ice and cold for at least four months of the year. Because Ottawa has almost no winter-maintained bicycle infrastructure, bicycling as a family with young children is especially difficult. However, with some planning, patience, flexibility and a Dutch cargo bicycle we’ve continued to learn how to make it all work. This of course is all propped up by the naturally positive aspects inherent in bicycling that have become the backbone of daily trips filled with joy, adventure, fun and of course cold!

Focusing on the positives

There is no perfect way to travel in the winter. Each mode of transportation has positive and negative attributes, whether it’s a car, bus, O-train, bicycle or walking. One thing is for certain: no mode of transportation can beat bicycling for its connection to the community, efficient speed, extremely low cost and enjoyment – even through winter. On snowy days we have the opportunity to stop to have conversations with friends and enjoy being fully immersed in our environment along the way. We get to feel the falling snow, crisp cold air, wind and sun while developing an appreciation for our community. This would all be missed if we were sealed off in a soundproof car or bus.

There is also an incredible sense of adventure when embarking on winter trips, especially when travelling with our young daughter who is almost two years old. One can just imagine the excitement felt through the eyes of a toddler when fully connected to the environment and moving at a speed that allows us to take it all in. In our minds, this is comparable to nature exposure but with an urban twist. Kids get to interact with the world around them in a whole new way that has a positive effect on their cognitive development. The diversity of stimuli flooding the senses, with all the smells, sights, tastes and sounds is so much more enriching compared to the sealed off vacuum of a motor vehicle, and as a direct by product we get daily doses of fresh air and exercise. It keeps us healthy, allows us to enjoy each other’s company, and troubleshoot obstacles together – all positive aspects that help build a stronger family unit.

Patience, flexibility, strategic planning and proximity

In addition to these very positive experiences, there are some practical steps that need to be taken to bicycle through the winter. While travelling with a toddler in the winter keeps most our trips short, we are brought closer to the local business community, which in turn results in support for local shops. This is also why we chose to live in a location close to everything without needing a car.

In the winter, our family bicycling distance is reduced to about a 6 km radius and 12 km for work. This is a limitation that we actually appreciate, as it simplifies our life and causes us to care more about areas that have become a part of our daily experience.

Not only are most essentials within a shortish distance, but there are a few routes that make it easier and less stressful to get around while sharing road space with motor vehicles in winter. This helps us feel a little more comfortable traveling with our daughter and also makes the trips more enjoyable. It would be much easier – and preferable – if we had direct winter maintained bicycle networks that connected these areas, but for now this is how we make do.

Trips are planned and timed to fit the needs of our daughter. For lengthier trips, we bicycle without our daughter or consider transit, car-share and/or borrowing a vehicle, but these other options require a little more planning. The key is to be flexible.

Outside of route challenges, there are also the normal baby/toddler struggles that can make things tough. These are not exclusive to riding a bicycle, but the bicycle does introduce some unique obstacles. The most difficult of course is the “I don’t want to get in the bicycle” meltdown. Many parents who transport children by car experience this as well, but it can be very tough when it happens while loading a bicycle in the middle of winter. One’s patience will definitely be tested in these moments, but providing room for flexibility and planning trips to coincide with naps and feeding can be a huge help. There have been trips where we had to strap our daughter to our chest and walk our bikes home because that is simply what she wanted to do.

Otherwise, there is the normal child-care planning that requires packing of snacks, diapers, changes of clothes, toys, etc. and all of this can reduce bicycle mobility without the proper preparation. Our cargo bicycle definitely helps by providing ample room for storage. Patience, flexibility, planning and proximity are key to embracing the bicycle as a central transportation choice when traveling with little ones in winter.

Choosing the right bicycle for the job

North America has been a little slow on the cargo bike uptake, so for practical bicycle design we turned to Maayke’s Dutch heritage where cargo bikes have been around for decades. We chose a Dutch bakfiets (box bike or cargo bike) because it provides a cargo/child transport area. This bicycle has truly been a lifesaver, especially in the winter. Our daughter sits in the front cargo box. On cold or snowy days she has the option of being sheltered with a transparent cover, and there is still room to carry groceries. This bicycle also supports baby car seat installation, so it allowed us to travel with our daughter from a very young age. For winter riding we add studded tires. We honestly don’t think we could have managed winters with a young child without this amazing bicycle. We are currently expecting another child so we will soon experience the new challenge of adapting this bicycle to support two children with cargo. We’re looking forward to it!

It’s worth it in the end

We need to remember that dealing with challenges is an extremely important part of life and should never be actively avoided in the sole pursuit of comfort. Anything that is worthwhile presents adversity to overcome – and it is only through this struggle that we truly find value in our lives. Yes, winter bicycling is definitely more problematic, but when work-arounds are found, one quickly realizes the joy it brings – especially when done together as a family. Of course, if there were winter maintained bicycle networks connecting the main urban districts, the safety, ease and popularity of all-season bicycling in Ottawa would be vastly improved. But with all the benefits that bicycling brings to our lives, this is not something for which we’re willing to wait. We carve our own path in the snow, accept our limitations, and look to other successful winter bicycling cities for inspiration. We want to teach our children that there is another way to live besides depending on the automobile. In the era of growing inactivity, childhood obesity, mental health issues and environmental collapse, we feel as parents that it is our responsibility to provide the tools to help our daughter and unborn child combat the challenges their generations will face. We believe the bicycle is one of these tools. As a very popular quote by John Burke suggests, “The bicycle is a simple solution to some of the world’s most complicated problems.”

Michael Napiorkowski and Maayke Schurer are the co-founders of the Ottawa Bicycle Lanes Project.

 


 

Snow much fun!

By Anita Grace –

Parkdale Park was filled with creative snow figures on Saturday, February 8. Described by event organizer John Ferguson as a “random act of fun,” the first annual GT Snowman Building Contest was a showcase of wintery talents.

 Erin Burns adds finishing touches to the back of her snow triceratops. Photo by Anita Grace.
Erin Burns adds finishing touches to the back of her snow triceratops. Photo by Anita Grace.

Naomi Ireland’s team of five builders created a classic comic book scene: two snowmen, one of which was missing a head. That head was not too far away in a heap of bowling pins. “We’ve been wanting to do a Calvin and Hobbes inspired snowman all year,” Ireland explained. “This was a good excuse.”

Their comical creation won the team the first place win and prize of a $200 Giant Tiger gift certificate.

“We’re trying to get families active,” said Ferguson. There was no cost to enter the contest and a guaranteed participation prize. The event attracted twelve individual and group participants.

Dennis Murphy and Erin Burns were building a triceratops snow figure with some help from their two-year-old daughter Lilith. “It’s a fun family event,” Murphy said as he shoveled snow.

Melissa and Gerard Stiles-O’Connell and their children Maliah, 9, and Corey, 5, built a quizzical little snowman with nose, mouth and eyebrows made of carrots.

Melissa and Gerard Stiles-O’Connell pose with Maliah, 9, Corey, 5, and the family’s snowman creation. Photo by Anita Grace.
Melissa and Gerard Stiles-O’Connell pose with Maliah, 9, Corey, 5, and the family’s snowman creation. Photo by Anita Grace.

Ferguson, who owns the Giant Tiger store in Hintonburg, left nothing to chance. He trucked in a load of snow in case nature did not provide, and when the snow did not stick well due to chilly temperatures, volunteers were on hand to haul buckets of water around for participants to use.

“It’s so brilliant,” enthused Kitchissippi Councilor Katherine Hobbs, who was one of the judges tasked with the difficult job of choosing the best three snow figures. “This gets people outside and families working together.”

Randy Kemp, fellow judge and Chair of Wellington West’s BIA, was equally enthusiastic. “It’s fabulous,” he said. “It gets kids outside playing around.”

Ben Bosch, 6, said he had fun building a colourful Lego-themed snowman with his dad and brother Ronan, 9. The Bosch family hails from Aylmer, but are members of Parkdale United Church, whose ‘In from the Cold’ program was the beneficiary charity of the event.

Reverend Anthony Bailey said the supper program operates for five months of the year, feeding 150-160 guests every Saturday evening. The program received a $1,000 donation at the end of the event.

For those who missed the contest, or who want to take another stab at creating Parkdale Park’s top snowman, the event will be held again next year on the first Saturday in February.  

Saving our skiing: Tracking the future of winter sports

By Denise Deby –

A passion for cross-country skiing prompted Charles Hodgson to get more active in another way: he’s raising awareness of climate change.

Hodgson, a Champlain Park resident, organized “The Future of Snow and Skiing in a Warming World,” a panel discussion at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum on February 5. Hosted by Ecology Ottawa, the evening featured Olympic skiers Sara Renner and Patrick Biggs, Nakkertok Ski Club and Vancouver Winter Olympics groomer Dirk Van Wijk, the National Capital Commission’s Gatineau Park senior manager Renée Bellehumeur, scientist Dr. Stephan Gruber and Mont Ste-Marie and Camp Fortune owner Bob Sudermann.

 Cross-country skiing enthusiast Charles Hodgson devotes his energy to helping people understand and do something about climate change. Photo by Denise Deby.
Cross-country skiing enthusiast Charles Hodgson devotes his energy to helping people understand and do something about climate change. Photo by Denise Deby.

Hodgson is an author of books on word history and former engineer who runs a blog called Guide Gatineau (guidegatineau.ca) about the park. A few years ago, he learned about a 2005 report by University of Waterloo researchers for the NCC about the effects of climate change on NCC operations.

“The thing that jumped out at me was this likelihood that by 2050 there might not be any skiing in Gatineau Park. For me as an avid cross-country skier, that made me perk my ears up,” says Hodgson.

Hodgson began investigating what the City of Ottawa was doing about climate change, and got involved with Ecology Ottawa as a volunteer and board member. He started a new blog called Climate Ottawa (climateottawa.ca), encouraged the city to hold its first Greenhouse Gas Roundtable in 2013, and organized the winter sports discussion after hearing of a similar event in San Francisco last year.

Snow and skiing are part of people’s everyday experience, and easier to relate to than “cataclysmic” discussions of climate change, explains Hodgson. “When something is a big, broad problem, you’re aware of it but you don’t really take action, but if it appears to be really in your neighbourhood, then you pay much more attention to it.”

Hodgson suggests four actions people can take, starting with using less energy, divesting from fossil fuel industries and supporting environmental groups.

“The most important, and actually the easiest one, is to talk to our elected officials,” says Hodgson. “If we tell them this is important, they’re going to start to believe it’s important.”

Highland Park resident Gillian Wheeler was one of the over 250 people who attended the event. She and her family are downhill and cross-country skiers, so she appreciated hearing what climate change means for winter sports locally and what’s being done elsewhere in the world.

“I did wonder whether there’s a tipping point at which the efforts and the energy consumed to preserve snow and extend ski seasons might outweigh the benefits or add more energy consumption into global warming,” says Wheeler. “It may not be as far away as we had thought.”

“It did make me think about the small things I could do as one citizen in this city,” adds Wheeler. “Different ways to enjoy the outdoors without being big consumers, or things that we do as consumers not related to sports—just small things can also make a difference.”

For more information go to ecologyottawa.ca.

Letter to the Editor: "Have winter cyclists lost their good sense?"

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Have winter cyclists lost their good sense?

Don’t get me wrong… I applaud their dedication to staying fit, saving the environment, reaching training goals, getting to work or whatever other reason they climb on their bikes this time of year. But come on, I know I am not alone in questioning not only their sanity but their better judgment when I drive past them on Scott Street. Or up the bridge at Albert and Bayswater. Or along Parkdale during rush hour. Or Holland after a dump of snow. Or Welllington/Richmond any time of day or year. It’s not safe.

Driving in winter is a challenge: the roads are slippery; snowbanks fill the shoulder and spill into the road; some motorists drive the narrow slushy streets like they are on the Queensway in July. It’s not a leisurely drive in the comfort of our cars; it’s more like a stress-a-palooza behind the wheel. And then there is that crazy cyclist who throws more danger into the mix.

Here’s the part where they need to listen up: to avoid hitting them, they often force motorists into making unsafe maneuvers on busy, congested, slippery roads. We absolutely do not want to hit them. But the road conditions are not safe for cyclists either. Some of them wobble into the lane, swerve in front of cars to get around clumps of snow and ride in car lanes because the shoulder is a snowbank. In the case of Scott Street between Parkdale and Bayswater, there is no shoulder!

I haven’t forgotten that some drivers are jerks and do stupid things to avoid cyclists on the road. Their unsafe driving to that end subsequently endangers other drivers, too.

I am sure cyclists get angry when drivers don’t share the road with them, especially in winter where everyone should exercise more caution. But come on! It’s winter! Riding your bike on the road in winter? Really??? You can’t tell me that is safe for anyone. Is riding a bike this time of year so important that they risk the safety of everyone on the road?

I am not saying that cycling should be banned from the roads in winter, nor am I saying that motorists shouldn’t share the roads with cyclists. What I am saying is that we all learn that safety comes first. Always. No exception. And I’m not just talking about cyclists’ safety, but motorists’ too. Don’t forget that the road in winter can be unsafe for cyclists AND drivers. There are days and road conditions where cyclists should exercise better judgment. On those days, I ask them, get off yer bike and take the bus like everyone else. And we will all get home in one piece.

Please sign me,

An exasperated winter motorist

Shinny happy neighbours: Is this Bayswater rink the best in Kitchissippi?

By Andrea Tomkins –

If there’s an award for best homemade skating rink, Richard Janecky may be looking at first place.

 Richard Janecky, and (L-R) Owen Gorman, Matthew Sintic, and Marek Janecky. Photo by Andrea Tomkins.
Richard Janecky, and (L-R) Owen Gorman, Matthew Sintic, and Marek Janecky. Photo by Andrea Tomkins.

While flooding a backyard with a garden hose is not unheard of, every winter, Janecky goes the extra mile to build a rink for his wife Karla Hilton and their children Lola, 12, and Marek, 9.

While homemade rinks are traditionally located in backyards, this one is in the front yard of the family home on Bayswater Avenue. The rink measures 24 x 48 and is surrounded by low boards. It takes up almost the entire yard, and incorporates a sizable tree.

“Most people wouldn’t think that it’s the perfect yard for it… who would think to put a rink in their front yard?” laughs Janecky.

Janecky has rink making down to a science.

“You wait for a minimum of 10 cm of snow, and we had lots of snow in November. It was perfect,” remembers Janecky. “Then you get your snowshoes on and you get a few people with snowshoes, just to stomp it all down. One great way of doing it is getting kids on toboggans and dragging them around – you just stamp it down as much as you can. That’s the base.”

Amateurs could be forgiven if they assume that flooding comes next, but there’s a critical step that can’t be missed.

“You need to water it, sprinkle it, about five or six times before you can start flooding,” says Janecky. “You have to have a cold night to do it, you need the right conditions. It has to be cold, and you spray it with a mister. What you’re trying to do is create a hard surface for when you do eventually start flooding. The water needs some place to stay so it doesn’t sink through the snow into the grass.”

“This is my third year with it and I’ve learned my lesson on that front. It’s so frustrating if you don’t do it.”

This year, Janecky built a new addition to the rink. In past years, snow has slid off the metal roof and knocked down the boards, which in turn meant the front of the house was less protected from errant pucks. So Janecky fashioned a set of protective screens. Hinges allow the screens to easily fold down when not in use, and they have a bit of give so they can survive gusts of wind and snow.

“No windows have been lost yet, despite a couple of stray slapshots,” says Janecky.

Skating outdoors is a great family activity. Marek participated in the building of the boards and both kids help clear the ice.

“I think anyone can build a rink,” says Janecky, but he adds that it’s important to “stay motivated” and tend to its upkeep.

The actual building of the structure took a day, but the real work lies in its maintenance.

“Flooding is another matter entirely. That takes a lot of determination.” It’s a chore reserved for extra cold evenings, when the kids are in bed.

“I’m out there, seven, eight nights in a row, flooding the ice and getting it ready for skating. It’s a process.”

Happily, all that hard work pays off. The rink gets a lot of use, even in the evening, as white Christmas lights illuminate after-dinner games. “Marek is crazy about hockey and he’s out there every night,” says Janecky.

For those who are worried about the grass, they needn’t be. Janecky says the grass doesn’t seem to be affected at all. “It makes no difference to the grass whatsoever. It comes back just as quickly as it would have if you didn’t have a rink. Zero impact.”

One could assume that games of shinny on outdoor rinks was a part of Janecky’s childhood, but this is not actually the case.

“Growing up in Vancouver and moving to Ottawa, the one thing that I was in awe of was outdoor rinks, because I’d never really seen them. To me it’s always been the charm of this city, these outdoor rinks.”

The boards come down in the Spring when the snow melts and it all gets put away, but Janecky says he’s running out of room to store it because he keeps adding to it every year.

All those hours spent on building, flooding, and then take down… is it worth it?

“I do it for them” says Janecky, motioning to his son Marek and his two friends who’ve dropped by to play hockey.

“The kids come over after school and they have something to do, and it’s just fun. And it becomes a bit of a hub. The neighbours come over from time to time and they bring their kids. I think it brings a sense of community, a way of celebrating the moment.”

The first official guide to outdoor rinks in Kitchissippi

We are very happy to share this outdoor rink guide with you!

If you don’t have a printed copy of the January 23 2014 issue, there are two ways you get your hands on the Kitchissippi skating guide.

1) You can find it online at Issuu.com. This version is not printable, but it’s zoomable and sharable. Flip to page 10 to view the map and additional information for each destination.

2) You can download this printable PDF.

Happy skating!

Warming up to winter: Annual Dovercourt carnival draws a crowd

By Anita Grace –

More than 600 people came out to Dovercourt Recreation Centre on Saturday, January 18 for the annual winter carnival.

“It’s so nice to see a great turn out every year, with people of all ages,” said Stephanie Moores, a member of Dovercourt’s board of directors who attended the carnival with her two young sons.  “It draws not just from the area, but Ottawa-wide, and fits our mission of building a healthy, active, and engaged community.”

Maddock Currie, 4, happily crashes into the inflatable pins at Dovercourt’s annual winter carnival. Photo by Anita Grace.
Maddock Currie, 4, happily crashes into the inflatable pins at Dovercourt’s annual winter carnival. Photo by Anita Grace.

“We come here a lot,” said Annie Bérubé, who was skating on the ice with her husband and two children.  “It’s a great place.”

Westboro Kiwanis Park was bustling even before the carnival officially started at 4:00 p.m.

During the event, families lined up for horse-drawn wagon rides and children jumped in the bouncy castle. Kids also enjoyed crashing into the inflatable pins at the toboggan-bowling event on the sledding hill.

Ten-year-old Rylee Hein managed to knock down all the pins, scoring herself a Dovercourt T-shirt prize. “We come [to the carnival] every year,” she said. “It’s really fun.”

Rylee and her sister Kendall, 14, were among the few brave residents who tried the polar dip – a new event at Dovercourt this year. A small pool of water, its surface a slushy mix of snow and ice, was set up near the side door of the recreation centre. Polar dippers took a quick plunge, then rushed inside to the sauna and hot tub to warm up.

“The general idea is to get the community out and have some fun,” said Tyler Skerkowski, a program supervisor and a special events organizer at Dovercourt.

Skerkowski is grateful for Morris Home Team Realty’s sponsorship of this event, which is free to attend.

Sunita Venkateswaran said the horse drawn wagon and toboggan bowling were big hits with her four- and almost-two-year-olds.  “We love this event,” said Venkateswaran.

“The weather is ideal,” adds Bev Hellman, who was at the event with her four-year-old granddaughter. “Especially for all the young children that are here.”

She also praised the event for being well organized and nicely spread out around the park.

Those who missed the carnival at Dovercourt may want to bundle up and head over to Champlain Park on Saturday, January 25 for the park’s annual event. There will be free horse-drawn sleigh rides, musical performances, hot chocolate, coffee, as well as skating and hockey skills games.

“It’s a great way to bring together families and friends in the local community,” said Champlain Park’s event organizer Sarah Brooks, “and a good way to meet new people.”

Check the calendar on page 23 for a list of community events which includes a few other winter carnivals and fun events around Kitchissippi.

Kitchissippi Q & A: Where to go for winter frolic

Q: The youngest members of our family got some cross-country skis for Christmas and I was wondering if you could recommend a good place to practice before we head out and do some “real” trails with them. The flatter the better!

Thank you,

Mama Ski Bunny

A: Thanks for your letter Mama Bunny! My family is also fairly new at cross-country skiing. It’s a great sport for families. Not only does it give us something active to do during the long winter (at least it feels long to me!) but once you have all the equipment it’s pretty cheap to just pick up and go somewhere.

We’re very lucky to be so close to some great trails in the Gatineau hills too, but you’re not quite there yet. A bit of practice and you will be ready in no time.

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The best thing to do if you’re not paying for lessons is to bring the kids over to your neighborhood park, strap on those skis, and get the kids used to the feeling of the skis on the snow. Once this starts to get boring, it’s time to kick it up a notch.

There are a couple of other places that would be perfect for newbies to try out new cross-country skis:

  • Many parents have already discovered the small hill behind Dovercourt Recreation Centre. Although the front of the hill tends to get taken over by small sledders (which makes it too slippery for new skiers) the sides of the hill can provide a nice gradual slope to practice the cross-country climb and descent, especially after a fresh snowfall. It’s great for trying out new snowboards too.
  • The bike paths down near Westboro Beach turn into informal ski paths in the winter. Park in the lot off the parkway or on Lanark and walk down to the beach area. It’s a whole different place in the winter! The best thing is that you’re not tied to a loop or a long route, which is ideal for new skiers. Just head out in one direction and turn around when you start to get tired.

Good luck, and have fun!

Andrea Tomkins,
Editor

Is there an issue in your corner of Kitchissippi that’s been puzzling you? Perhaps there’s something you’ve always wanted to know but didn’t know who to ask. Send your burning questions (Kitchissippi-related of course) to us and we’ll help find the answer.