The Freezeway: We Really Need to Build This Before Edmonton Does

This would be awesome

This would be awesome

During the winter wouldn't it be cool to ice skate to work or go for a skate the same way we use our bikes in the summer?

A plan to create a seven-mile ice trail cutting through various neighborhoods in Edmonton has been getting a lot of attention in Canada lately. Matt Gibbs, a 29-year-old landscape architect, won first place for his "Freezeway" idea in the 2013 Coldscapes international design competition, and now the concept is being debated by the Edmonton City Council.

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The idea isn't without some precedent. Ottawa opens its five-mile Rideau Canal to ice skaters during the winter, and Chicago just built a quarter-mile ice path at Maggie Daly Park.

The idea is still in the dreaming conceptual stage, and there are certainly a ton of problems that would have to be figured out before it became a reality.

One of the biggest obstacles would be maintaining the ice. That can be a difficult task even in ideal conditions, but more and more public rinks worldwide -- like in Moscow's Gorky Park -- are beginning to use artificial ice to help with that.

For now, it's fun to imagine gliding into work on a brisk February day, or skating to downtown St. Paul to catch a Wild game. We should be embracing big, awesome ideas like this as a way to get through the winter.

A Minneapolis spokesman said it was "certainly an interesting idea," but nothing like it has been discussed by city planners.

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