City of Edmonton may build a seven-mile public ice skating path

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Edmonton has an idea to make winter not so terrible. The city is considering creating an 11-kilometer (about 6.8 mile) artificial ice skating path that would let people skate to work, school, or even the city's hockey arena. 

The idea came from Matthew Gibbs, a graduate student of architecture at the University of British Columbia. He first proposed the project in 2013 and it's quickly gaining steam.

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"We thought we'd have to push the snowball up hill," Edmonton city planner Susan Holdsworth said of selling the idea to the public, according to the BBC. "Instead it's like we're riding downhill, gaining momentum, going faster all the time."

Gibbs calls it the "Freezeway." It would link two existing greenways to create an 11-km route that could be used for biking in the summer and skating in the winter, with an adjacent walking lane.

But support isn't universal. City councillor Mike Nickel called it "the stupidest idea I've ever heard." Alberta is experiencing an economic decline because of falling oil prices. Even so, the city plans to begin a pilot project next winter.


- Dan Gartland