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This Canadian City Might Build The CitiBike Of Ice Skating

The proposed Freezeway trail would be nearly seven miles long. If this isn't the most Canadian thing ever I don't know what is.

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Getting around is a pain in the cold, but one Canadian city might lift winter blues by building an ice skating path nearly seven miles long.

Matt Gibbs / Via

Here's a rendering of the proposed trail, dubbed the Freezeway.

Can't skate? No sweat. The trail would be accompanied by a pedestrian walkway.

Edmonton native Matt Gibbs is working with the Edmonton Ski Club to have a shorter pilot version of the trail ready to go as early as next winter, Susan Holdsworth, Edmonton's Winter City coordinator, told BuzzFeed News.

Part of her team's job is looking for ways to embrace winter.

His idea stood out to Winter City among hundreds of ideas proposed in 2013, and has been floating around as a possibility ever since.

Gibbs has even uploaded a detailed Freezeway proposal to YouTube.

Matt Gibbs / Via

The project was originally Gibbs' master thesis, but the idea itself has been around even longer, BBC reports.

"Why don't we just crack the fire hydrants open, flood the streets and let people skate to work in the winter?" former city council member Tooker Gomberg joked in the 1990s.


The trail "creates gathering spaces that serve as interfaces to the community," Gibbs said in his proposal video.

Matt Gibbs / Via

He also says it would connect pedestrians to green spaces and the city's attractions.

According to the map, there'd be plenty of city-operated skate rentals along the route.

But not everyone is on board with the Freezeway.

Matt Gibbs / Via

Mike Nickel, a city council member, told the BBC the Freezeway is "the stupidest idea I've heard."

But the plan would be subject to approval by a relevant city department, not the council itself.

The Freezeway concept isn't unheard of in Canada — Ottawa and Winnipeg have similar paths, but the Edmonton trail would be artificial.

"It's another way for people to connect, to be physically active, and give them a new experience that could even potentially lead to a form of active transportation in our city," Holdsworth said. "That’s pretty visionary, but it’s possible."

Check out the full proposal here.

View this video on YouTube / Via