Episode 63 – A Park for All Seasons

Trevor Chow-Fraser and Danielle Soneff in a parking lot that will be part of Warehouse Park downtown

Edmonton calls itself a winter city, which partly means we’ve got a lot of wintery festivals. This episode, our producer Trevor Chow-Fraser asks: what does that mean for our parks? How are they changing to live up to the winter city ideal?

Trevor started out by taking his daughter Eliot to Victoria Park to take advantage of its free snowshoeing and fort building. He spoke to activity leader Ryanne Osguthorpe. Victoria Park is one of a few parks in Edmonton that now feature geodesic dome warming huts in the winter.

Eliot considers a geodesic dome warming hut in Victoria Park.
Danielle Soneff in a parking lot that will be part of Warehouse Park downtown
Danielle Soneff in a parking lot that will be part of Warehouse Park downtown.

That got us curious about warming huts in parks, so we met up with Danielle Soneff — an industrial and social designer in Edmonton who created warming huts for a pilot project to bring them into city parks. She’s now an MA student at the University of Alberta, studying winter city design and governance.

One of Danielle Soneff’s original warming hut designs. [Photo: Danielle Soneff]
Another of Danielle Soneff’s warming huts [Photo: Danielle Soneff]
We talked about why she feels that pilot project failed, and what good winter design principles could be brought to the new Warehouse Park (final name TBD) downtown.

City of Edmonton winter city planner Isla Tanaka

Finally, we spoke with Isla Tanaka, a winter city planner for the City of Edmonton. We asked her how its winter city strategy has evolved over the years, and how it might change now after the first decade of implementation.

Further Reading:

This episode marks our transition from Alberta Podcast Network membership to becoming a publication of Taproot Edmonton. We’re proud to be making an official partnership with a local journalism initiative we admire so much.

You can now sign up to become a Taproot Reader (for free) or a Taproot Member (for $10 a month or $100 annually) at Taproot to support our work. We’re winding down the Patreon as we make this switch, and we appreciate all your support!

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