The third week of December marks the beginning of the winter season, and the urban environment can accommodate the changes that it brings. The sights, smells, tastes and activities in our cities will be altered as pedestrians traverse global cities and towns during the cold weather season. With the following images, we identify many ways that our downtowns, districts, neighborhoods and public spaces take on the beautiful and refreshing winter season. Enjoy!
Winter is an exciting time of year and a welcome change from the summer and fall seasons. However, some find the season less than ideal and would rather not experience the few months of chilly weather. I offer that an alteration of the mindset may help to revise some of those feelings. How about this, being outside in 25 degree temperatures is like walking through a giant box of Altoid Mints? How refreshing that would be? Is our appreciation of the weather directed by our state of mind?
Many cities of the world embrace the chilly season and animate their urban environments with vibrant activities.
Some examples include:
Detroit – Skating is available at Campus Martius Park from November to March. February’s Winterfest, which includes people sledding, dog sledding, snow shoeing, marshmallow roasting, ice sculpture carving, music and food, occurs annually in the center of downtown.
Toronto – Skating in multiple locations throughout the city, from downtown to neighborhood parks. The city creates skating rinks in every corner of the city, where walking to some ice is the norm and not the exception.
Stockholm – The ICEBAR in the city center brings people into a refreshing ice enclosure for chilly spirits.
Ottawa – The Rideau Canal freezes over and creates the longest ice rink in the world with amazing views of the Canadian Parliament Buildings.
Copenhagen – This city embraces the winter month like few others of the world. Cafes offer blankets and patrons keep the drinks flowing in the colder months. People gather around fire pits to visit and bikers ride, even on snowy days.
Quebec City – This historic urban center is known for its significant nearby skiing runs, but recently has created a dynamic winter event in the core of the city. The Red Bull Crashed Ice Downhill Track fits snugly in between the dense urban fabric and provides a place for hyper-exciting skating races that draw thousands of spectators.
Look for other seasonal posts as the year goes on – we will be highlighting the joy of spring coming in March.
Annual WInter Market located in Shain Park
Night concert. Annual WInter Market located in Shain Park.
Annual Christmas Market – Booths, food and drink
Annual Christmas Market – Main Street activity