Discover Edmonton’s Ice Castles

By Tracy Hyatt

William Hawrelak Park in Edmonton is (temporarily) home to some uniquely frosty fortresses.

After building a snowy backyard fortress for his kids in northern Utah, Brent Christensen knew he was onto something truly cool. By spraying water over steel frames, he realized he could “grow” thousands of icicles, in virtually any shape and size. And by arranging the frozen forms in certain ways, Christensen built stunning structures, complete with tunnels, slides and even water fountains. From that backyard backdrop, Ice Castles were born. Edmonton’s William Hawrelak Park marks the first appearance of Ice Castles’ chilly creations outside of the U.S.—and their coldest clime yet. The one-acre Edmonton installment will change shape as layers of icicles are added (up to 5,000 a day) and carved by natural elements, such as wind and snow. At night, the castle glows in rainbow colours, but it’s just as impressive during the day when the dense ice walls give off a blue hue. Visit soon, though—come March, the wintry castle’s days will be numbered.