‘At the moment there are no rules’: Alleyway skating rinks graveled over then rebuilt in Montreal
Mélanie Cyr’s sons would throw snowsuits over their pyjamas and head into the night to flood the narrow skating rink in the alley behind their house. Then two weeks ago they returned home from school to find the city had dumped a load of crushed stone on the rink, ruining it after a neighbour complained about the slippery conditions. Another rink farther down the alley suffered the same fate.
“I won’t repeat the words they used,” Ms. Cyr said Monday of her three boys, aged 11, 13 and 15. “They were mad because it was a lot of work…. It was like seeing their work destroyed.”
With winter’s arrival, the city’s roughly 475 kilometres of back alleys, which have inspired writers and artists over the decades, become mostly snow-covered and deserted. Parents in at least one central Montreal neighbourhood thought they had found a way to change that.
On a two-block stretch of the alley behind Casgrain Ave. in the Villeray district, three homemade rinks popped up in December. The alley, running behind two rows of houses, is city property, but in the winter it is not plowed.
“There are many of us who want to make skating rinks, who want to take advantage of our winter,” said Sylvain Guilbeault, who for the second year created a rink behind his house for his seven-year-old son Raphaël. “A lot of children in the neighbourhood come to skate. Sometimes there are eight children skating.” (Christinne Muschi for National Post)
It’s Groundhog Day (again) and the rodents can’t agree when spring will come
It’s Groundhog Day — the day millions of North Americans turn to weather prognosticating rodents in the hope they’ll call for an early spring.
And Wiarton Willie, Canada’s most celebrated of all its furry forecasters is predicting an early spring.
On the East Coast, Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam was the first out of his burrow this morning to make his prediction to a worldwide audience via webcam, and sadly for those hoping for an early spring, the pride of Shubenacadie did see his shadow.
Stateside, Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil is generally regarded as the groundhog of record and his prediction this morning is for an early spring. (Keith Srakocic/The Associated Press; Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press; Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)
Cold weather could have saved Swedish man trapped in snow-covered car for two months
A Swede pulled from a snowed-in car claiming he had not eaten for two months had lived in the vehicle since mid-2011, media reported, as experts said the “miraculous survival” was theoretically possible.
The emaciated 44-year-old man, whose name has not been disclosed, was pulled from a totally snow-covered car parked deep in the woods near the northern Swedish town of Umeaa last Friday.
He claimed he had not had access to food since December 19 and had survived on snow, according to local police. (Photos: Rolf Hojer/Scanpix/Reuters)
Cold weather kills more than 80 in Europe; snow falls over Italy
Europe froze as the continent experienced some of its coldest temperatures in decades on Wednesday, the death toll from the weather topped 80 and countries battled to clear snow from roads and railways.
At least 28 people froze to death overnight in eastern and central Europe, while countries further west and south began to feel the effects of a cold front spreading from Siberia.
Snow hit Italy, which struggled to clear motorways and railways after heavy falls, and the French Mediterranean island of Corsica. (Photos: Reuters; AFP Photo/Fabio Muzzi; Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images)