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Last January, after living in Toronto for 14 years, I moved back to my hometown, Winnipeg. And even though Toronto gets plenty of snow – more, in fact, than Winnipeg! – the minus twenty temperatures on the prairies ensure that snow stays on the ground over here.

My two-year-old loves being taken for rides in his sled, and our pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood of Wolseley is perfect for long walks. Last month we came across an enormous snow castle on Home Street, just a few blocks away: Castle Carla.

When I say enormous, I’m not kidding: this giant snow castle straddles two entire front yards.

castle carla

PHOTO: WAYNE GLOWACKI/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Last week I was delighted to learn more about the man who built this castle, David Neyedli, in an article in the Winnipeg Free Press. 

I was touched that he dedicated it to his neighbour Carla Stefansson, who passed away January 10th.

giant snow castle in Winnipeg is a tribute to Carla Stefansson. This is the plaque in her honour, on the "castle" wall

PHOTO: JULIE PENNER

Neyedli himself has no children of his own. As a parent, I was especially taken by his words here:

 

“One of the things I really, really love in the summer is waking up to the sound of birds chirping.
Winter can be kind of a desolate and depressing time period, and with the slide here, I’ll wake up to the sounds of screaming, gleeful kids outside my window. That sort of thing is kind of the same thing for me.

 Kids are pure like a songbird, in a sense.”

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