New warming huts come to life on Winnipeg's river trail

New warming huts took shape Friday on Winnipeg's Red River Trail.
Five new "one-of-a-kind" warming huts took shape Friday. Jillian Taylor reports 1:52
Another of the warming huts that will grace the Red River Mutual Trail this winter. (Jillian Taylor/CBC)

Five new "one-of-a-kind" warming huts took shape Friday as the winners from an architectural competition began to bring their visions to life on Winnipeg's Red River Mutual Trail.

One of the huts unveiled is made of pool noodles. (Jillian Taylor/CBC)

The Forks also announced a number of "installations" that will be going up.

They include "Little Red Library," inspired by the traditional Manitoba ice fishing shack, "RAW: almond," which will offer a five course meal and tapas bar, and "Solar Mittens," which uses solar power and old beer cans to keep people warm. 

Matt Hagen is one of three University of Manitoba Architecture students behind another, called the "Skybox," where he said it's a great place to take a "selfie."

"When you are sitting in here, and you look in the mirror in front of you, it reflects the sky back. It creates a unique photo opportunity."

Hagen said the picture can then be uploaded to a social media site and it will go up on the designers' website.

"It will be like a big mosaic of everybody's picture against the sky."

Mike Friesen, a member of the Riel Gentlemen's Choir which will perform on the trail, said it's a celebration of Winnipeg's winter.

"There is a lot of culture here and we just want to add to it and make a place where the citizens of Winnipeg can come and listen to some music and sing some songs together."

Joe Kalturnyk agrees. He's the designer behind RAW: almond, a pop-up restaurant on ice that debuted last winter to rave reviews. This year it's almost sold out.

"I think it's just people are ready to embrace winter again and they are enjoying it," he said.

RAW: almond's co-creater, MandelHitzer, isn't just cooking. He's sleeping out on the river for 21 nights, using just a tent and a sleeping bag, to bring attention to homelessness and raise money for a number of charities.