After one of the coldest Aprils ever on record, skies are beginning to clear over Winnipeg and the mercury is starting its journey upward.

Friday’s forecast called for a high of 12 C and mainly sunny skies in the afternoon, the highest temperature reached by the city in six months.

Warm temperatures and mainly sunny skies were expected to continue over the weekend with forecast highs of 15 C for both Saturday and Sunday.

A number of restaurants on Corydon Avenue have opened up their patios.

Winnipegger Kerry Johnson said he’s thrilled he can spend his lunch-hours relaxing on patios now.

"We’ve been desperate for summer and spring to start," said Johnson.

"Most people are getting pretty mad that it hasn’t come by now."

Johnson isn’t alone.

Sue Cesarini manages Shooters Family Golf Centre on Main Street.

She said the course lost a significant portion of its season to the cold temperatures and she is now hoping to open the nine-hole course on Sunday.

"Our crew has been out there … snow-blowing for two weeks," said Sue Cerasani, the course’s manager.

"Actually the course is looking great. The greens are really green, nice and very healthy greens, as long as you stay out of those occasional snow hazards right now at the moment."

The driving range at Shooters opened last weekend, and Cesarani said when the course does open, it’ll be the latest opening date.

First summer with new helmet laws

Manitoba’s new helmet law that requires anyone under 18 to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle will take effect on May 1.

It’s the first summer such a helmet law will exist in the province, and anyone over 14 years old who is found violating it will have to pay a $50 fine. Parents with a child under 14 who violates the law will have to pay the tickets on their behalf.

The law aims to curb the number of serious and fatal injuries caused by cyclist accidents.

Every year in Manitoba, about 160 cyclists end up in hospital after accidents.

"One of the worst things I have to do is tell a parent that [their child] will never be the same and to know inside that was preventable had they been wearing a helmet," said Patrick McDonald, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Winnipeg’s Children’s Hospital.

"It’s frustrating and it is tragic."

McDonald said the law should be extended to adults.

"Adults are just as likely to have a head injury as a child," he said.

Winnipegger Matt Eggett, 28, said he's open to extending the law to adults.

"I could see myself wearing a helmet. I can’t afford injury — can’t afford a concussion," said Egget.

"It doesn’t matter how you look. It’s how you ride — the safer the better."

For now, the law will only apply to those under 18, and first-time offenders can avoid paying the fine if they take an online safety quiz.