Melting Ice Castle in Edmonton river valley closed by warm weather

A frozen fortress in Edmonton's river valley may have met its match. The ice castle in Hawrelak Park has begun to melt.

Organizers are optimistic the winter wonderland will rise again

Complete with tunnels, an ice slide and waterfall, the massive structure will be ready for visitors by late December. (Sam Scholes)

A frozen fortress in Edmonton's river valley has begun to melt.

Due to unseasonably warm weather and rain this past weekend, the ice castle in Hawrelak Park was closed Sunday, and remained closed on Family Day.

In a statement posted to their Facebook page, organizers with Ice Castles LLC said they will watch the weather closely in the next few days.

Site manager Corey Livingood said if the weather co-operates they expect to reopen the castle by the end of the week.

"It flooded us pretty good," Livingood said Monday. "It does melt away the ice pretty good, but it also can help fill in the ice to thicken it up a little.

"The temperatures are dropping again. And with the way we build and the way we make ice, we can resume building any time we want, as long as the temperatures are good." 

People who purchased tickets for cancelled dates will be provided more information via email.

The 30,000-tonne "ice wonderland," which covers more than two acres of parkland, was crafted entirely by hand over the course of several weeks.

The ice castle was built in partnership with the city as part of the Silver Skate Festival.

Organizers had hoped the winter spectacle would remain safely frozen until the end of March.

For his part, Livingood hopes cold weather might keep the castle intact even longer.


Edmonton ice castle under construction

6 years ago
With equipment malfunctions slowing construction of the massive ice structure, crews have been forced to use picks and shovels to get the job done 1:20