Edmonton

So long winter, hello patio season

The warm weather has Edmontonians emerging from their winter hideouts. Patios are open, people are on the pathways and dog parks are full.

On Wednesday, with the arrival of the spring equinox, the temperature reached 16 C

Brogan Goertz plays his saxophone in the sunshine on Whyte Avenue. (Sam Martin/CBC)

Spring arrived on Wednesday and Edmontonians were fully embracing the warmth.

After a brutally cold February, the coldest since 1994 according to Environment Canada, shorts and T-shirts have been out in full force on city streets this week.

Even with snow lingering on the ground, people headed outdoors and hit the patios.

Flower shop Laurel's on Whyte has blooms on display outside. (Sam Martin/CBC)

Temperatures have risen dramatically this month. On March 1, the daytime high was -16 C and the overnight low was -25 C.

On Wednesday, with the arrival of the spring equinox, the temperature reached 16 C, and patio seats were hard to come by.

Taylor Murphy, Kurt Gerein and friends enjoy some beverages on the Next Act Pub's patio on 104th Street. (Sam Martin/CBC)

"It's a great day!" Taylor Murphy said.

He was joined by friends at the Next Act Pub on 104th Street, where there outdoor space was full of people enjoying the nice weather.

That included his friend, Kurt Gerein, who said he was ready for the sun.

"Hence the T-shirt and shorts."

Robert Blackstock took to the trails around Ezio Faraone Park. (Sam Martin/CBC)

Robert Blackstock was visiting from out of town and was enjoying the trails around downtown in Ezio Farone Park.

"There's no way to describe it," he said. "It's just great. It's so healthy to be able to get out and enjoy this. [There's] not even a cold wind from the north."

He planned to stick to the paved paths for now while the river valley continues to dry out.

Gone to the dogs

Joshua Badach embraced the warmer weather with his furry friend at the Alex Decoteau dog park downtown.

"I think when we finally hit this, I was overwhelmed with gratefulness," Badach said. "So I immediately shed the jacket and just took her out for walks."

Badach was eager for the dog-friendly patios to open. His husky may be the only one missing the arctic temperatures.

Environment Canada is calling for another warm day on Thursday before the temperature returns to seasonal norms through the weekend and into next week.