Manitoba

CBC Manitoba's top free tobogganing spots in Winnipeg

There's no need to coat your crazy carpet with cooking spray — you'll get speed all on your own tobogganing down these Winnipeg hills.

Find out which hill is right for you and your family

There's no need to coat your crazy carpet with cooking spray — you'll get speed all on your own tobogganing down these Winnipeg hills. 1:49
There's no need to coat your crazy carpet with cooking spray — you'll get speed all on your own tobogganing down these Winnipeg hills.
Tobogganers hit the hills in Winnipeg. (CBC)

The City of Winnipeg has a list on its website of four hills and seven slides ideal for sledding this winter. The hills are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Of course, the later you head out, the more a factor windchill becomes, so bundle up!

For the committed tobogganer: 

  • Civic Park at 901 Kimberley Ave.
  • Victoria Jason Park (Crocus Park) at 255 Redonda St.

These hills don't have warm-up huts, and Victoria Jason Park doesn't have lighting for night-time sledding. If you hit these hills, you better be prepared with hand and feet warming packages, piping hot coffee and a flashlight for those long, cold marches back up the hill from 6 p.m. on.

Elder McCoard and Elder Malin, missionaries who have been in Winnipeg since September, said Civic Park is the best hill in Winnipeg.

"You've got the steep, the deep. You know, you've got everything you need," said McCoard. "You've got the quick ice, which is more of an obstacle, really."
Sledders head down the hills at Kimberley Avenue Monday. (CBC)

Matthew Dunn, who was slipping and sliding down the hill with his dad Monday, said the ice is alright, but he's much happier now that a few winter storms have hit Winnipeg.

"It has to have lots of snow," he said, imagining the perfect sledding hill. "At the start of the [season], we didn't have very much, but it's good now."

His dad, Chris Dunn, said he's lived in Winnipeg for 20 years, which makes him something of a toboggan guru.

"The best place to slide in Winnipeg is this hill right here on Kimberley," he said. "[There are] lots of different hill faces, there's usually lots of snow, it changes the iciness to the speed. It's fun altogether."

For the family trip:

  • Harbourview Park & Recreation Complex at 1867 Springfield Rd.
  • This year-round recreation complex offers skating, cross-country skiing and — most importantly — tobogganing. The complex is open to the public to warm up in the winter: you know, to test the feeling in your cheeks and fingertips.

For the extreme tobogganer:

  • Westview Park at 1 Midland St.

Feeling like you're in the tundra is no longer a fantasy at this hill. There's no lighting, no warm-up shelter and the roadway to the top of the hill is closed during winter months. The positive side to this is you can see the modern St. James area after trekking to the top like an early-day pioneer. Just make sure you only sled in the designated zones. Otherwise, you might slide right on through to greet Polo Park's shopping traffic.

It seems as though Winnipeggers like adventure because Westview Park, affectionately nicknamed Garbage Hill, was the busiest hill on Monday.
A little girl catches some air at Civic Park. (CBC)

Cody Hebert and his son Caleb Pedersen had big, plastic tubes to slide down on, but the weather had other plans.

"We like tubing, but when it gets cold, they get flat fast," Hebert said. "You keep having to blow them up, but if it's nice out, these are the best."

Hebert said he's been to several hills in the city, and Garbage Hill is anything but trash.

"It's the biggest and it's the best," he said. "Look at the options you've got here. You've got death row over here with the huge bumps. This is probably bigger than a lot of Stony Mountain hills. It's free, it's local. [I've] been coming here for three years, been on all of [the hills]. This one is right in the centre of the Peg."

Joelle Lumarque was at Westview Park with her family on Monday, too. The 15-year-old has some advice to younger tobogganers.

"It's really bumpy in the middle, so it gives you the right height and the right speed to go down," she said. "Bounce a little, so you won't fall that bad. I tell them, 'Don't be scared, go as fast as you can and lean the opposite way when you're sliding so you won't fall off.'"

For enthusiasts who want to catch a little air:
A young tobogganer takes a ride down an ice slide at Kildonan Park Monday. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

Winnipeggers who find that natural hills just don't cut it can get their adrenaline pumping with several winter slides across the city, including:

  • Crescent Drive Park at 781 Crescent Dr.
  • Kildonan Park at 2015 Main St.
  • Fraser's Grove Park at 85 Fraser's Gr.
  • Bunn's Creek Park at 365 McIvor Ave.
  • St. Vital Park at 190 River Rd.

All slide locations have night lighting and a combination of washrooms and warm-up areas. The little ones can slide all day long while mature tobogganers can sneak into the warm-up area to dry off or call your partner to start dinner.

Do you have a favourite hill outside the Perimeter Highway? Share your favourite toboggan sites with us at news.at.six.mb@cbc.ca.

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