'It just kept getting bigger and bigger': Yellowknife family builds snow castle on lawn

Natasha McCagg says her family's front-yard 'passion project' started off as a pile of snow after their driveway was cleared. Now, it's a miniature snow castle.

Work is still not finished in family's front-yard mini snow castle

From left to right, top to bottom, Émilie Gaudreault, Natasha McCagg, Kate Coley and Mira Gaudreault. This Yellowknife family and friends began constructing this ice castle during the holidays. (Randall McKenzie/CBC)

Natasha McCagg says her family's front-yard "passion project" started off as a pile of snow after their driveway was cleared.

Her youngest daughter Mira Gaudreault started building a small fort from that pile.

"It wasn't safe — it collapsed," said McCagg.

That's when her husband got involved.

"[He] started to build a bigger snow fort. And it just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger over the holidays," said McCagg.

She said it grew "really organically" — with her nine-year-old stomping on snow, and the other kids holding up to-be walls. They also used wood and lights on the structure.

Before the holidays were over, the fort turned into a miniature snow castle in their front lawn. 

"It's really kind of turned into a passion project," said McCagg.

CBC North meteorologist Bradlyn Oakes, right, poses with McCagg as a busy worker continues constructing the min snow castle. (Randall McKenzie/CBC)

Of course, she said the family was also inspired by the annual Yellowknife SnowKing's Festival snow and ice castle, which will be built throughout January and February on the frozen Great Slave Lake. 

"The kids love going to the snow castle," McCagg said.

The family worked on it all Christmas break, and with school starting up in the new year, it'll be a nighttime and weekend project.

As for the name of the castle? That's to be announced soon on a painted sign, said McCagg.

With files from Bradlyn Oakes


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