Ottawa's 'Snow-Banksy' steps out of the shadows

Ottawa's "Snow-Banksy," who turned frozen mounds into roadside art in Vanier, has stepped out of the shadows.

Vanier resident Gilles Bergeron identified as mysterious snow sculptor

Gilles Bergeron is the artist behind the roadside snow sculptures that have popped up in Vanier. (Hallie Cotnam/CBC)

Ottawa's "Snow-Banksy," who turned frozen mounds into roadside art in Vanier, has stepped out of the shadows.

Gilles Bergeron is the sculptor whose skill with a snow scraper transformed grubby snowbanks into a crocodile and a 1967 El Camino, among other objects.

Bergeron's frozen crocodile. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

"I got tired of just seeing ordinary snowbanks, so carving came out and some creatures appeared," Bergeron told Ottawa Morning's Hallie Cotnam.

He said he creates his figures at night to surprise people in the morning.   

"It's more peaceful, and people don't see me doing them. They just walk by the next morning and things appear," he said.

Bergeron carved this 1967 El Camino — the year he was born. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

Simple tools

He said he uses just a small scraper and a spade to carve the banks.

Bergeron lived in the area for decades and said he often removes snowbanks to make more room on the street, but this year he felt like doing something different.

"I just decided to make a few sculptures, slow down the traffic and give us something better to look at," he said.

There's been plenty of snow this year for Bergeron to work his magic. (Jean Delisle /CBC)

Ottawa has received sometimes record-breaking amounts of snow this year, but Bergeron is still hoping for more.  

"Hopefully, winter stays around a little longer and I get to carve another animal."

With files from Hallie Cotnam


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