This weekend, a few friends and I took in Toronto’s version of Winterlude, iceFest!
Put on by the Bloor-Yorkville BIA, iceFest is pretty much a bunch of ice sculptures hanging out in a block in Yorkville. Despite the horrible lack of BeaverTails and hot chocolate (there was some lukewarm lemonade served up from Crepes a Go Go), it was cool!
We got there just after they started carving the ice sculptures, and I’m glad we did. These men were doing simply amazing things with blocks of ice and chainsaws. It was insane! Intricate lines carved into icy bears and fish and owls…it was just awesome. Such skill. How do you even learn how to do that?
The weirdest thing at iceFest (aside from the aforementioned lack of BeaverTails), was a terrible “show” where models skated around in haute coture, flailing scarves and shopping bags around for five minutes. I mean, it was terrible. C’mon Yorkville. We know you’re the centre of snobbish wealth and people who sneer at us with botoxed lips, but if you’re going to have sculptures of owls and totem poles, maybe do a show that’s more than ‘OMG SHOPPING IS SO MUCH FUN!!!~~”
Aside from this disaster, we walked the block, dodged children and prams and tiny dogs and…that was pretty much it. iceFest wasn’t big, but it was cool for what it was. I think it was great that we got there as they were carving; if it was just sculptures hanging around, it would suck. I think they lit them up at night, though, which would have been pretty to see.
I’d suggest heading to iceFest next year if you have 20 minutes to spare and if you’re around Yonge and Bloor. It would be great if iceFest did a bit more to make it a super hot festival; more food stations, areas for kids to do kid stuff (road hockey? face paint?) a longer stretch of the neighbourhood…I mean, it was definitely fun! It just seemed like a half-festival that was promoting itself as the hippest thing to happen to winter in Toronto since we got that fourth snowplow.*
*jk, Toronto doesn’t have four snowplows.