Winnipeggers aren’t letting season’s 1st big snowfall keep them down

The first real snowfall of the season in Manitoba meant things suddenly looked pretty different across the province.

And for Dakota Grozelle, it meant it was once again time to hit the sidewalks with his shovel.

The North End Winnipeg resident said he always tries to do his part to clear paths for people in his community, many of whom use wheelchairs to get around.

On Thursday, he was down the street from his home on Selkirk Avenue, clearing the wet, sticky slush by the shovelful.

He said he was hoping to make it at least a full block down to McGregor Street — or as far as he could go lifting the snow.

“It’s pretty heavy. I’m just slipping and sliding everywhere,” Grozelle said.

“But nothing I can’t handle too much.”

A bus drives down a wet and slushy Portage Avenue in Winnipeg on Thursday morning, as the city saw its first major snowfall of the season. (Darin Morash/CBC)

The City of Winnipeg said it will start clearing streets, sidewalks and active transportation routes at 7 p.m., though no winter parking bans are in effect yet.

With the winter weather also comes low visibility, potentially making driving a bit of a problem.

Video taken of a highway just outside Ignace, Ont., on Thursday showed a road ahead that’s difficult to see.

The Trans-Canada Highway ended up being closed from the Manitoba border to just west of Thunder Bay, Ont., and from Falcon Lake to Ontario.

WATCH | Blustery conditions close section of highway east of Manitoba border:

Semis in the ditch on Highway 17 in northwestern Ontario

6 hours ago

Trucker Jagjit Singh captures the snowy, slippery scene on the Trans-Canada Highway outside Ignace, Ont., Thursday. 1:32

The weather also caused power outages across the province.

Delivery driver Briianna Bland was out in Winnipeg’s Charleswood area on Thursday.

She said the snow slowed down her UPS drop-offs by about an hour.

“We’re really defensive drivers, so we really have to slow down,” Bland said.

“[We have to] really be careful what we’re doing and watch for other people, like pedestrians. People are out still walking their dogs.”

But some people — and pups — liked the weather on Thursday.

That includes Garrett Bannatyne and his new dog, Rocky, who got to burn off some steam at the dog park while frolicking in the fresh snow.

Garrett Bannatyne spent some time at a dog park on Thursday as his new pup, Rocky, tumbled around with another dog nearby. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

“He’s soaking it up like a rag right now,” Bannatyne said, watching Rocky play.

“He’ll need to dry off when he gets home.”

Three-year-old twins River and Sierra Goethals were excited, too. In fact, they’d been looking forward to the snow all week.

“We told them a snowstorm was coming and got them really excited, said everything was going to be white and that means Christmas is coming,” dad Joe Goethals said.

“So they’d sit at the window banging on it, saying, ‘Christmas is coming soon!'”

Joe and Kelsie Goethals and their three kids were all smiles playing in the fresh snow on Thursday. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

The group, along with mom Kelsie and little brother Weston, got all bundled up for a toboggan pull through the dog park and to Tim Hortons for some doughnuts.

The couple said they were excited for the first snowfall, too — it means they get to start making their backyard rink. 

There’s just one thing they’re dreading now that winter has arrived.

“Getting [the kids] dressed is always a difficult thing,” Kelsie said. “But once we’re out, it’s worth it.”

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