Imagine Edmonton being world-renowned for celebrating our northern climate. A city where people like coming out to public spaces even in the darkest, cold days of winter. A city where streets and buildings are designed with our climate in mind, where light is used to create warmth and luminescence during long winter days, a place where snow is considered a valuable resource. This is what Edmonton’s WinterCity Strategy is all about: creating a city that's inviting, vibrant and exciting for residents and tourists, throughout the winter months. 


The following principles were developed, based upon the January 20, 2012 symposium notes, the Think Tank meeting of February 7, 2012, and the suggested principles from the Livability Hub. The Idea Hub co-chairs have reviewed and approved them.


  • Create our own uniquely Edmonton story that is deeply expressive of our northerness.
    • Build it from the ground up
    • Reflect our heritage
    • Reflect our city's connection to nature/environment
  • Enhance daily life for Edmontonians and the Region. (Everyday life hints at year-round too)


  • Use innovative, fun and interesting approaches to challenge existing stereotypes of winter as cold, dull and dangerous.


  • Inclusive – winter is experienced differently by everyone. Recognize this with an accessible and multigenerational approach.
  • Environmentally responsible/sustainable
  • Design principles and approaches and aesthetics enhance Edmonton’s winter livability and quality of life. Improved quality of life will help Edmontonians feel proud of our city, and love living here, leading to sustained demand that we consider winter in all aspects of urban design and event planning.


Winter Life

Goal 1: Make It Easier to “Go Play Outside”: Provide More Opportunities for Outdoor Activity

Goal 2: Improve Winter Transportation for Pedestrians, Cyclists and Public Transit Users

Winter Design

Goal 3: Design Our Communities for Winter Safety and Comfort

Goal 4: Incorporate Urban Design Elements for Winter Fun, Activity, Beauty and Interest

Winter Economy

Goal 5: Increase the Capacity and Sustainability of Edmonton’s Winter Festivals

Goal 6: Develop a Four-Seasons Patio Culture

Goal 7: Become a World Leader in Innovative Winter Related Business/Industry

Our Winter Story

Goal 8: Celebrate the Season and Embrace Daily Living in a Cold Climate

Goal 9: Promote Edmonton’s Great Northern story Locally, Nationally and Internationally

Goal 10: Kick Start and Lead Implementation of Edmonton’s WinterCity Strategy: Apply a ‘Winter Lens’ to Our City