I know what you’re thinking.  “Fascinating subject Arb,  do tell us more!”

Okay, perhaps not as gripping the other newsy bits we we have around here but none the less a subject that shouldn’t be casually swept aside.  Living in Alberta means that for three to five months of the year, snow will be on the ground.  The lovely first fall of snow marks the official end of mosquito season and the transition to having ‘exposed flesh stick uncomfortably to metal season’.  Some might balk at all the freezing rain, sleet and snow – but really – it isn’t that bad.

One of the civic expectations of snowy Edmontonian existence is keeping the public sidewalk in front of your place of residence clear of snow and ice.  Our civic authorities mandate that from the time of the last snow event forty-eight  hours are given in which to clear your walks in order to make them safe for people to walk on.

Sound reasonable?

Seems workable to me and thus after each snow I make my rounds with my trusty shovel and ice-scraper.  My goal is to get down to the concrete to ensure a safe and solid footing for all those who would come to see me, or merely have to sojourn past my property.  For my work to be done, my walks need to pass the inappropriate winter footwear test.  If I can confidently make my way in my sandals –


Then, and only then, my job is done. :)


It takes some time and work, let me assure you.  Many factors are working against you in the valiant quest for clean sidewalks it is here my arch nemesis must be named.

Freezing Rain.


A glossy, slippery, unchippable horror that can only be bested by the most potent weapon in my winter arsenal.


Glorious sidewalk-salt.  That being said, one must consider the bitter-salty implications of using this dread weapon on icy sidewalks.  Salt is not conducive to the growing and maintenance of grass or anything else organic for that matter.




The battle for clean sidewalks is necessarily a delicate balance.  A fateful alchemy of dedication, perseverance, and Na Cl.  It is a fine line that must be walked during snow-season in Alberta.