Join Edmonton's outside in-crowd on #YEGWinterPatios this Winter
Yes it may be below zero but picture yourself with a favourite hot beverage, perhaps snuggled up in a blanket, enjoying music, food, friendship and the cool refreshing air as you sit on one of Edmonton’s 30 winter patios.
Hold it: patios, in winter? Yes, you read that right. This December 3 - 4, join the #YEGWinterPatios kickoff weekend and discover a whole new side to winter. The winter patio season starts with a bang and runs all season long, and it’s the (forgive the pun) coolest new thing going. Plus, for a $10 donation at any of the participating venues, score a #YEGWinterPatios Winter Warming Kit with signature scarf or blanket, with proceeds going to the Boyle Street Winter Warming Bus.
On a late winter day in 2021, Kim Gates is kicking back on the Edmonton Ski Club patio after skiing a few runs with his friend Samantha Friesenhan. He’s got a pork belly sandwich topped with pickled carrot and daikon radish from Drift Food Truck in his hand, paired with a Broken Spoke cider - all quintessentially Edmonton #YEGWinterPatios fare.
“The opportunity to meet people here in the river valley, get together with your friends in this natural setting we’re blessed with in the centre of the city and having things to do makes it an amazing gathering place,” he says.
#YEGWinterPatios change Edmontonians' feelings about winter
It takes a different mindset to embrace being on a patio when it’s below zero — and a different approach to patio comforts, too. The dress code is different and cozy blankets, fires and hot drinks factor in more frequently. But few things are better for beating cabin fever.
It’s been several years since Winter City Edmonton, the city's winter development strategy, first opened up the possibility of winter patios, but it’s an idea whose time seems to have arrived.
During the #YEGWinterPatios Kickoff Weekend, Dec 3 - 4, 2021, you can learn all about the Winter City initiative and Edmonton's amazing winter patio scene from the venues themselves. Restaurants, cafes and bars across the city will host online LIVE events on Facebook and Instagram to introduce themselves — and all their cool winter experiences — to new winter adventurers.
You will also be able to purchase your $10 #YEGWinterPatio kit from particpating venues, complete with blankets, scarves postcards and exclusive member offers. By making your donation, you’re gaining membership into an exclusive club of people who are in the know about winter and enjoy the wonders of the season to the fullest. That in itself would be reason enough, but the #YEGWinterPatios scene is about more than just bragging rights and being part of the in-crowd outdoors.
Kickoff Weekend Lineup
Check the schedule to find out where and when Edmonton's #YEGWinterPatios will be going live on Facebook or Instagram.
|Little Brick Cafe - LIVE on Instagram
Historical building with a cafe and general store, in Riverdale.
|The Next Act Pub - LIVE on Instagram
Friendly neighbourhoood pub, in the heart of Old Strathcona - come in good. leave better.
|Culina To Go Muttart - LIVE on Instagram
Culina To Go, located in the Muttart Conservatory
|Edmonton Ski Club - LIVE on Facebook
Edmonton's downtown winter recreation destination!
|The Common - LIVE on Instagram
Food, Culture, Music… crafting an uncommon spin on classic favourites
|Tiramisu Bistro - LIVE on Instagram
Italian Bistro, Bakery & Marketplace
|The Cask & Barrell - LIVE on Facebook
Neighbourhood pub delivering great beer, scotch and wine with an elevated menu. Heated patio open all year round!
|Café Bicyclette - LIVE on Facebook
French Café by day/Bistro by night
|Dalla Tavola Zenari - LIVE on Facebook
A warm, authentically Italian atmosphere in the heart of downtown Edmonton
|Overflow Whyte - LIVE on Instagram
European outdoor winter cafe.?
|Snow Valley Ski Club - LIVE on Facebook
Ski & snowboard hill and not-for-profit organization providing year-round, premier outdoor adventures in the heart of the city. Located in Whitemud Park just off the Whitemud Freeway on 119 street.
|Odd Company Brewing - LIVE on Instagram
Our welcoming downtown neighbourhood taproom and year-round patio is where you can always find yourself at home, enjoying a fresh pint, quality food, and a bad joke or two. Equal parts science to equal parts fine art, you’re always in good company.
|Culina on the Lake - LIVE on Instagram
Edmonton's only licensed lakeside patio!
|River Valley Adventure Co. - LIVE on Instagram
Bike rentals, raft rentals, snowshoe rentals, regular segway tours, exclusive segway tours, and so much more. This is the first year we launch our beautifully decorated, winter wonderland patio which is now accompanied by our new liquor license with an entirely new and extremely unique holiday food and beverage menu. Our riverfront patio is equipped with heaters, blankets, a ton of holiday lights/decor, vibing music, and of course fire pits to roast the city's most delicious s’mores right here in the river valley.
|Rocky Mountain Icehouse - LIVE on Instagram
|Modelled after the ski lodges of old, The Rocky Mountain Icehouse boasts a Texas style menu with a great beer and wine selection along with a heated patio.
Proceeds from #YEGWinterPatios kits support Boyle Street Warming Bus
With all proceeds from the purchase of your kit going to the Boyle Street Winter Warming Bus program, you can enjoy that warm feeling of doing something good while also having a good time. Each $10 purchase provides needed items like coffee, warm food, warm clothing and temporary shelter to Edmonton’s most vulnerable through the Warming Bus program.
Contributing to the social good always feels good, but as Julie Cournoyer has discovered, the person you’re most likely to change is yourself.
“You’re not going to change the weather, you’ve got to change how you deal with it,” says Julie Cournoyer, as she warms herself next to the fire on the patio at Cafe Bicyclette. “For me, the Winter City strategy pushed me to embrace [winter] more. I absolutely spend more time outside and I find I’ve changed how I talk about winter.”
Over 30 #YEGWinterPatios connect you to winter fun
With a preponderance of sunny winter days in this northern city, soaking up vitamin D on a patio (even if you’re not in shirtsleeves) has a certain appeal. Shared experiences outdoors, gathering together despite the temperature to laugh, play and enjoy the season is the essence of winter patio culture. On any given winter day, you’ll find these scenes unfolding at the many patio locations around the city.
At Culina On the Lake, Isla Tanaka, her daughter Kimi and her mother Jean Jackson and their new pup walk up to a table and order a late lunch, having just snowshoed around Hawrelak Park lake. With the forest, the lake and a crackling fire behind them, the afternoon drifts by.
Strings of lights twinkle in the frosty evening as Ryan Wiesner and Orshie Kertesz sit in a gondola car taking in the scene on Jasper Ave. The owners of the Rocky Mountain Icehouse custom-built the gondola car and installed it on their patio. The effect is like being instantly dropped into the Rockies (and yes, it’s bigger on the inside).
“It’s that apres-ski feeling when you’ve had a great day and you’re a little tired, and you grab a blanket and just cozy up,” says Daniel Cournoyer, adding one more log to the fire as the last of the light dims on the patio at Cafe Bicyclette.
“Fire creates community, it’s that heart and that warmth, and coming together.”
WHEN YOU GO
- Find the complete list of #YEGWinterPatios here.
- Be sure to grab your #YEGWinterPatios Warming kit from your favourite local winter patio venue for a $10 donation, with proceeds going to the Boyle Street Winter Warming Bus.