St. John’s, N.L., artist ranks icy downtown streets in ski hill map design

ST. JOHN’S, N.L.—An artist’s imagining of St. John’s, N.L.’s downtown streets as a ski hill map has resonated with winter-weary residents recovering from the year’s first major winter storm.

Sophie Harrington’s map ranks the neighbourhood’s narrow streets, often slicked with ice and snow during winter months, based on difficulty level from green to the challenging double black diamond.

Since sharing her piece on social media last winter, Harrington has sold prints to skiiers and residents, and she says a local store has reached out to stock prints of her design.

Harrington says she was inspired by her yearly frustrations with the city’s dangerous sidewalks and she thought a creative take on the issue would get people talking.

Her piece took on fresh relevance this week as St. John’s responded to a heavy snow dump of 40 centimetres overnight Sunday. The city budgets $ 16 million per year for snow and ice clearing, but snow is often pushed onto sidewalks where it can take days to be removed, forcing pedestrians onto the roads.

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