In front of Don Greer’s home on King Crescent in Saskatoon’s City Park neighbourhood, you’ll notice something a bit unusual.
Standing roughly 22 feet tall – a massive ice sculpture.
“Built with a one-by-two wood armature – with a chicken wire mesh that’s applied over that and then you begin to spray with a fine mist of water from a garden hose,” Greer said.
It’s a hobby he’s held for the last four decades, crafting more than 35 sculptures over the years.
“I started out as a high school student working on Christmas decorations in my parents front yard,” he explained. “Over the years I’ve done different things at Christmas time.”
This particular project has been several years in the making.
His inspiration: Disney’s Frozen.
“I have three granddaughters – six, eight, 10 – and I built it for them,” Greer said.
“I’ve worked in ice for many, many years and I had a chance to do it – build Elsa’s castle.”
It took Greer more than 60 hours and almost all of December before it was complete, relying on some co-operation from the weather.
“When it turned cold the neighbours helped me lift the frame into place and after that, the icing took a matter of hours.”
According to Greer, his favourite thing about the sculpture is its ability to turn heads.
“I’ve had delivery guys stop and take pictures,” he said.
“People ask and say ‘that’s incredible’ – ‘how did you do that?’ – ‘is it real, is it ice?'”
“I just love to hear what people say about it – it’s rewarding.”
President of the City Park Community Association, Colleen Steele, said it’s great to have creative people in the neighbourhood.
“It’s wonderful to be out for a walk in City Park and stumble upon a giant castle in someone’s front yard,” Steele said.
This was Greer’s biggest project until recently when he was commissioned to create the castle for the Wintershines Festival.
For now, Elsa’s castle will continue to bring a bit of magic to the neighbourhood until Mother Nature takes it down.