"The [Winnipeg] River Trail has become more than a skating surface; it's an act of national defiance.
Last year, it ran 8.54 kilometres along the Assiniboine and Red rivers, eclipsing Ottawa's famed Rideau Canal and earning the city a Guinness record for the world's longest naturally frozen skating trail.
When the entire trail opens this month, [it will] measure 9.32 kilometres, smashing last year's record and putting [Ottawa's] Rideau Canal's paltry 7.8 kilometres to shame.
[However] compared with the Rideau Canal - with its floodlights, warm-up shacks and huts selling Beaver Tail pastries - the River Trail is relatively sparse. The Winnipeg surface narrows to the width of a car in spots and is hand-shovelled by eight university students. Last year, several weary skaters had to flag down cabs after becoming worn out by the trail's length."