In December 2013, in Northwestern Ontario, temperatures averaged a daytime high of about -25 degrees celsius (-13 degrees fahrenheit) or colder for about 4 weeks in a row. The cold may have kept Marchand from some of his normal outdoor activities, but it didn’t stop him from playing outside. He began freezing ice blocks on his back deck in 12 hour shifts averaging about 30 a day. He used plastic shoeboxes because the block would easily slip out of the container and didn’t need to be released with hot water. Marchand also added food coloring to many of the blocks.
After freezing the blocks were stacked in the back yard until he had enough to start building. Using packed snow as a foundation and pony wall, Marchand began laying the ice bricks and using a slush of ice and snow as the mortar. Super cold temperatures instantly ‘set’ the bricks in place. The fort measured about 25 x 25 sq ft and served as a wind break and a cozy place to hang out in the backyard. The colorful ice fort brought friends together around the fire pit and gave them an excuse to get outside.
Via My Modern Met
Images ©Chris Marchand