A Saskatchewan village is revelling in its recognition as having among the most miserable winter conditions in Canada.
The rural community of Kenaston is located 80 kilometres south of Saskatoon and often endures biting cold and harsh winds.
“We enjoy the cold, we embrace it,” Kenaston Mayor Mike Menzies said.
“Right now you go to different communities and there’s no snow, but Kenaston’s still got snow.”
Despite being a village, Kenaston ended up as number nine on a list of 15 cities with the most miserable winters in Canada
The community was bested by Winnipeg, Yellowknife and Baker Lake, Nunavut, in the top spot.
The rankings were compiled by expedia.ca and looked at several factors including snowfall, frostbite factors and weather records.
It also took into account how many cozy spots were available for people to warm up and enjoy – which lowered the miserable score. The Kenaston Café was mentioned as a great place to grab coffee and a delicious meal in the community.
While there’s no scientific evidence Kenaston is truly the blizzard capital of Canada, the community has attached itself to the title.
“We used to call ourselves the blizzard capital of Canada, our hockey team is the Kenaston Blizzards,” he said. “We built a snowman to prove that it was.”
One can hardly miss the statue standing 11 feet tall. But Menzies said the community’s best accomplishment is being a welcoming stop for weary travellers.
The mayor recalled how at one point in the 1970s, around 200 people were stranded in Kenaston due to blizzard conditions.
Since then, the community built a hall that continues to house people trying to make their way home through winter storms.
“We’ve got a whole system set up for people to bring blankets and food,” he said.
The mayor has lived in Kenaston since 1999. He said that winter conditions always seem to worsen in the area around the village, adding things often get dicey around Blackstrap valley.
Local commuters have even taken it upon themselves to update community social media pages daily with driving conditions.
Menzies said the community’s ranking is fair, but added a visit is really the only way to experience it yourself.