Google map plots Canada's best tobogganing hills
The Great Canadian Tobogganing Map lists dozens of hills across the country. (Google Maps)
Published Tuesday, February 3, 2015 7:55AM EST
Looking for the perfect spot to take your kids on a snowy day? A new Google map highlights the best places to go tobogganing across Canada.
The map, which can be edited by the public, features more than 200 hills coast to coast, from Victoria Park in St. John's to Lake Trail School in Courtenay, B.C.
The map was created by Edmonton’s Charles Heard, a self-described "toboggan enthusiast," who encourages people to add their favourite locations.
Many of the points on the map feature tips from those who frequent the slope.
For example, a user who added the "Emond kiddie run" in Val-Belair, Que. to the map wrote, "A hedge wall prevents any run-away sleds. Ample parking at the near by school."
Further east, a user wrote that Cowan Park in St. John's is not too crowded, and good for families.
In Cochrane, Alta., Bow Meadows Hill is "good for kids, not too steep and no obstacles." However, the sledder warned future visitors that "parking is limited and fills up fast."
Health Canada reminds parents that wearing a helmet can prevent head and brain injuries. The organization recommends children wear a helmet that fits and is secured properly.
Hills should be away from roads, parking lots and water, and there should be no rocks, trees, fences or other dangers in the path.
The Canadian Institute for Health Information says while tobogganing doesn’t result in as nearly as many injuries as skiing, snowboarding or snowmobiling, children can still be seriously injured in sledding accidents. In the winter of 2010-2011, for example, there were 171 hospitalizations from tobogganing crashes, and about a third of them involved kids under the age of 10.
The map does not take into account that some cities, like Hamilton, Ont., have tobogganing bans in effect. Other cities like Ottawa and Niagara Falls have enacted bylaws restricting tobogganing to specific hills.
How to add your favourite location
To edit the map, sledders must sign in to Google Maps using a Gmail account.
They can then search for the location in the search bar at the top of the page. Users then click the marker that appears in neon green, and click "Add to map."
Once a location has been added, users can edit the listing by clicking the name on the list, then clicking the pencil in the box that pops up on the map. Heard encourages Canadians to add tips, comments and stories.