snow lion sculpture ontario

Ontario man delights his neighbourhood with elaborate snow lion sculpture

An especially snowy winter has had much of Ontario buried since mid-January, but what has been a frozen headache for most in the province proved to be a creative opportunity for one Waterloo man.

A community snow sculptor, Matthew Morris has been making a mark on his neighbourhood with elaborately carved creations for several years, but with the power of social media, his frozen front-yard forms are really starting to gain attention from more than just his neighbours.

Morris has created several sculptures this winter, including a rotating gnome and old man combo, a bust of an open-mouthed Mick Jagger, and even a honeycomb-patterned tower illuminated from within.

But it's an elaborately sculpted snow lion that is drawing the most eyes to Morris' front yard, generating buzz on Twitter and even attracting the eyes of a few media outlets since the snow started falling late last year.

In a blog post, Morris says that the snow lion was built on Jan. 19, two days after a massive snowstorm descended on Waterloo and much of Southern and Western Ontario. He had been battling illness for over a week, and this sculpture was his first day back out in the snow.

Working from a handheld prototype he cared in plasticine, he loaded wall form sections and waited for the snow to settle before embarking on the carving process. During the sculpting, temperatures dropped significantly, threatening the project, but Morris managed to get the job done.

Tracking his movement on an app, he managed to walk over three kilometres during the sculpting without ever leaving the block.

Morris says that during the process, "a highlight was a visit I had with a group of young students walking home from school. They had lots of questions and ideas!"

It's since become an absolute hit in the neighbourhood, attracting the eyes of adoring area residents and at least one mesmerized pooch.

As for what's next, Morris tells blogTO that he has no plans to slow down, having just "put up 5 x 9' towers on my son and daughter-in-law's property near Elora. I am about to carve them!"

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