snow maze ontario

Couple built snow maze on frozen lake in northern Ontario and it's drawing locals

The 7,000-square-foot snow maze that can be found in the middle of a frozen lake near Kenora is the work of Derek Kalinowsky and Jackie Aggio.

The couple who just recently moved to cottage country from Toronto started building the maze back in December on the Lake of the Woods which surrounds the island where they live in northern Ontario.

"We had been living here isolated for about eight weeks, so we started building a little maze and having fun in the snow," Aggio told blogTO.

"People started to come over to ask us what we were doing. They were like, 'This sounds fun, I'm going to come back with my family.'" 

They say it just kept getting bigger and bigger until it became the two-part maze it is today, with each section taking about two weeks to build.

"There are two sections at about 2,500-square-feet per maze and they're independent of each other with a waiting section in the middle," says Kalinowsky. "We encourage just one family or group per maze so that people can maintain social distances."

With the lake completely frozen over, the couple says there's been a steady flow of locals coming by car, snowmobiles, snowshoes and cross country skis to check out the snowy labyrinth.

The couple usually checks in on the maze once a day as it is located just a few minutes from their house and Aggio says they'll often find someone there enjoying it.

"We're so thankful that the community has come out and shown their support," she says.

"There was a PA day and a bunch of families came out and had fun. You see little toddlers walk through it and run around and do it all over again and completely forget what the maze looks like."

And people can come to discover the maze at any time before the ice on the lake melts.

"It's a fully public space, so it's open and available to anyone to come. We don't need to be there to let people enter," Kalinowsky says.

The couple has also created a virtual experience of the maze for anyone that can't get to see it in-person where you can do a walk-through and try to find your way out right from your home.

Lead photo by

Derek Kalinowsky and Jackie Aggio

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