Dad Caves to Condo Board, Destroys Snow Fort

Filed under: In The News, Weird But True


John White's daughter, Clara, plays in the fort her dad built. Credit: John White

A gigantic snow fort built by a Canadian dad got a chilly reception from the owners of the property on which it was constructed.

John White of Barrhaven, Ottawa, created the huge snow structure over five days in December for his two children, Clara, 3, and Charlie, 2, The Ottawa Citizen reports. A few days after its completion on Dec. 28, White received a notice from Condominium Management Group, the managers of the property on which the fort is built, asking him to take the structure down.

The fort was almost 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide, its walls enclosed a tree and it even featured a window. White built it using snow from surrounding front yards and stacked the snow in blocks, using a stepladder to reach the top.

White tells the paper the original notice asked him to tear down the enormous fort because he didn't ask for permission to build it there. A Jan. 8 story in the Citizen reports he was hopping mad and was prepared to go to court over the structure. He originally called the whole situation laughable.

"Half of me is upset, the other half is just laughing at it because it's so ridiculous. Like give me a break, guys, you're telling me to tear down my kids' snow fort?" White tells the Citizen, adding that he told CMG the fort would come down in April, when the spring thaw would do the job for him.

However, after subsequent conversations with CMG about insurance issues, White agreed to destroy his kids' winter wonderland.

"[They] explained that they answer to insurance companies, and he gave a few examples of similar situations in the past whereby people were hurt, and this is what they are afraid of," White tells the newspaper. "I understand now where they are coming from, and have no problem taking down the fort."

Clara plays in the remains of the snow fort that her dad John White had to demolish. Credit: John White

The structure drew visitors from around the neighborhood, and elicited wonder from White's son, Charlie. "[Charlie's] only 2 years old and doesn't have many words, but he walks into the snow fort and he just looks around and he says 'wow,' " White told the Citizen.

Now, Charlie is helping his dad demolish the massive fort, which White tackled Jan. 13 with several snow shovels and an axe.

In an email to ParentDish, White gave us a breakdown of the building and destruction process:

Tools used to build fort: recycling bin, stepladder, shovel, wooden toboggan (to carry bins of snow)

Time to build fort: 5 days

Tools to tear down fort: shovel, axe, bucket, stepladder

Time to tear down fort: 10 hours

We bet White's wishing for a winter heat wave right about now. Lesson learned? Think twice, shovel once.

Related: Adorable Nanoparticle Alert - World's Smallest 'Snowman'

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.