It's quite a towering sight to behold!
When BarrieToday showed up to 31 Frost Trail, located in Barrie's west end near Cundles Road and Leacock Drive, Chad Hanna was doing what he does a lot nowadays: shovelling and talking to the many people who stop by to see his 17-foot snowman.
“Every night, there are a ton of people who come by for a pic. I hope the neighbours are OK with it,” said Hanna.
“It is a good thing to see everyone up in spirits," he added.
The front yard at the Hanna house has become an attraction of sorts, with vehicles lining up and families waiting their turn to grab a picture in front of Frosty on Frost Trail.
Hanna says he started gathering the snow following the first winter wallop and piled it up using his snowblower and shovel.
“Christmas morning is when we got all that snow, and it just grew,” he said. “I worked on it until I got it up on Monday, all carved out with my machete. I have to also get all the salt out, so the big salt pile is over there by the road.”
Despite all the hype for this year’s Frosty, it isn't the first time Hanna has built the snowman, nor the biggest one.
“I did it for 10 years straight and last year stopped and told myself I wouldn’t do it again. It's a lot of work,” Hanna said. “Then COVID hit and I thought it might be a good way to get people to smile. So far, it's working. I can’t believe the amount of people who have been by, and he’s not the biggest one I’ve built.”
Hanna says his three children have “always grown up with the snowman,” and the whole family loves it, but maintaining it is a chore.
“It's really hard to keep it going because when I add snow to it, I have to un-decorate it to do that,” said Hanna. “The hat is a 77-litre garbage can with some pipe insulation and garbage bags to keep it in place.”
The big thaw doesn’t take place for a few months and Hanna says he’d like to find a way to give to charity when it does.
“Frosty is the last thing to melt, even after the big pile of snow in the middle the cul-de-sacs melt,” he said. “It usually melts around mid-April so I’d love to have a 50/50 guessing game where you pick a date and the winner gets half while the half goes to a charity.”