River Valley Saunas


Submitted by: Emma Sanborn and Alex Hindle
Discussion partners: Kari Bazian, Ranon Soans and Vanessa Zembel

Proposal Idea

Introduce saunas in the river valley, giving Edmontonians increased opportunity to stay and play in our beautiful outdoor spaces in the winter. Many other wintery countries have a long history of enjoying winter saunas.

What will you build?

Edmonton’s first outdoor sauna. The contrast of the cold of winter with the heat of a sauna is like nothing else! Outdoor saunas will bring Edmontonians together to enjoy the winter beauty of our city.

Where will you build it?

There are many locations that could host Edmonton’s first outdoor sauna. The location should take into consideration natural surroundings, and proximity to existing infrastructure such as public washrooms, change rooms, parking, etc.

How does your idea define or embody Edmonton?

The river valley is the pride and joy of Edmontonians, connecting various parts of the city, and connecting Edmontonians to nature. Placing a sauna in the river valley gives Edmontonians a new way to experience it, and another reason to get outside in the winter. If this sauna is built, and Edmontonians demonstrate that they “wanna sauna”, this idea could easily grow.

Edmonton has a gifted design community, and the sauna is a very malleable medium. Edmonton artists, architects and designers could be invited to design saunas in other parts of our river valley, big or small. This could be a very unique way to showcase our design community while providing much needed winter infrastructure for Edmontonians. With several saunas to visit, Edmontonians could complete the “sauna tour” and make a point of visiting every one of Edmonton’s river valley saunas each winter.