It's not every day that a place for tobogganing in Canada wins design awards. So it's incredibly special that a place in Manitoba is getting international recognition. A Winnipeg toboggan slide is now one of the best sports and leisure sites in the world.

At an awards ceremony in Germany on November 5, the toboggan slide, which, of course, is named Manitoboggan, won two design awards from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). 

Both awards were for design excellence.

The toboggan slide won a bronze award from the IOC for sustainability and exceptional architectural design and a distinction award from the IPC for an accessible design that allows people to participate without barriers. 

"It's a big deal for Winnipeg and something that Winnipeg should be very proud of," said Liz Wreford, principal landscape architect with Public City Architecture, to the CBC.

The fully accessible toboggan slide opened in Winnipeg's St. Vital Park back in 2017 and now has a very prestigious honour to make it even more unique and special. 

After a fire burned toboggan slides that were there before, Manitoboggan was built.

Manitoboggan is especially unique because of its accessibility. 

One of the two toboggan slides is universally accessible and the whole structure is accessible as well.

"Too often accessibility just means a wheelchair ramp to people, and where I think we were successful was looking at it from inclusivity. Anyone can use this," Jason Bell, parks projects managers for the City of Winnipeg, told the CBC.

But Manitoboggan has an accessible ramp that acts as a walkway through the forest and a panoramic treetop lookout. 

It also has a four-season shelter that's a warming station during the winter.

And beams from the former duck pond pavilion were used in the design of Manitoboggan.

Manitoboggan beat out a lot of other contenders to win those two awards. Almost 100 projects were submitted and only 25 were given awards.

And it was up against bigger projects with much bigger budgets, so to capture the awards is a huge accomplishment, according to Wreford. 

Unfortunately, no one can enjoy the award-winning slide at the moment.

St. Vital Park is currently closed to the public because of the brutal Thanksgiving snowstorm that hit southern Manitoba. 

But hopefully, it reopens soon!

There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.

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