Stainless Steel Handrail Shapes Available Vs Aluminum Handrail Shapes

When choosing a handrail or balustrade system for a deck, stairs, Juliet balcony or a regular walk-on balcony, the shape of the hand rail can play a crucial part in your choice.

The standard shapes out there are mostly circular sections of varying diameters, starting from 40mm which is comfortable for holding onto on a stair railing, going up in diameter to 55mm-70mm.

The more interesting shapes out there are more intricate and include elliptical shapes of varying sizes and rectangular or square shapes.

Stainless steel handrail shapes are very limited, due to the extremely expensive tooling require to extrude or roll form these shapes the market tends to follow what is existent and very little room is available for architects to influence the shapes of the handrails. Many times architects will choose a stainless steel balustrade system or a stainless steel balcony and will want to have a “special” shape for their project, they will soon find the cost of this to be inhibitory, as well as in many cases unavailable to be done at all.

This is not the case however with aluminum handrails and railings. In fact as opposed to stainless steel balustrades, with aluminum railings the ability to influence the shape by the architects on the project is making these systems the preferred solution. In fact on a recent project I visited, a project in the Docklands in London, I found that the company that made the glass balconies allowed the architects to create three separate handrail shapes for three different areas on the project. One of the handrail was 120mm wide.

There is also a finish out there called “Royal Chrome” which looks virtually like stainless steel but it is actually a special finish on the aluminum and there fore still allows the flexibility of shapes that the aluminum railing systems allow.

In summary stainless steel handrails are more limited in the availability of shapes, whereas aluminum handrail systems allow an inexhaustible possibility of shapes.

Source by Robert M Ashpole

The Québec Winter Carnival held annually in Quebec City in collaboration with Loto-Québec has existed for over 60 years. Taking place in late January to mid February each year. The habitants of New France created a rowdy annual celebration just before lent of eating, drinking and getting merry. This led to the set up of the annual winter celebration meant to create a social and tourism event that would in turn give Quebecers something to be proud of and stimulate the economy.

Over the years it has gained international fame through its renamed key figure, Bonhomme Carnaval, a living replica of a snowman. Created for the first festival in 1955 he enchants local children and has become an ambassador to all Carnival visitors. Bonhomme wears the traditional red hat and belt and appears during all the various Carnival events.

Over the years the Carnival has added and enriched its activities. The Québec Winter Carnival has become the largest winter carnival in the world today, and is third on the List of Top Carnivals after the famous Rio and New Orleans carnivals.

Bonhomme's Arrow Sash

The red outfits, the arrowhead sash, a sip of "caribou", various tests of strength and skill and Bonhomme's image go back to the origins of the Québec Winter Carnival, some even further.

The arrowhead sash used as a belt to tie jackets during the 19th century to prevent cold has remained a symbol in Quebecis society thanks to the Québec Carnival. Both a practical and fashionable accessory the belt and the red hat, linked directly to Québec folklore, are the primary elements of Bonhomme's outfit.


The long red trumpets toot through the curtain circuits to encourage people to move and dance to keep warm. Dress in red, tie your belt and hold onto your hat and enjoy a Quebec City party.

The Ice Castle

In 1955 A magical ice palace was built for Bonhomme this impressive ice construction even included a dungeon used jokingly to jail Carnival-goers who refused to honor Bonhomme.

The Carnival kingdom's palace is an immense structure taking around 2 months to build of snow bricks then enhanced with light displays and special effects. The palace is the center point for many of the Carnival activities.

Ice Canoe Races

The ice Canoe Race held since the beginning of the festival has several courageous teams compete in a tumultuous ride along the St. Paul. Lawrence River between Quebec City and Lévis.

Now you can jump from spectator to canoeist allowing you to experience an ice canoe ride downtown where you'll float and paddle on the St.. Lawrence River with the ice crackling at your feet. A unique experience not to be missed.

Snow Sculptures

Sculptors from around the world turn Place Desjardins and Place Loto-Québec into a giant outdoor museum of snow sculptures. Snow sculpting has become one of the Carnival's key activities. In 1973, the International Snow Sculpture Competition of Québec officially opened. Nowadays the International Snow Sculpture Competition has become a prestigious event and the oldest snow sculpture competition in the world.

Carnival Night Parades

The two Québec Carnival Night Parades have become popular events over the years. They take place during the second and the third Carnival weekends. Thousand of spectators turn out to celebrate and enjoy these unique events.


The Caribou is a feisty beverage created by Ti-Père, a business in Old Québec.

Carnival Queens & Duchesses

Each year after a lengthy process to qualify 7 duchesses are chosen to represent the 7 sectors of the Quebec region. They are assigned many tasks and must not forget that first and foremost they are Ambassadors of the Carnival.

At the beginning of the Carnival a Queen is chosen through a program based on the number of candles sold in the different areas of the city. Everyone participating eagerly awaits the Queen's coronation. Over the years more than 12,000 women have applied to become a duchess.

Source by Avril Betts