Top Outdoor Skating Rinks To Visit In Canada

Canada is an oasis for avid Canucks who like to glide, spin and twirl on the skating rinks come winter time. If you’re looking to join in on Canada’s favourite winter pastime then brave the cold outdoors and lace up your skates for a fun winter escape at these top outdoor rinks. From skating on the world’s largest outdoor rink while sightseeing the capital city, to twirling around on a picturesque mountaintop in Vancouver, these stunning outdoor rinks are not one to miss this holiday season.


Photo: @NCC_Skateway on Twitter

1) Rideau Canal Skateway, Ottawa: Travel to Canada’s capital city to visit the world’s largest skating rink. Come winter season, the Rideau Canal is transformed into an outdoor skating rink where many Canadians flock to the city as an annual tradition to celebrate the holiday season. The skating rink is nestled in the heart of downtown Ottawa and stretches to Dow’s Lake Pavillion with a total distance of seven kilometers. If you don’t have a pair of skates, rentals are available on the location. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and snack on some BeaverTails while gliding through the frozen trails amidst the stunning skyline views of the Parliament buildings.


Photo: @npstoronto on Twitter

2) Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto: For many city locals, Nathan Phillips Square is a favourite winter hot spot to spend the festive season, but if you’re just visiting the city for the holidays, skating by city hall should be at the top of your list. Located just a couple of streets down from Eaton Centre, enjoy the lively streets and vast high-rises of Toronto while skating through the rink. At night, the rink is lit up with fluorescent Christmas lights adorning the archways, creating the perfect backdrop for a romantic evening with your loved one.

3) Grouse Mountain Ice Skating Pond, Vancouver: Take your skating to new heights by soaring through the clouds and skating on the highest peak of Grouse Mountain in Vancouver. This 8,000-square-foot rink attracts 1.2 million visitors a year for its panoramic mountaintop views and one-of-a-kind skating experience. Several pine trees surround the perimeter of the rink, creating a charming and tranquil setting for adventurous skaters. Access to the skating pond is complimentary with a Grouse Mountain Alpine Experience ticket, winter pass or lift ticket. Ride the big lift to the top of the mountain and breathe in the fresh winter air while reveling in the snowy city landscape from high above, and if it gets too cold out, warm up in the Fireside Hut right by the pond.

4) Bonsecours Basin, Montreal: Located in Montreal’s Old Port, the Bonsecour Basin skating rink is the perfect spot for a leisurely skate. Overlooking the St. Lawrence River and Old Montreal, skaters can enjoy the scenic sights while gliding on the frozen terrain. In the evenings, skaters are treated to some music to dance to  with different musical themes and soundtracks for all ages and tastes, such as Classical Mondays, World Music Tuesdays and Urban Sounds Wednesdays, blasting through the speakers. Dance devotees can also skate to some ballroom music every Monday and Wednesday mornings as a fun morning workout. A single-day admission costs $7 for adults.


Photo: theforkswinnipeg at Instagram

5) Red River Mutual Trail, Winnipeg: Skate on the world’s longest outdoor skating rink located in downtown Winnipeg. The winding trail takes you through the city’s downtown core and stretches from the Assiniboine River to the Red River. What’s unique about it is the warming huts sprawled across the rink. Every year, a contest is held for the best warming hut where several artists, designers and architect come up with unique, modernistic designs to win. Skate the icy paths like you’re touring an art gallery to see some creative designs from different artists while also keeping warm against the cool winter breeze.

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