The Best Places To Go Ice Skating Across Canada

Lace up your skates, ladies and gents! Skating season is upon us

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When we think of iconic winter activities in the True North, one thing comes to mind—and no, it’s not shivering in sub-zero temps while icicles grow from our dainty eyelashes. We’re talking about ice skating. Real talk: we’re not exactly the types to skate hand-in-hand with our significant others, perfectly in sync. (We’re more of the “clutching onto the boards, hanging on for dear life as you mimic a newborn animal trying to walk for the first time” kinda skater.) But still, is there anything more chic than hitting the ice, hot chocolate in hand, so you can (try to) glide around the rink under the stars on a crisp winter night? We think not. So whether you’re a skating newbie—no shame—or you can bang out a triple axel à la Patrick Chan, these are the best places to go ice skating across Canada.

Best Ice Skating in Yukon

Windy Arm in Yukon (Photo courtesy Peter Mather)

Windy Arm on Tagish Lake (Photo courtesy Peter Mather)

Shipyard’s Park

Find it: 2nd Avenue and Ogilvie Street, Whitehorse, whitehorse.ca
The low-down: 
This charming skating loop near the Yukon River is a hub for the Whitehorse community. In the summer it is a bicycle track, but the true magic happens in the winter months. Once the snow starts falling, the trees along the loop are decorated with lights for a luminous nighttime skate.
When:
November to March
Times: 
All week, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fees:
Free
Skate rentals:
No

Windy Arm

Find it: Off of the Klondike Hwy., Tagish Lake, canadianbucketlist.com
The low-down:
 If you’re looking for a more rustic skating experience, plan a trip to the Windy Arm on Tagish Lake, where you can skate for miles (it’s over 100 km long!) with mountainous views and a clear frozen lake at your feet.
When: 
November to March (skating conditions are weather dependent)
Times: 
Anytime
Fees: 
Free
Skate rentals: 
No

Best Ice Skating in Northwest Territories

Great Slave Lake in Northwest Territories (Photo: Jimmy Thomson)

Great Slave Lake in Yellowknife (Photo: Jimmy Thomson)

Frame Lake

Find it: 49 Avenue near City Hall, Yellowknife, yellowknife.ca 
The low-down: With plenty of snow and frosty temps, the weather up north is perf for a natural outdoor skating rink. Whether you’re passing around a puck or skating solo, this charming spot is sure to please.
When: 
January to April
Times: Anytime
Fees:
Free
Skate rentals:
No

Great Slave Lake

Find it: Yellowknife, spectacularnwt.com
The low-down: 
Skating in Yellowknife is all about embracing the Territories’ natural beauty. With stretches of ice as far as the eye can see, there is plenty of room to glide around the expansive surface. Just be careful about the ice’s thickness and make sure to check weather conditions before lacing up your skates.
When:
Late-November to Late March (skating conditions are weather dependent)
Times: 
Anytime
Fees:
Free
Skate rentals:
No

Best Ice Skating in British Columbia

Robson Square in B.C. (Photo courtesy Tourism Vancouver, Coast Mountain Photography)

Robson Square in Vancouver (Photo courtesy Tourism Vancouver, Coast Mountain Photography)

The Butchart Gardens Outdoor Rink

Find it: 800 Benvenuto Ave., Brentwood Bay, butchartgardens.com
The low-down:
In the summer, the gardens make for a gorgeous botanical sanctuary, but once the snow falls, this all-year-round destination opens up their quaint ice skating rink in Waterwheel Square. Strings of lights hang above the rink and, when you need to warm up frozen fingers, a cute coffee shop (with a fireplace) awaits.
When:
December 1, 2017 to January 9, 2018
Times: All week, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Fees:
$27 for admission to the gardens, $5 for admission to the rink, $3 for skate rentals
Skate rentals:
Yes

Robson Square Ice Rink

Find it: 800 Robson St., Vancouver, robsonsquare.com
The low-down:
This popular skating rink, smack dab in the centre of Vancouver, is protected with a glass awning, so you can lace up your skates rain or shine. With the glow of the high rise buildings surrounding Robson Square and icy blue lighting over the rink, it’s truly a magical sight (and skate).
When: 
December 1, 2017 to February 2018
Times: Sunday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Fees: 
Free for admission, $4 for skate rentals (cash only)
Skate rentals: 
Yes

Grouse Mountain Ice Rink

Find it: 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, grousemountain.com
The low-down:
With aerial views of the city below, this mountaintop skating pond is well-worth the trek. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery as you ride up and down on the gondola (snap a pic to induce maj FOMO from your feed) and breath in that fresh mountain air.
When:
Mid-November to April
Times: All week, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Fees:
$44.95+ per person for admission (mountain access), $8 for skate rentals
Skate rentals:
Yes

Olympic Plaza Rink

Find it: 4144 Village Stroll, Whistler, whistler.com
The low-down:
This charming village is home to a magical skating rink inspired by the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver (#TeamCanada). With a dreamy mix of pink and blue lighting and a statue of the Olympic rings close by, this is a perfect après ski activity.
When:
Mid-December to March
Times: All week, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Fees:
 Free for admission, $6 for skate rentals
Skate rentals:
Yes

Outdoor Oval

Find it: 4249 18 Ave., Prince George, pgoval.ca
The low-down:
This 400-metre outdoor oval was originally designed for speed skaters to race around the track, but regular skaters are welcome, too. The glassy surface of the natural ice makes for a pleasant and smooth skate.
When:
 Late November to March
Times: Saturday and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Fees:
 $2 per person for admission, $5 for skate rentals
Skate rentals:
Yes, only on weekends

Best Ice Skating in Alberta

Lake Louise in Alberta (Photo courtesy Banff & Lake Louise Tourism)

Lake Louise in Alberta (Photo courtesy Banff & Lake Louise Tourism)

Olympic Plaza Rink

Find it: 228 8 Ave. SE, Calgary, calgary.ca
The low-down:
Built in 1988 for the Olympic Winter Games, this plaza is home to the only refrigerated outdoor ice surface in the city. The fairy light-decorated trees that line the rink make this a scenic skate in downtown Cowtown.
When:
Mid-November to Mid-March
Times: All week, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Fees:
Free for admission, $12 for skate rentals
Skate rentals: 
Yes

Lake Louise

Find it: 111 Lake Louise Dr., Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Lake Louise, fairmont.com
The low-down:
Can we just take a moment to appreciate the beauty of this ice skating gem? This picturesque rink is surrounded with rugged, snow-topped mountains as far as the eye can see—you’ll legit feel like you’re living in a postcard when you take in the stunning view.
When:
November to April
Times: All week, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Fees:
Free for admission, $13 to $16 for skate rentals
Skate rentals: 
Yes

Carburn Park Rink

Find it: 67 Riverview Dr. SE, Calgary, calgary.ca
The low-down:
This spacious skating rink is an under-the-radar gem—and a peaceful escape from city life. This serene rink is surrounded by trees and snow banks, plus the ice surface is big enough that you won’t feel crammed while you enjoy your winter skate.
When:
Mid-December to Mid-February
Times: All week, 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Fees:
Free
Skate rentals:
No

The IceWay Skating Trail

Find it: Off of River Valley Rd. NW, Victoria Park, Edmonton, edmonton.ca
The low-down:
This icy trail through Victoria Park is an ideal destination if you want to feel like you’re skating through the lush forest—without having to leave the city. Skate to work during the week, or hit up the trail once the sun sets. A colourful mosaic of lights cover the path, which makes for a seriously sweet skating experience.
When:
Late December to February
Times: All week, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Fees:
 Free
Skate rentals: 
No

Best Ice Skating in Saskatchewan

Cameco Meewasin in Saskatchewan (Photo courtesy Saskatoon Tourism)

Cameco Meewasin in Saskatoon (Photo Courtesy Saskatoon Tourism)

Victoria Park Skating Rink

Find it: 2190 Victoria Ave., Regina, reginadowntown.ca
The low-down:
Victoria Park’s skating rink is the perfect mix of woodland and urban. The tall buildings of Regina’s downtown are a chic backdrop for your skate, while the bare trees dotting the edge of the rink make for a rustic contrast. 
When:
Mid-December to Late February
Times: Monday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30pm and 5 p.m. to 8p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Fees:
Free
Skate rentals: 
No

Cameco Meewasin Skating Rink

Find it: Spadina Cresent East, PotashCorp Plaza, Saskatoon, meewasin.com
The low-down:
This popular skating rink near the Delta Bessborough Hotel is a go-to spot in Saskatoon once the cold weather hits—it gets about 300 visitors per day!—so make sure to come early to secure a spot. 
When:
Mid-December to Mid-March
Times: All week, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Fees:
Free for admission, by donation for skate rentals
Skate rentals:
Yes

Best Ice Skating in Manitoba

The Forks in Manitoba (Photo courtesy Zac Wronski)

Red River Mutual Trail in Winnipeg (Photo courtesy Zac Wronski)

Rink Under the Canopy

Find it: 1 Forks Market Rd, Arctic Glacier Winter Park, Winnipeg, theforks.com
The low-down:
As the name would suggest, this quaint rink is covered by a canopy that shelters the skaters. It’s a great alternative for skating enthusiasts who are anxious to hit the ice before the Red River Mutual Trail (see below) opens.
When:
 Mid-December to March
Times: All week, Hours to come
Fees:
Free for admission, $5 for skate rentals
Skate rentals: 
Yes

Red River Mutual Trail

Find it: 1 Forks Market Rd, Arctic Glacier Winter Park, Winnipeg, theforks.com
The low-down:
 This renowned skating trail runs along the Assiniboine River and the Red River. Plus, it’s kitted out with warming huts along the 3 km path, so you can put on your skates and de-frost your fingers at the same time. Bonus: the huts, which all have their own design personality (one is made entirely out of ice and another is covered with a metallic aluminum exterior), are super chic. Hello, Instagram!
When:
January to March
Times: Anytime
Fees: 
Free for admission, $5 for skate rentals
Skate rentals: 
Yes

Clear Lake

Find it: Riding Mountain National Park, Wasagaming, pc.gc.ca
The low-down:
Every five to 10 years, depending on the weather, this frozen lake becomes crystal clear, allowing skaters to see all the way to the bottom. But don’t fret if your skating adventure doesn’t happen during a clear year. The conditions are still top-notch even when it’s covered with a light dusting of snow.
When:
December to February
Times: Anytime
Fees:
Free
Skate rentals:
No

Best Ice Skating in Ontario

The Rideau Canal in Ottawa (Photo courtesy Ottawa Tourism)

Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa (Photo courtesy Ottawa Tourism)

Rink of Dreams

Find it: 110 Laurier Ave. W, City Hall, Ottawa, ottawatourism.ca
The low-down:
Located on the front lawn of Ottawa’s city hall, this intimate skating rink is a great option if you don’t want to fight the tourist-packed crowds on the canal. The boards are lined with colourful LED lights that glow at sundown (so, like 4:30 p.m.) and a BeaverTails stand is conveniently located nearby for a post-skate sweet treat. It’s a win-win situ.
When:
December to March
Times: All week, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Fees:
Free for admission, $15 to $35 for skate rentals (depending on how long you rent them for)
Skate rentals:
Yes, on the weekends

Rideau Canal Skateway

Find it: Ottawa, rcs.ncc-ccn.ca
The low-down:
Would this list even be complete without the most iconic skating rink in the True North? Heck no. This 7.8 km canal winds through the downtown core of the nation’s capital and boasts views of the Parliament Buildings and Chateau Laurier. This skating experience is a must-try—it’s truly engrained in our Canadian identity.
When:
 January to March
Times: Anytime
Fees: 
Free for admission, $13 to $20+ for skate rentals (depending on how long you rent them for and who you rent them from)
Skate rentals: 
Yes

Nathan Phillips Square

Find it: 100 Queen St. W, Toronto, toronto.ca
The low-down:
The #6ix’s largest skating rink never fails to disappoint. We recommend lacing up your skates at night when the arches are illuminated with warm lights and glistening star ornaments hang above the rink. There’s a reason that this locale is always jam-packed with skating enthusiasts. 
When:
 November 25, 2017 to March 19, 2018
Times: All week, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Fees:
Free for admission, $10 for skate rentals
Skate rentals:
Yes

Harbourfront Centre Rink

Find it: 235 Queens Quay W, Toronto, harbourfrontcentre.com
The low-down:
With views of Lake Ontario and the CN Tower, this waterfront skating rink is the definition of picturesque. Twirl, glide and carve your way around the rink as you take in the beauty of Queens Quay.
When: 
Mid-November to Early March
Times: Sunday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Fees: 
Free for admission, $10 for skate rentals
Skate rentals:
Yes

Arrowhead Ice Skating Trail

Find it: 451 Arrowhead Park Rd, Arrowhead Provincial Park, Huntsville, discovermuskoka.ca
The low-down:
 This 1.3 km ice skating trail through the Muskoka forest is the perfect excuse to get out of the city (it’s a two-and-a-half hour drive north of Toronto). By day, the evergreen trees topped with fresh snow take centre stage and by night, the tiki torches guiding you along the path steal the show.
When: 
December 20, 2017 to Mid-March
Times: All week, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (January), 5:30 p.m. (February), 6 p.m. (March)
Fees:
Free for admission, $17 per car for admission to the park, $10 for skate rentals
Skate rentals:
Yes

Best Ice Skating in Quebec

Bonsecours Basin in Quebec (Photo courtesy © MTTQ, Pictures Canada)

Bonsecours Basin in Montreal (Photo courtesy © MTTQ, Pictures Canada)

Lac-des-Loups Skateway

Find it: 9 Montée Beausoleil, Lac-des-Loups, davemayerconstruction.com
The low-down:
If you’re *so* over a basic circular rink, this skating trail tucked inside the Gatineau Hills will be your new go-to. The 3 km path weaves through the forest, so you can skate underneath snow-topped evergreen trees. Bonus: it’s just an hour outside of Ottawa. 
When:
January to Mid-March
Times: All week, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fees:
$12 for admission (cash only)
Skate rentals:
No

Bonsecours Basin

Find it: Montreal, oldportofmontreal.com
The low-down: 
With Montreal’s charming Old Port at your back, this expansive skating rink is straight out of a fairy tale. The twinkling lights of nearby buildings and the rink’s own whimsical pink lighting make this spot a dreamy destination to get your skate on.
When: 
December 9, 2017 to March 11, 2018
Times: Monday to Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Fees:
 $4.60 for admission, $10 for skate rentals
Skate rentals: 
Yes

La Domaine De La Foret Perdue

Find it: 1180 Rang Saint Félix E, Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel, domaineenchanteur.com
The low-down:
Another forest skating venture, for the win. A canopy of pine trees, smooth-as-glass ice and plenty of fluffy white snow will make you feel like you’re skating in a literal winter wonderland.
When:
December to March
Times: All week, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Fees:
$16 for admission, $10 for skate rentals
Skate rentals:
Yes

Beaver Lake  Pavilion

Find it: Mount Royal Park, Montreal, montrealfamilies.ca
The low-down:
This bustling skating oval in the heart of Mount Royal Park is a scenic oasis amidst the bustle of La Belle Ville. It’s the perfect spot for a quick lunch-time workout (gotta get that much-needed Vitamin D!) or an after-work skate under the stars.
When:
December to March
Times: Sunday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Fees:
Free
Skate rentals:
Yes

Place D’Youville Skating Rink

Find it: Rue Saint-Jean, Quebec City, ville.quebec.qc.ca
The low-down:
As soon as your blades hit the ice, you’ll be surrounded by the whimsical old-fashioned buildings of Quebec City—there is a historical bridge with a castle-like look out on one side of the rink and grand brick buildings trimmed with Christmas lights on the other.
When:
Mid-October to Mid-March
Times: Monday to Thursday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m, Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Fees:
Free for admission, $8 for skate rentals
Skate rentals:
Yes

Best Ice Skating in New Brunswick

Officer's Square in New Brunswick (Photo courtesy New Brunswick Tourism)

Officer’s Square in Fredricton (Photo courtesy New Brunswick Tourism)

Roulston Lake

Find it: Plaster Rock, plasterrockvillage.com
The low-down:
This ice skating rink on Roulston Lake is divided up into 20 separate quadrants, perfect for individual hockey games or a more private skating venture. In February, they host an international pond hockey competition, but during the rest of the winter months, it is open to the public.
When:
January and March
Times: Anytime
Fees:
Free
Skate rentals:
No

Centennial Park

Find it: 811 St George Blvd, Moncton, moncton.ca
The low-down:
 One perk of having a lake in Moncton’s fave park: turning it into a skating oval once the temps drop below freezing. Plus, the rink is lit with an array of colourful lights once the sun sets, so it truly is a gem at all hours.
When:
January to March
Times:
All week, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Fees:
Free
Skate rentals:
No

Officers’ Square

Find it: 575 Queen St, Fredericton, fredericton.ca
The low-down:
This historical site in downtown Fredricton turns into a bumpin’ skating rink dans l’hiver. With views of the shops along Queen Street and the Fredericton Region Museum, there is a reason so many locals turn up to this icy locale for family bonding or a romantic date.
When: 
January to March
Times: 
Anytime
Fees:
Free
Skate rentals:
No

Best Ice Skating in Newfoundland and Labrador

The Loop in Newfoundland (Photo courtesy City of St. John's)

The Loop in St John’s (Photo courtesy City of St. John’s)

Humber River

Find it: Deer Lake, deerlake.ca
The low-down:
During the seemingly endless winter months, the community of Deer Lake knows how to make the most of the frigid weather. From ice fishing to snowshoeing, there are plenty of winter activities on our Newfoundland bucket list, but the most notable is skating on the Humber River. This natural skating rink is the definition of simplicity at it’s finest—no boards, no lights, just ice.
When:
 January to March (skating conditions are weather dependent)
Times:
Anytime
Fees:
Free
Skate rentals:
No

The Loop

Find it: Bannerman Park, St. John’s, stjohns.ca
The low-down:
This quaint skating loop surrounds a super cute gazebo that is giving us maj Stars Hollow vibes, and its circular ice surface is dotted with lanterns (in addition to a row of bright spotlights along one side of the rink). In other words, it is seriously dreamy at night.
When:
Late-December to March
Times:
All week, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Fees:
Free
Skate rentals:
 No

Best Ice Skating in Prince Edward Island

Founder's Hall in P.E.I. (Photo courtesy DiscoverCharlottetown.com)

Founders Hall in Charlottetown (Photo courtesy DiscoverCharlottetown.com)

Queen Elizabeth Ball Park

Find it: Summerside, summerside.ca
The low-down:
This seaside city is not only equipped with tons of PEI hospitality, Summerside also has a skating oval in Queen Elizabeth Ball Park during the winter months. There are only three outdoor skating rinks in the city, but this one is by far the go-to for the locals.
When:
 January to March
Times: All week, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m
Fees:
Free
Skate rentals:
No

Founders Hall

Find it: Lower Prince Street, Charlottetown, city.charlottetown.pe.ca
The low-down:
Located on the lawn of Founders Hall in downtown Charlottetown, this popular skating rink is surrounded by old-fashioned brick buildings, which adds plenty of charm while you enjoy your afternoon skate. Insider tip: there’s usually a hockey game happening on one corner of the rink, if you’re down to pass the puck around.
When:
 January to Early-March
Times: 
Anytime
Fees: 
Free
Skate rentals: 
No

Best Ice Skating in Nova Scotia

Emera Oval in Nova Scotia (Photo courtesy Discover Halifax)

Emera Oval in Halifax (Photo courtesy Discover Halifax)

Civic Square

Find it: 740 Prince St, Truro, truro.ca
The low-down:
This charming skating rink, located in the heart of Civic Square, is brand spankin’ new—it just opened last skating season and is already a hit with the Truro community. The small but mighty rink boasts tons of character thanks to the small-town vibes of this welcoming Nova Scotian community.
When:
 Mid-December to Late-March
Times:
Anytime (preferably afternoons and evenings)
Fees:
Free for admission and skate rentals
Skate rentals: 
Yes

Emera Oval

Find it: 5775 Cogswell St., Halifax, halifax.ca
The low-down:
This rave-worthy outdoor skating oval is the size of three NHL hockey rinks (nbd), making it *the* locale for Haligonians looking to get their skate on. And while it’s a favourite among speed skaters, regular skaters love it, too. 
When: 
December 16, 2017 to March 24, 2018
Times: Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday, 10:30 a.m. (family skate) to 7 p.m.
Fees: 
Free for admission and rentals
Skate rentals: 
Yes

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