ICE SKATING ADVENTURES: BEST OUTDOOR SKATING RINKS IN ONTARIO
By Natalie Wednesday, January 10, 2024
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time skater, Ontario is a winter wonderland filled with some of the best skating rinks from beautiful tranquil forest trails to the upbeat vibe of city skating with a live DJ! So, lace up those skates, embrace the brisk winter air, and let the good times roll (or glide)!
If you’re on the hunt for a skating experience that takes winter wonder to new heights, Woodview Mountaintop Skating in Ontario is your ticket to frozen paradise. Nestled atop a scenic mountain, this 1.1 KM mountaintop loop boasts epic winter wonderland views of the Niagara Escarpment. Glide across a pristine rink with snow-covered peaks as your backdrop – it’s like skating in a postcard! Unveil the magic of thousands of interactive lights when you skate in the evenings. Enjoy illuminated night skating on select nights and let the lights guide you around the trail. Skate rentals are available.
For a picturesque experience, make your way to Arrowhead Provincial Park in Huntsville. This not so hidden gem boasts a stunning ice trail that winds through the snow-covered pine trees. Imagine the serenity of gliding through nature’s white wonderland, surrounded by the peaceful silence of the forest. Skate rentals are available, and you can even skate at night with the trail illuminated by torches at one of their Fire & Ice Nights. This is a busy spot in Muskoka so make sure to plan ahead as a booking permit is required.
Back in Toronto, The Bentway is a skating rink with an urban twist. Located under the Gardiner Expressway, this unique spot offers an industrial-chic atmosphere that’s perfect for the city dwellers. With cool art installations and a vibrant atmosphere, it’s a hotspot for both locals and visitors. Check their events calendar – they often host themed skate nights and live performances to add an extra layer of excitement to your icy adventure.
Gage Park in Brampton offers a delightful skating experience surrounded by charming scenery. The park is beautifully lit during the evenings, creating a magical ambiance. It’s a family-friendly spot with a cozy outdoor fireplace to warm up after your skate. Don’t forget to bring some marshmallows for roasting – the perfect winter treat!
For an urban escape, a parking lot on Richmond St in downtown Toronto is transforming into a winter oasis complete with cottage style huts, cozy bonfires and an ice rink. Skate under the stars and enjoy city views of the CN Tower while gliding across an eco-friendly synthetic rink. Vibe to music and disco lighting during evening skate parties and enjoy après skate seasonal treats in the Back Country Lodge. For the full experience you can even book private dining in a cozy cabin and enjoy fireside food and drinks at your personal fire pit!
Now, if you’re up for a bit of a skate-cursion, head to the nation’s capital, Ottawa, and experience the world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink – the Rideau Canal Skateway. Stretching over 7.8 kilometers, this UNESCO World Heritage site is a winter marvel. Glide past historic landmarks and enjoy the lively atmosphere with vendors selling hot cocoa and BeaverTails, a Canadian pastry favorite. During Winterlude, the canal transforms into a winter festival wonderland. From ice sculptures to live music, the canal is not just a skate; it’s becomes a festive celebration on ice. Winterlude kicks off February 2 to 19th and is the perfect time to plan a trip to Ottawa.