A look at some of the best outdoor skating rinks across Canada

Feb 5 2022, 8:00 pm

There is something magical and quintessentially Canadian about skating outdoors in the winter.

Not only do the outdoors offer more scenic locations to lace up your skates and do a few laps, but there is also nothing more freeing than hearing the crunch of wild ice under your blades as the cool winter air rushes by.

Here are some of the best outdoor skating rinks in Canada to go for a spin on this winter.

Grouse Mountain (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Take the gondola to the top of Grouse Mountain to skate on the frozen pond. The skating rink is open during the day and lit up in the evening, offering the perfect after-work escape or a romantic idea for a date night.


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Laurentian Valley Skate Trail (Pembroke, Ontario)

The Laurentian Valley Skate Trail is 1.5 km of natural ice, open from January to March daily, with evening skates on Thursday and Saturday nights. The trail is free to use, but donations are welcome to help with maintenance.

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (Jasper, Alberta)

Guests at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge don’t have to walk far to skate on Lake Mildred. Skate rentals are available for guests at the Winter Activity Centre to make it easy to spend some time in the groomed skating area.

Halifax Common (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

In the heart of downtown Halifax, the Emera Oval in the Halifax Commons offers free public skating every day with views of the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site.

Rideau Canal National Historic Site (Ottawa, Ontario)

We couldn’t write a guide to outdoor skating without mentioning the world’s largest skateway. The Rideau Canal National Historic Site is 7.8 km of skating through downtown Ottawa with attractions and pop-up vendors along the way. 


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Gatineau Park (Chelsea, Quebec)

Skate through 3 km of trails through the forest in Gatineau Park just outside of Ottawa, sheltered from the winter winds by the towering trees.

Bowness Park (Calgary, Alberta)

The Bowness Park in Calgary has taken winter fun on the ice a step further by offering a fleet of ice bikes to take a spin on. The bikes are available to rent for $20 or you can enjoy the rink on regular skates as well.

ice bikes calgary

An ice bike (City of Calgary/Submitted)

Whistler Olympic Plaza (Whistler, British Columbia)

If you’re looking for a winter activity in Whistler other than skiing and snowboarding, Whistler Olympic Plaza‘s outdoor rink is a great spot for a lap or two on the ice. 

Caleigh AlleyneCaleigh Alleyne

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