Snow has arrived a bit early in Toronto this year and that has everyone thinking about outdoor winter activities. Opportunities for ice skating have become more plentiful in the city in recent years, with freeform paths being built in parks and even under highways! Outdoor skating is one of those rare activities that families of all ages can enjoy together during the long and cold winter months. With rosy cheeks and mitten hands, you can skate, spin and play shinny, so here is Your Guide to Outdoor Skating in Toronto:
There are 52 City of Toronto outdoor artificial rink locations plus many natural skating surfaces. You can see the full list of them here.
A few things to note for the City of Toronto outdoor rinks:
- The 2021/22 season begins on November 27, 2021 and continues until March (weather permitting).
- Reservations are no longer needed for skating. Schedules and hours of operation vary.
- Change rooms and lockers are available with capacity limits. Participants are encouraged to arrive fully dressed for their skate.
- Masks are not required while on the ice, whether in indoor arenas or outdoor ice rinks. Masks are required while in other indoor public spaces, such as washrooms that are open in winter. More information about Face and Mask Coverings and using City skating facilities is available here.
The Bentway Skate Trail
Tucked away under the Gardiner Expressway, this skating path has a distinctly urban vibe. Season runs from December 18 to late January (weather permitting).
Address: 250 Fort York Blvd.
It is possible to have a relaxing skate downtown, even when surrounded by shops, condos and office buildings, at the Barbara Ann Scott skating path at College Park. This trail is also popular with roller skaters in summer months.
Address: 420 Yonge St.
This man-made pond at the waterfront is one of the prettiest settings in the city for skating. Hours of operation: November 22 – March 6, Sun-Thurs 10:00am – 10:00pm, Fri-Sat 10:00am – 11:00pm
Address: 235 Queens Quay West
Evergreen Brick Works
Rentals, free public skating, lessons and more and this beautiful rink that weaves through the surrounding gardens. Skating lessons start the week of December 6, public skating opens December 12, 11:00am – 4:00pm.
Address: 550 Bayview Ave.
Paul Quarrington Ice Rink
A splash pad in summer and skating pond in winter, this area of Sherbourne Common provides a lovely waterfront view while engaging in physical activity. Enjoy an leisurely or brisk skate while taking in the city’s wonderful sites.
Address: 61 Dockside Drive
TD Union Holiday
Ever imagined going for a quick skate while commuting to/from downtown? Sure, why not?! A temporary rink has been built for the holiday season (Nov. 29 – Jan. 2) in front of Union Station, and there’s even free skate and helmet rental.
Address: 65 Front Street, Toronto
Giovanni Caboto Rink
This park, which also has a popular outdoor pool in summer, has a skating pad and rink combination that is a winter hub along Corso Italia.
Address: 1367 St. Clair Ave. West
This park has a large open rink with electronic scoreboard for a competitive game of shinny, plus a freeform skating pad next door for a more casual experience.
Address: 1 Rennie Terrace
Located in a park that is a hub for recreational activity during all seasons. Plus, public skate, casual shinny games and registered lessons are available here.
Address: 790 Queen St. West
East End & Scarborough
This East York park has an outdoor artificial ice rink and is extremely popular in the winter time due to the double-pad rink which allows for non-stop public skate.
Address: 455 Cosburn Ave.
This popular winter spot has a busy pleasure-skating trail as well as a large covered rink for playing an invigorating game of recreational shinny.
Address: 150 Greenwood Ave.
This rink by the beach even has a small grandstand so your friends and family can cheer you on as you play shinny. Skating lessons are also popular here.
Address: 2075 Queen St. East
North York & Etobicoke
Colonel Samuel Smith Park
This outdoor path in Etobicoke expands into a figure-eight shape and covers 250 metres of ice trail. It is also located near lots of wildlife and natural beauty.
Address: 3145 Lake Shore Blvd. West
Mel Lastman Square
The small pond at Mel Lastman Square makes for a great family skating rink in winter time. Located at the North York Civic Centre, it’s great for beginners to enjoy an afternoon of leisure.
Address: 5100 Yonge St.
Looking for more Winter Outdoor Events in Toronto? Click here!