The Coolest Places to Skate in Toronto

Who says rinks have to be a boring rectangle?

It’s that time of year again – when the ground freezes over, and “Netflix and Chill” takes on a very literal meaning.

But, if you’re looking to do something more outdoorsy, look no further. We’ve done all of the heavy lifting (you’re welcome) and found the most unique places to go outdoor skating in Toronto. The Bentway Skate Trail is definitely a standout, as The Bentway gets transformed into a winter wonderland. Check out some of the coolest places to skate in the city below.

This Indie88 feature is presented with The Bentway.
 

The Bentway Skate Trail

The Bentway’s skating trail is a 220-metre figure-eight trail that is open seven days a week from 12 – 9 p.m. On-site of the trail there is a winter village that sells hot chocolate and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. There are warming stations to keep skaters warm and toasty before getting back on the ice. If you are new to skating there are free skate lessions for kids and adults, as well as rentals for those eager to get on the ice. Free Skate Thursdays boasts free skate rentals from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm courtesy of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

With Family Day weekend coming up, The Bentway has some special programming that is sure to be amazing. On Monday, February 17th, head to The Bentway from 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM for #SkateThe8 Pyjama-Rama party, where children and adults can have an afternoon filled with craft, live entertainment, and outdoor screenings of PAW Patrol. You can also head to the Fort York Visitor Centre lobby from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM for Fay & Fluffy’s Storytime – Reading is FUN-damental! This fun-loving drag story time event supports families with LGBTQ2S parent(s) and gender variant children with culturally diverse book readings in an inclusive environment.
 

 

COLONEL SAM SMITH SKATING TRAIL

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This figure-8 skating trail sits right next to a historic building in the Colonel Samuel Park. You might be skating with ghosts though – the psychiatric-facility-turned-Humber-College buildings across from the arena, rumour has it, are haunted. Admission is free and parking is free on the weekends.
 

THE SKATING OVAL AT SHOPS AT DON MILLS

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(Photo by: jp1958 via Flickr)

The Shops at Don Mills combines two great activities: skating and shopping. They have an outdoor mall reminiscent of The Grove in Los Angeles’ (no complaints here), and installed a skating oval in the middle that is open during mall hours. The oval is free, and the shopping is encouraged.
 

NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE

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This square is used for pretty much every major event in the city, from Nuit Blanche to Remembrance Day ceremonies, but in the winter skaters take over. Admission to the rink with the City Hall view is free, and parking is right underground (not free). But, everyone knows about this city treasure, so be prepared for crowds.
 

Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel Rink

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Queen’s Quay Terminal is one of the most beautiful parts of the city, and skating with a view of the lake is a great way to spend a day. Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel Rink offers DJ Skate Nights on Saturdays, and admission is free. There is also on-site hot chocolate. Mmmmmm.
 

 

GREENWOOD ARENA

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Newly rebuilt Greenwood Arena has two rinks – one for skating and a covered one for hockey. The change facilities are excellent as well. Greenwood is Toronto’s first outdoor covered skating rink, so it can stay open longer than most places.
 

SHERBOURNE COMMON

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Though this rink may appear small at first glance, Sherbourne Common offers stunning views of the city that make it a worthwhile visit. It’s also artificially controlled, with pipes underneath to keep the ice cold, meaning you might be able to enjoy the rink past the usual outdoor skating rink season.
 


 

Honourable Mention: ICE TRAIL AT ARROWHEAD PROVINCIAL PARK

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Huntsville is quite a distance away, but the 1.5km skate path is definitely worth the drive to the East River campground. Skaters can book campsites for afternoon campfires and rentals are also available. Sounds like the Canadian dream to us.