Monday, January 13, 2014

Where to Go Skating in Toronto

If skating in -20 degree weather is not exactly your idea of a fun day out, take advantage of the public skate times at one of the many indoor rinks operated by the City of Toronto. It'll take the stress out of skating in the bitter cold and you can relax and skate leisurely in a sweater while working up a sweat. Grab yourself a thermos of hot chocolate + Baileys! Ok, maybe not the Bailey's...skating can burn you up to 400 calories/hour. Here are our top picks for outdoor skating...
Unique Places to Go Skating in Toronto & The GTA:
Photo Credit -
Colonel Samuel Smith Skate Trail (Etobicoke) - An outdoor rink shaped in a large figure-eight that makes skating in circles look boring. No skate rentals, but there are change rooms and washrooms at this city-run skate trail. Free admission. I didn't see a snack bar the last time I went, so it may be byo-ho-cho.
Photo Credit - Smart Destinations
Natrel Rink - Harbourfront Centre (Toronto) - Don't miss the DJ Skate Nights every Saturday at this waterfront ice rink. Bundle up because it does get cold right by the lake. We suggest making a day of it and going for Dim Sum first at Pearl Harbourfront inside Queen's Quay Terminal next door. Burn off all those delicious calories with a leisurely skate in the sun. Skate rentals, sharpening and hot chocolate on-site. Free admission. Washrooms inside Queen's Quay Terminal.

Photo Credit - The Star
Dufferin Grove Park (Toronto) - Go on a Thursday between 3-7 PM and you can also hit up the year-round Farmers Market inside the rink house. One side of this outdoor rink is usually dedicated to public skating, the other side to shinny. Check the current schedule for the most up-to-date times. Skate lending is available for only $2! Try the homemade pizza, fair-trade coffee or organic hot chocolate care of the kick-ass Zamboni Kitchen. Free admission.
Photo Credit - National Post
Nathan Phillips Square (Toronto) - A Toronto classic, that can get a bit crowded on the weekends. So time your visit accordingly. I grew up skating at this fountain-turned ice rink right in front of City Hall with all the Christmas lights a-twinkling. The city built new change rooms with a skate rental shop and snack bar to replace the old cement one. However skate rentals can take up to 20 minutes due to crowds, so show up early or bring your own! Admission is free and Green P parking is right underground. 
Photo Credit - Waterfront Toronto
Sherbourne Common (Toronto) - A brand new rink next to Sugar Beach, Sherbourne Common is located on top of the water treatment facility right next to the lake. It's a smaller skating pad, but much less busy than Harbourfront. Washrooms are available on-site, but no skate rentals last time we were there - so BYOS. Free admission.

Gus Sarino Photography
The Skating Oval (Toronto) - The Shops at Don Mills is an outdoor mall that's similar in style to The Grove in LA. They have cleverly installed a skating oval in the centre of this shopping pavilion and it's back again this year. The skating oval is FREE and open during mall hours, weather permitting. No skate rentals.

Evergreen Brickworks (Toronto) - A skating trail right in the city inside an old industrial brick factory! Weather permitting, skate rentals are $5 or PWYC. Call ahead to make sure they are open (416) 596-7670. A year-round Farmers Market also runs every Saturday until 1 pm. Free admission. Make sure to call ahead to ensure that the rink is open.

Photo Credit - Yonge St Media
Gage Trail (Brampton) - Skate through the trees in this pretty Brampton park until 10 pm everyday, weather permitting. Lots of Christmas lights brightens this lovely trail. Skate rentals and sharpening available from the shoe clinic nearby. Free Admission.
Cedarena (Markham) - A vintage camp/old-fashioned natural ice rink built in 1913. Ok puppies this one is a bit of a hike, but skating next to old cedar trees to old-timey music is totally worth it. A hot wood-burning stove inside is the perfect place to warm up between laps. No skate rentals here, but there's plenty of hot chocolate and warm donuts. The rink is not open yet, as the weather has not been cold enough to freeze the ice. Make sure to check back for availability.

Where do you like to go skating? Do you have a unique outdoor or indoor rink you think we should check out? Tell us in our comments section!

1 comment:

  1. In Richmond Hill, at Elgin Mills/Leslie there is a nice little outdoor trail at Richmond Green - nice lights and music too!