I LOVE the beauty & bliss a fresh blanket of snow brings to the city. So although I’m not a skater, don’t own skates & sometimes lack the motivation to bundle myself up to trudge through the cold weather, I do not ever regret it. Winter activities are too few & far between – in addition, it can be hard to know where to go or what to do without spending lots of $$ on equipment. Skating is the perfect, easy choice & thankfully Toronto has many rinks to choose from!
So, where to start!?
I decided to mix up my regular Thursday routine from dinner, yoga & work (or Netflix) before bed & instead went skating. Where did I go, you ask? Well, since I don’t own skates & needed to rent a pair, my options were somewhat limited. While there are many skating rinks in Toronto, only a handful offer rental services. I decided to embrace our city’s landmarks & hit the most popular rink at Nathan Phillips Square. I did a bit of research before making my decision & found a few others I would have loved to visit.
Most outdoor skating rinks in Toronto are open until March 17th, so with somewhat warmer weather on the horizon, there is still a chance to get in that skating date night you have wanted since the first snowfall back in October! I am hoping I’ll have a chance to get to at least 1 or 2 more before the season is done.
Greenwood Outdoor Ice Rink
Renovated a few years ago, Greenwood has not just one, but two rinks! One is covered & often used for hockey or other ice activities; the other is a beautiful trail. This one was a little bit further than the others & since I needed rentals, it was off the list.
Evergreen Brickworks Skating Rink
This rink is now closed for the season (I was SO sad to hear), but is top of my list for the 2019/20 season. It is an outdoor rink under the exposed beams of their old factory – a truly stunning setting! They offer skating lessons & rink rentals.
Colonel Samuel Smith Park
Nice & close to me in South Etobicoke, this is a skating trail I would LOVE to skate. If I had my own skates I could make it happen! Unfortunately this one was also out of the running since I needed rentals.
A massive natural ice rink in West Toronto! Grenadier Pond is located at High Park, offering a plethora of other outdoor activities making this a perfect weekend daytrip. The only catch is there is no guarantee the rink will be open on the day you’re planning to go. The city tests the ice daily to make sure it is safe to skate on, putting up a red or yellow flag accordingly.
The Bentway Skate Trail
I was SO excited for this one & had my heart set on this rink for date night. It was very upsetting to find out it was closed for the season! So while I can’t provide you with my personal experience, I can tell you that from conversations & Instagram photos, it looks amazing.
This 1.75km run is located under the Gardiner Expressway on the lands of Fort York National Historic Site. It is Toronto’s largest skating trail! They offer skate rentals, skating lessons, have a fire pit & warming lounges. There’s even free Wi-Fi for up to an hour!
Nathan Phillips Square
A city gem, but be prepared for crowds! Central in the downtown core, the Nathan Phillips Square rink is by far the most popular rink in Toronto. Skating is free & they have rentals! I spent $6 to park directly underneath the rink, $20 on two pairs of rentals for up to 2 hours & the cost of my dignity as I tested my balance cautiously getting on the ice (it had been a few years…). Once I gained my balance I was able to take in the beautiful site of city lights all around me & appreciate the varying expertise of all of my fellow skaters laughing & learning together.
There is a full list of all indoor/outdoor rinks, hours of operation, season start & end dates as well as an interactive map to help you find one close to home! This can all be found on the City of Toronto website.
Click Here for a List of Toronto Skating Rinks
Lara Stasiw • Real Estate Agent & Home Design Connoisseur
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