The best places to skate in Toronto this winter
The only upside to the coming onslaught of freezing temperatures: skating season. We’ve found the coolest skating trails and rinks in the city to visit this winter, all of which are of free to use. Just bring your skates and channel your inner Tessa and Scott. Partner lifts optional.
1Go for gold at this brand-new College Park trail, which opened this December. Named after the late, great Olympic gold medallist from the 1940s, the picturesque trail uses fancy refrigeration technology that’s natural and non-toxic with no greenhouse gas effects. Expect DJ skate nights here in 2020.
2This 220-metre trail next to Fort York National weaves skaters in a figure-eight around the concrete pillars holding up the Gardiner Expressway. Take a break in the warming station, stocked with pillows and blankets, or stop in at the Winter Village for a beer, mulled wine or spiked hot chocolate to refuel.
3A whirl around this new rink will make you the envy of all Bay Street rat racers. The Union Station rink offers complimentary rentals and lessons along with free skating time. Unlike most of the facilities on our list, this one is designed with a wooden railing, which comes in handy if you’re Bambi on ice.
4With its lit arches overhead and the glowing Toronto sign in the background, this is the city’s most iconic place to strap on a pair of skates. The rink can get very crowded on weekends, so it’s not the best spot for first-timers or those still gaining their ice legs.
5If you’ve got kids in tow or are hosting tourists on a schedule, head to this waterfront rink. Lake Ontario serves as a scenic backdrop for selfies, and it’s one of the few places you can reserve rental skates online to avoid waiting at peak hours. This spot is also popular for its DJ skate nights on Saturday evenings—they’re one of the city’s first rinks hosting a regular lineup.
6If shinny is more your style, head to Greenwood Park’s skating rink. With a snazzy roof to keep snow and rain off the ice (it’s the city’s first covered outdoor rink) you can expect a smoother surface and a longer skating season. Prefer your skate sessions sans stick-and-puck? There’s a leisure skating trail just next to the rink.