Toronto Ice Rinks & Outdoor Skating
Published: January 23, 2023
There are literally (and we mean that literally) hundreds of places you can strap on the skates in Toronto. Run by both the City and private enterprises, you can pick a new skating venue every weekend and you’d still run out of winter long before you ran out of great options. Here are some of the outdoor skating rinks in Toronto that we love the most.
That’s right, you can step off of UP Express at Union Station and be on the ice in no time! An incredible free skating experience right in the heart of downtown Toronto is a must-do this winter. Welcoming all skill levels and ages, the Union Station outdoor ice rink offers free skate and helmet rentals. The skating rink will come alive on Friday and Saturday nights with the Union Beats Skate Nights featuring live DJs to amp up your experience with music.
The Bentway Skating Trail
The Bentway Skating Trail is a one-of-a-kind public space that turns an area underneath Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway into a 220-metre-long, figure-eight outdoor skating trail. It stretches from Strachan Avenue to Bathurst Street, and offers an on-site winter village with hot chocolate and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for skaters and spectators. There are also warming stations that will help you get toasty before jumping back onto the ice. Can’t skate? Not a problem! Open until February 21, the Bentway offers free skate lessons for kids and adults, and on-site skate rentals are available. Be sure to check out the winter art exhibition by Inuvialuk artist Maureen Gruben while here.
We want to help you enjoy some family time on the ice in downtown Toronto this winter! Did you know kids under 12 always travel for free on UP Express? Adults can save on regular fares with a PRESTO card or PRESTO contactless payment, plus youth, seniors, and post-secondary students enjoy a discounted fare with their PRESTO card so you can bring the whole family for a skate.
Paul Quarrington Outdoor Ice Rink
Enjoy a lovely waterfront view from the Paul Quarrington Outdoor Ice Rink at Sherbourne Common. A splash pad in the summer months, this award-winning outdoor rink is named in honour of Toronto author, musician and screenwriter Paul Quarrington. Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily for leisure skates, this rink is a short walk along the waterfront from UP Express Union Station. After your skate, warm up with a hot chocolate in the nearby historic Distillery District.
Toronto Rooftop Skating
Skate amongst skyscrapers downtown Toronto at the Bisha Hotel’s rooftop rink. Bring your own skates on your next stay at the hotel to enjoy 30-minutes of private skating time on Bisha’s mini-rink complete with festive drinks . Set under white mini-lights, this unique outdoor skating experience can only be booked by guests staying at the hotel.
Near UP Express Bloor Station you’ll find Campbell Park’s outdoor rink offering leisure skates and shinny drop-ins, including one session specifically catering to girls ages 6 to 12. There are no skate rentals here, so be sure to bring your own skates and helmets. Planning a family skate? Remember kids 12 and under always travel for free on UP Express!
Barbara Ann Scott Skating Trail
This downtown Toronto public skating venue opened in College Park (in the Yonge and College area) in 2019 and has been a hit with skaters ever since! Open until March (weather permitting), the Barbara Ann Scott Skating Trail – named for the late Olympic gold medal figure skater – is a five-metre-wide trail designed to double as a walking loop in the summer. Just as notable, it’s the first exterior skating path in North America to incorporate state-of-the-art carbon dioxide technology in its refrigeration system. This environmentally friendly technology is natural, non-toxic and non-flammable, with no net greenhouse gas effect. Win-win.
Nathan Phillips Square
Skating at Nathan Phillips Square is kind of a rite of passage if you grow up in the city, or even if you’re just visiting. One of the best places to gather in the heart of downtown, the famous outdoor skating rink offers amenities like change room space, skate rentals and lots of convenient food options. And, if you get cold, you’re only two minutes away from shopping at the Eaton Centre. There’s also a roof terrace, from which you can enjoy a view of the Square while you warm up.
Grab your hockey stick and hit the ice for a game of shinny at Rennie Park. Canadians love to play shinny – an informal version of hockey without a goalie and requiring minimal equipment to play – and at this ice rink near UP Express Bloor Station, there are scheduled supervised drop-in games for all ages, including children up to 8 years old with a caregiver, as well as child, youth, and adult shinny times. Rennie Park also offers daily leisure skate times on the rink, a skating trail, winter hiking paths, and a great hill for tobogganing if shinny isn’t your thing.
Colonel Sam Smith Skating Trail
In the West end of the city, there’s a unique option for those looking to get out, strap on the blades and stretch their legs. The trail at Colonel Sam Smith Park is a long ribbon of ice that rolls along a stretch of wooded shoreline, a great place to watch sunrise and spot a variety of birds and other wildlife. It was the city's first ice skating trail (in a figure-eight shape), so you don’t have to just go ‘round in circles here. The trail is located next to the Power House Recreation Centre, and there are basic amenities like washrooms and change rooms. It is strictly BYOS, though. (Bring your own skates.)
Evergreen Brick Works
Experience one of the best outdoor skating rinks in Toronto at Evergreen Brick Works. The ice weaves through the snow-covered gardens under the exposed beams of the roof of the old brick factory. When the sun goes down, the twinkling lights come on, creating an unforgettable experience under a blanket of stars. There's no other skating rink like it in the city. And, even if you don’t know how to skate, you can learn here. The rink is open to the public from December to March, weather permitting. Remember: this is an outdoor rink, so dress appropriately.
Spending time on the ice is a great way to get out and enjoy Toronto this winter. We can help you and your family get your skate on with frequent and convenient service on board our comfortable trains. With power outlets and chargers available on UP Express, you can rest assured your smartphone is powered up to capture all the fun and excitement on the ice rink! Plus, enjoy free Wi-Fi on board all UP Express trains to make sharing your skating memories to social media a breeze.