The top 25 outdoor skating rinks in Toronto by neighbourhood
Outdoor skating rinks in Toronto look a bit different this year but are still a near-perfect activity to embrace winter and get outside. While it may be more challenging to book ice time during lockdown, we're still lucky to live in a city that has a generous amount of places to glide on a pair of skates.
Keep in mind, the opening of outdoor rinks will be dependent on weather conditions fit for skating. Skate rentals and change rooms will also not be available this year.
Here are my picks for the top outdoor skating rinks in Toronto by neighbourhood.
Situated right beside Lake Ontario and the boardwalk, at the edge of one of Toronto's most favoured parks, Kew Gardens offers a picturesque spot for pleasure skating. There's also an enclosed outdoor seasonal fire pit.
The rink at the Hodgson Public School grounds was rebuilt in 2014 and is a true community spot for some winter fun. There's a well equipped rink for shinny — when it's allowed — and one for pleasure skating.
Feel like a leisurely skate in one of Toronto's best parks? Two side by side rinks are located at the north end of Dufferin Grove Park so there's plenty of space to hit the ice.
Rennie Park has a hockey rink and a skating trail. The skating trail is built around a tree. When available, the hockey rink has proper boards, a scoreboard and sound system.
The Giovanni Caboto rink has two ice pads available, one for shinny (though this will be unavailable this season) and one for public skating.
Riverdale Park East that's known for winter tobogganing also has an artificial outdoor ice rink, a hockey pad and a skating trail. There's also a nice playground to the east of the rink.
The Wallace Emerson Park rink is bright and friendly. There are two sides with one that's usually designated for shinny. The pleasure skating side is the rink you'll be able to visit this season.
The rink on Bathurst just south of Dundas in Alexandra Park boasts two surfaces, one for pleasure skating and one for shinny. The hockey rink, which is a skate park in the summer, is just as busy in the winter — though that won't be the case this year.
The skating trail at Colonel Samuel Smith Park is busy, but it's worth it. It is located next to the historical Power Plant building and a large network of trails near the lake. The figure 8 trail offers a change of pace compared to many Toronto rinks.
Dieppe Park has both a skating trail and an outdoor ice rink. It can get busy in the winter time due to the double-pad rink which allows for non-stop public skate.
Given Nathan Phillips Square's proximity to the Eaton's Centre and other tourist attractions, it's natural this rink runs on the busier side. Even despite it being more frequented, the large rink is a must every winter.
Head to Paul Quarrington Ice Rink at Sherbourne Common for a skate with a waterfront view. While the Splash Pad provides reprieve from the heat in the summer, in the winter it's transformed into a skating rink.
The beautiful natural area of High Park is home two outdoor rink pads and its own Zamboni onsite for regular maintenance.
Campbell Avenue Playground offers the neighbourhood feel many of us have grown to love in Toronto's community rinks. You're likely to find lots of families with young children enjoying a skate here.
If you're looking for a skate with a view of the city skyline, head to Christie Pits. Located near the northwest corner of the park, there's a well maintained hockey rink with pleasure skating.
The rink at Greenwood Park has a covered roof allowing for less snow build up and better conditions overall. There's also a pleasure ice skating trail located beside the ice rink.
Mel Lastman Square is the place to go for a quiet uptown skate. Another bonus is the fact that it's conveniently located walking distance from North York Centre subway station.
Ramsden Park has two outdoor rinks allowing for the perfect schedule with ample open skating. One of the rinks doubles as tennis courts in the summer.
Located at the large athletic grounds at Shuter and Sumach, the single rink at Regent Park is a hockey pad which doubles as a pleasure pad with lots of public skate times. It also gets brightly lit up in the evening.
McCowan District Park is home to both an outdoor rink and a winding circular skating trail that runs for about one-kilometre for all of your ice skating needs.
Though the indoor rink at the Phil White Arena at Cedarvale Park is currently closed, there's still a well maintained artificial outdoor rink that allows for a pleasurable experience.
While Trinity Bellwoods Park is a wildly popular spot in the summer, this rink is relatively quiet, offering the perfect atmosphere to go for a skate without the crowds.
Winding through College Park, the Barbara Ann Scott Skating Trail makes for a nice alternative for those who don't want to be confined to a rink. There's also a nearby 1,500-square-foot pavilion.
Two outdoor rinks can be found behind the North Toronto Memorial CRC at Eglinton Park. The well maintained ice makes for a great option for some pleasure skating.
Otter Creek is home to two outdoor rinks, a skating pad and a separate hockey rink for shinny (though this won't be available this season). The no-fuss rink provides the perfect spot to skate a few laps.
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