As winter roars into full gear, it's a great time to have some fun on ice. Toronto has a number of skating rinks, indoor and outdoor, but we've chosen three best ones any Torontonian or a visitor wanting to experience the true Toronto winter should visit. Have a look!
Opened: Dec.5, 2015
Closing: February 28, 2016
This is a small rink that can be found on the grounds of the Ryerson University, on the corner of the Gould and Victoria street. The rink is actually a fountain called Devonian Pond and is converted to a rink without fence in the winter. There aren't too many skaters here and the place is really small, so it's good for casual skating. According to Cityrinks.ca, hockey is not allowed in the daytime, but since the place is not fenced or guarded and is well lit with the street lamps, you can play hockey at night.
Nathan Phillips Square
Opened: Nov.28, 2015
Closing: March 20, 2016
Opening hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Nathan Phillips Square is one of the most well-known landmarks of Toronto. The plaza that is placed under the Toronto City Hall was designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell, who designed the New City Hall itself. He was chosen in an international design competition that was launched in the 1950's by Mayor Nathan Phillips, hence the name of the square - which is by the way the largest city square in Canada.
In winter time, the reflecting pond is converted to one of the most popular outdoor ice rinks in Toronto. The Freedom Arches or the beautiful Toronto sign installation with it's colourful glow are instantly recognizable and the rink also offers skate rental and locker room. The quality of the ice is also quite good, since the rink has its own ice resurfacer.
Harbourfront Natrel Ice Skating Rink
Opened: Nov.27, 2015
Closing: Not announced yet, probably March
Opening hours: Daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
You can find the Natrel Rink at the Harbourfront Centre, right on the shoreline of Lake Ontario, which makes skating here an amazing experience, since you can enjoy the spectacular views of the bay. This is one of the most well-known skating rinks in Toronto and it's not so crowded as you might think, but you can check this webcam to see how many skaters are out there at the moment, just in case.
The ice itself is artificially cooled and well-kept by an ice resurfacer. The admission is free and you can use locker rooms or rent skates, or helmets here. If you get hungry from all the frozen fun, you can grab a bite at the Lakeside Local Bar & Grill, which is just next to the rink. Besides regular skating, you can join their regular "Learn to Skate" classes or you can show some serious Saturday Night Fever moves on "DJ Skate Nights", which are held every Saturday (coincidence?) from 8 pm to 11 pm.
MEET THE PHOTOGRAPHER: BEA LABIKOVA
Bea is a Toronto based musician, photographer, teacher and a multidisciplinary visual artist. Growing up surrounded by her fatherâs antique camera collection, Bea was naturally inclined towards photography since an early age. She loves taking portraits of unique faces and always tries to capture the colours of the world around us. Her main areas of interest are documentary, performance and travel photography.