Toronto’s Best Ice Skating Rinks: A Photo Essay

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, and we've chosen three best ones for any Torontonian or a visitor wanting to experience the true Toronto winter. Have a look!

Ryerson University

Opened: December 2, 2017
Closing: February 25, 2018

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. Hockey here 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: November 25, 2017
Closing: March 11, 2018
Opening hours: Daily from 9 AM to 10 PM

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

Opened: November 19, 2017
Closing: February 17, 2018
Opening hours: Monday-Thursday from 10 AM to 10 PM, Friday-Saturday 10 AM to 11 PM, Sunday from 10 AM to 10 PM

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 and 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.

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