Ottawa’s famous for the Rideau Canal, one of the world’s greatest skating rinks. But it’s not the only place in town where you can skate outdoors. Here are some of our suggestions for great outdoor rinks.
Rideau Hall: A great/interesting/unique place to skate outdoors is at the Rideau Hall Outdoor Skating Rink. This historic ice surface dates back to the 1870s. The rink is open from January to March (weather permitting), with public skating on Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 5pm.
Rink of Dreams at City Hall: It’s an outdoor ice surface with artificial refrigeration. To put it another way, this rink has great ice even when it’s a bit warm outside. Weather permitting the rink is open every day, from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m., including holidays, until the end of the skating season in March 2015. A heated change hut at Marion Dewar Plaza is open every day from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m.
Lansdowne Park: There’s a new outdoor rink this year at Lansdowne Park, which officially opened on December 2. It’s open until March 2015, weather permitting.
Ben Franklin Place: Another nice rink is outdoors at Ben Franklin Place in Centrepointe.
Patinoire du ruisseau de la Brasserie: Kind of a “mini canal” in Gatineau, located near Rue Montcalm / Boulevard Alexandre Taché. More info…
Brewer Oval: Ontario’s only 400m long track speed skating oval … built and maintained by volunteers. It’s open to the public daily from 9am-10pm, except for Tuesday evenings when the Ottawa Pacers train, or when there’s a tournament or event. Did you know: Olympians Ivanie Blondin and Vincent de Haître trained at the facility.
Neighbourhood Rinks: Ottawa has over 250 utdoor neighbourhood rinks, ranging from “puddles” (small ice surfaces without boards) to full “rinks” (full boards around the rink). Here’s a list of all the outdoor rinks in Ottawa…and Ottawa Rink Conditions is a user-driven site that relies on visitors to provide updates on 261 outdoor rink conditions. There are many more outdoor rinks in Gatineau, too. Here’s a list from the Ville de Gatineau.
For more skating links (including indoor rinks), check out our Ottawa Skating Guide.