Our city is a great place to skate, with dozens of indoor rinks and arenas, and countless volunteers who maintain community rinks in parks and backyards. And, of course, there’s the Rideau Canal, the world’s longest skating rink.
Skating on the Rideau Canal
- As of Thursday, January 15, the entire 7.8 kilometers of the Rideau Canal is open for skating.
- In the winter, the Ottawa portion of the Rideau Canal turns into the world’s largest skating rink (7.8km long), and is the focal point of Winterlude.
- The National Capital Commission maintains the skateway, and it’s usually open from late-December/early January until late February/early March.
- Here’s a link showing daily ice conditions on the Rideau Canal.
- Here’s a map of the Rideau Canal Skateway, showing parking locations, change huts, food, and more.
- For more info about skating on the Rideau Canal, you can visit: Rideau Canal Skateway or call 613- 239-5234
- City Hall: The 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.
- Rideau Hall: Another 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Patinoire du ruisseau de la Brasserie: Kind of a “mini canal” in Gatineau, located near Rue Montcalm / Boulevard Alexandre Taché. More info…
- Brookstreet Hotel: There’s a nice rink behind the Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata, tucked in next to the Marshes golf course. It’s free to use and open to the public.
- Neighbourhood Rinks: Ottawa has over 250 outdoor 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 outdoor rink conditions.
- (There are many more outdoor rinks in Gatineau, too. Here’s a list from the Ville de Gatineau.)
- For a listing of local rinks, plus schedules for public skating and information about lessons, check out the City of Ottawa’s Skating page, including a search tool for checking public skating schedules.
- A few other indoor rinks not directly run by the City of Ottawa include: Bell Sensplex, RA Centre, Carleton University Ice House, University of Ottawa Sports Complex and Scotiabank Place.
- There are many more arenas in Gatineau, too. Here’s a list from the Ville de Gatineau.
- Weekend public skating is free at City of Ottawa indoor facilities until April 6, 2014, thanks to an initiative from RBC. More info…
- Here’s a great searchable map showing skating times in Ottawa and Gatineau, all in one spot.
- Related: Ottawa Hockey Guide
- Gloucester Skating Club
- Metcalfe Skating Club
- Minto Skating Club
- Nepean Skating Club
- Ottawa Pacers Speedskating Club
- Rideau Skating Club
Skate Rentals & Sales & Sharpening
- During Winterlude you can usually rent skates and get the sharpened on the Rideau Canal.
- Figure 8 Skate Specialists
- Fosters Sports
- Kunstadt Sports
- Play It Again Sports