On the Rideau Canal. (Photo by Matthew Fournier via Unsplash)
Ottawa, City of Rinks: 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. For all outdoor rinks, conditions can vary from day to day and you should check individual web sites to see if they’re open, before heading out. Have fun!
Skating on the Rideau Canal
- 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. Check conditions here…
More outdoor rinks
We’ve included dates and hours of operation below, but all of the information should be considered “weather permitting”, especially early or late in the season.
- The Rink of Dreams at City Hall. It’s an outdoor ice surface downtown with artificial refrigeration. To put it another way, this rink has great ice even when it’s a bit warm outside. The Sens Rink of Dreams is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., weather-permitting. The heated changing facility is open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Weather permitting, the Lansdowne Skating Court is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. The heated changing facility is open daily from 8 a.m to 11 p.m. Bring your own skates - no skate rental services available.
- Another nice rink is outdoors at Ben Franklin Place in Centrepointe. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., weather permitting. New Year’s Eve – closed at 10 p.m.
- More info on city outdoor rinks…
- Rideau Hall: One of Ottawa’s best-kept secrets. This historic ice surface dates back to the 1870s. The rink is typically open from early/mid December to mid/late March (weather permitting), with public skating on Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 5p.m. Group skating can be booked on weekdays and evenings.
- Canada Agriculture and Food Museum: Open 9am-4pm, Wednesday to Sunday on the grounds of the Experimental Farm, weather permitting. Check #MuseumIceRink to see current conditions.
- Brewer Oval: Ontario’s only 400m long track speed skating oval… built and maintained by volunteers. It’s open to the public daily (weather permitting) from 9a.m. until 10p.m., 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 this facility?
- River Oak: An “enchanting ice skating forest” in an old growth apple orchard near Metcalfe, south of Ottawa. It opened in December 2017.
- Patinoire du ruisseau de la Brasserie: Kind of a “mini canal” in Gatineau, located near Rue Montcalm/Boulevard Alexandre Taché.
- Skateway Through the Forest in Lac-des-Loups, Quebec. About 3km of skating ice trails are maintained through the forest. The trail is open daily 10am-4pm. Adults skate for $12/day. Youth $8/day, and kids under 5 are free. Family and season passes available.
Ottawa has over 250 outdoor neighbourhood rinks, ranging from “puddles” (small ice surfaces without boards) to full “rinks” (full boards around the rink).
(There are many more outdoor rinks in Gatineau, too. Here is a list)
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
- Canadian Tire Centre
There are many more arenas in Gatineau, too. Here’s a list from the Ville de Gatineau.
- Gloucester Skating Club
- Goulbourn Skating Club
- Metcalfe Skating Club
- Minto Skating Club
- Nepean Skating Club
- Ottawa Pacers Speedskating Club
- Rideau Skating Club
Skate rentals, sales and sharpening
- During Winterlude you can usually rent skates and get them sharpened on the Rideau Canal.
- Figure 8 Skate Specialists
- Fosters Sports
- Kunstadt Sports
- Play It Again Sports