Skating at Bandmaster Park in Stittsville, 2013.
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 other great outdoor rinks that deserve your attention.
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 5 p.m.
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 2019. A heated change hut at Marion Dewar Plaza is open every day from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m.
Lansdowne Park: The skating court at Lansdowne Park opened a few years ago and has proved a popular destination for skaters. You can skate free seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Open until March 2019, 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 9 a.m. until 10 p.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?
Bonus: 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. Also check out Ottawa rink conditions , a user-driven site that relies on visitors to provide updates on 250+ 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
This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated.