In Canada, skating is often associated with a stick and a puck. That’s to be expected; hockey is our most popular sport after all.

But have you ever tried skating on outdoor ice, under a sunny winter sky and with a hot coffee in hand? If not, we highly recommend. You won’t see skating the same ever again.

So, whether you’re a novice skater or you can land a triple axel, take a look at some of the best skating spots that Canada has to offer.

WEST

Robson Square Ice Rink (British Columbia)

This skating rink situated in the heart of downtown, steps away from the Vancouver Art Gallery and numerous shops is a can’t-miss-spot for ice skating. Covered by a dome, you’ll be protected from the elements all while feeling the cool breeze and the city’s lively energy.

If you’re lucky, your ice time will be accompanied by live music. Don’t fret about finding equipment; everything you need is available for rental at reasonable prices.

Lake Louise (Alberta)

Close your eyes for a few seconds and imagine yourself in a scene destined to be on a stamp. Lake Louise may just be where you find yourself. A frozen lake surrounded by snow-capped summits and glaciers will have you living an unforgettable experience. You’ll feel like a kid on Christmas, rosy-cheeked and skating in the great outdoors.

A sensation of freedom and well-being and a picturesque landscape are guaranteed.

Red River Mutual Trail (Manitoba)

The province of Manitoba is filled with beautiful skating paths, but the one that follows the Red and Assiniboine Rivers is probably the most reputable of them all.

Three kilometres long, it’s known for the heated shelters that you’ll find scattered along the trail, each with their own unique personality. It’s the perfect moment to take time to warm up with a hot chocolate and take a family photo to keep as a souvenir!

CENTRAL

The Rideau Canal (Ontario)

The most iconic skating rink in the country is a canal stretching almost eight kilometres, crossing our nation’s capital with all its government buildings and the famous Chateau Laurier. The site is even registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Kiosks dot the trail offering drinks and snacks. Free and accessible to everyone, all Canadians should experience a skate on the Rideau Canal at least once in their lifetime. Aside from the unmatched experience, this location characterizes the best aspects of Canadian identity.

Montreal’s Old Port Skating Rink (Québec)

With the breathtaking Old Port of Montreal behind you, this spot has so much to offer. The pink lighting that illuminates the rink will make your outing that much more memorable. And why not sit down to a meal at one of the incredible restaurants nearby to end a perfect winter night?

It’s important to note that the location does charge for this attraction, with an entry fee of about $10 for access to the rink and equipment rental. Even so, it is worth stopping by.

Lac des Loups (Québec)

If you’re bored with the traditional skating trail that takes you on a loop or out in open air, Lac des Loups is the perfect place for you. Deep into Gatineau Park, you’ll find yourself having an out of the ordinary skating experience, through the trees on a trail spanning over three kilometres. Imagine snow-covered fir trees and ice sheltered from the cold. Literally skating in the middle of the forest. You can’t do that just anywhere.

EAST

Lake Roulston (New Brunswick)

An international pond hockey tournament takes place in February on Lake Roulston.

An international pond hockey tournament takes place in February on Lake Roulston. Photo : tj.news

In the winter when it freezes over, Lake Roulston is home to the equivalent of 20 separate rinks. The concept is ideal for organizing a private pond hockey game between friends or for getting started with group lessons. The site welcomes an important international pond hockey tournament each February but remains open to the public the rest of the winter. Pick a rink and hit the ice without worrying about crowds.

Civic Square (Nova Scotia)

Civic Square in Truro, Nova Scotia

Civic Square is a warm and welcoming little rink. Photo : greatplacesincanada.ca

Situated in Truro, this rink is popular among locals. Small and intimate, it offers a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. The locals will be happy to have you, ensuring your experience is above and beyond. You’ll feel the ambiance and the joie de vivre of the community. It will be impossible not to want to return to Nova Scotia once you’ve skated at Civic Square.

Founders’ Hall Food and Market (Prince Edward Island)

Built on the grassy surface of Founders’ Hall Food and Market, this popular skating rink brings so much charm. A little birdy told us the regulars organize a pick-up hockey game in the evenings on weekends—only if you’re ready to show off your skills with a stick and a puck. What better way to end your day than to visit the centre’s amazing shops?