So far November in Toronto has been relatively balmy, but soon the snow will fly and it will be time to lace up your skates and take to the ice at some of Toronto’s best outdoor skating rinks. Even if you’re a novice skater, outdoor Toronto rinks such as Nathan Phillips Square and Harbourfront’s Natrel Rink are large enough that you shouldn’t bump into anyone. Plus, both rinks have wonderful scenic backdrops.
Natrel Rink at Harbourfront
With a view of Lake Ontario, the Natrel Rink at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queen’s Quay West, 416-973-4000, is probably the most spectacular rink to skate on in Toronto. In addition, the rink DJs play Top 40 tunes to skate to. The rink opens November 2012 (weather permitting) until February 2013. Hours are Sunday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday rink maintenance is 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The Harbourfront skating rink includes a snack shop and skate rentals. Admission is free. Skate rentals are Adults $8, Children and Seniors $6.
Dufferin Grove Park
Dufferin Grove Park, at 875 Dufferin Street across from Dufferin Mall, is open from November 24, 2012 to March 10 2013. There are two skating pads: one for pleasure skating and one for shinny hockey. Public skate hours are 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. from Monday to Sunday. You can borrow figure or hockey skates with a recommended donation of $2 and a stick and gloves for shinny hockey for $1; however, you must provide government ID.
Nathan Phillips Square Rink
For the ultimate winter experience, head down to Nathan Phillips Square skating rink, which is particularly festive in December when the Christmas tree that towers over the rink is lit up. Located at 100 Queen Street West, the popular downtown skating rink is open for pleasure skating seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Opens Dec. 1, 2012 to March 10, 2013 (weather permitting). Free.
Riverdale Park East Skating Rink
While skating at this Riverdale neighbourhood outdoor skating rink, located at 550 Broadview Avenue, you’ll have a spectacular view of the CN Tower and the Toronto skyline. Head across the street to the popular Rooster Coffee House on Broadview to warm up with a latte. Washrooms and changeroom facilities. Open Dec 1, 2012 to Feb 24, 2013. Public skate is Tues from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Wed from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m., Thurs from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Fri from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sat from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Free.
Trinity-Bellwoods Skating Rink
Located in Trinity-Bellwoods Park near Gore Vale Avenue (south of Dundas, west of Bathurst), 416-392-0912, the Trinity-Bellwoods Skating Rink is a great spot for a quick skate before heading to nearby Queen Street West for a weekend brunch at Parkette or Terroni’s. Changeroom facilities are on site. Open Dec 1, 2012 to Feb 24, 2013. Public skate is Mon from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tues from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wed from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Fri from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sat from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sun from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Free.
Mel Lastman Square Skating Rink
One of the largest outdoor skating rinks in the north of the city, the rink at Mel Lastman Square is located at the North York Centre subway stop at 5100 Yonge Street, 416-395-7584. The Mel Lastman Square skating rink is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Nov 24, 2012 to Mar 10, 2013 (weather permitting), and has a snack bar and indoor change rooms.