As winter blankets Canada and the flip-flops and sunhats are packed away for the season, there’s no better way to embrace the cold than by gliding across some of Canada’s most picturesque and festive outdoor rinks.

From the majestic Rocky Mountains to the vibrant urban landscapes, Canada boasts an array of outdoor skating rinks that offer not just a fun activity but an immersive experience into the heart of winter. Here is IMPACT’s list of some of the best outdoor skating rinks across Canada that promise an enchanting journey on ice.

Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta
Courtesy of Travel Alberta

1. Lake Louise,
Banff National Park, Alberta

People from around the world flock to Lake Louise to take in the iconic alpine waters and mountain views. And although the lake is stunning in the summer, it is transformed when the temperatures drop. Skating on the frozen lake amidst the majestic Rocky Mountains is an experience straight out of a postcard. The vastness of the frozen lake and the snow-capped peaks make this rink an unparalleled gem.

The Shipyard Commons Skate Plaza, North Vancouver, British Columbia
Courtesy of Shipyards District

2. The Shipyard Commons Skate Plaza,
North Vancouver, British Columbia

Set against the stunning backdrop of the waterfront, downtown Vancouver and the North Shore mountains, this free seasonal outdoor skating rink is the perfect place to bask in some urban holiday charm. Skaters don’t have to worry about bundling up too much as they enjoy the milder west coast weather while taking in the festive ambiance at the largest outdoor skating rink in B.C.

Lake Windermere Whiteway, Windermere, British Columbia
Courtesy of Zoya Lynch

3. Lake Windermere Whiteway,
Windermere, British Columbia

Skate the world’s longest skating trail, The Lake Windermere Whiteway. This remarkable winter attraction is in the Columbia Valley, offering panoramic mountain views and a truly one-of-a-kind Canadian experience. With an extensive network of well-maintained ice trails spanning more than 30 kilometres, the Whiteway winds its way across the frozen surface of Lake Windermere, connecting the communities of Invermere and Windermere.

The Forks, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Courtesy of the Forks

4. The Forks,
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Located at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, The Forks is a historic meeting place that transforms into a winter wonderland. The skating rink at The Forks is not confined to a traditional arena, but rather, encompasses the frozen rivers, creating an expansive natural skating surface. Skaters can glide through the heart of Winnipeg, taking in the scenic views of the city skyline and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere.

Lily Lake, Saint John, New Brunswick
Courtesy of City of St. John’s

5. Lily Lake,
Saint John, New Brunswick

If you’re looking for a quintessential Canadian experience, look no further than Lily Lake. Situated in Rockwood Park, the popular spot surrounded by forest and nature transforms into an outdoor skating rink when temperatures dip, perfect for a game of ice hockey, new skaters or those well accustomed to the ice. While you’re there, check out the walking trail along the lake, which is lit up at night.

Bannerman Park Rink, St. John’s, Newfoundland
Courtesy of City of St. John’s

6. Bannerman Park Rink,
St. John’s, Newfoundland

A true winter wonderland in Canada’s east, the iconic Bannerman Park Rink is a can’t-miss when it comes to outdoor skating rinks. Nestled in the heart of historic St. John’s, this charming rink is one of Newfoundland’s best skating destinations. The area is a cherished green space in the summer months, and it transforms into a winter oasis surrounded by snow-covered trees and the colourful facades of St. John’s famous row houses. The well-maintained ice surface and ample space cater to both experienced skaters and newbies alike.

Emera Oval, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Courtesy of Discover Halifax

Emera Oval,
Halifax, Nova Scotia

This outdoor rink is a true gem for outdoor enthusiasts, boasting the equivalent size of three NHL rinks. The Emera Oval not only offers free skating but also free rentals and breathtaking views of the Halifax skyline. Skaters of all ages flock to the Oval for winter fun. The rink hosts various events too, from casual skating sessions to themed nights and learn-to-skate programs. It truly is a space for all to enjoy.

Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, Ontario
Courtesy of the City of Toronto

8. Nathan Phillips Square,
Toronto, Ontario

We couldn’t have a list of the best outdoor rinks without mentioning Nathan Phillips Square. An iconic spot in Toronto for nearly 60 years, the vibrant lights and the energy of downtown make this rink a must-visit during the winter months. Skating by the illuminated Toronto sign is an experience that captures the city’s essence, with the iconic Toronto City Hall providing a stunning backdrop for this rink.

Rideau Canal Skateway, Ottawa, Ontario
Courtesy of Vladone

9. Rideau Canal Skateway,
Ottawa, Ontario

The world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink, the Rideau Canal Skateway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that sees an estimated 19,000 people a day during the winter months. Stretching over 7.8 kilometres, it winds its way through downtown Ottawa stretching to Dows Lake. Skaters can enjoy hot chocolate from the stands along the canal while taking in the sights of Canada’s capital. It doesn’t get more Canadian than this!

Kiwanis Memorial Park, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Courtesy of Wakamow Valley Authority

10. Kiwanis Memorial Park,
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

In the heart of Moose Jaw lies the Kiwanis Memorial Park, home to a delightful outdoor skating rink. Surrounded by twinkling lights and nestled within a beautiful park setting, this rink offers a serene and picturesque experience. Skaters can revel in the natural beauty while gliding across the ice, making it an ideal spot for both recreational skating and leisurely strolls around the park’s scenic pathways.

Place d’Youville, Quebec City, Quebec
Courtesy of André-Olivier Lyra

Place d’Youville,
Quebec City, Quebec

The historic charm of Quebec City amplifies during the winter months. The iconic Old Town, with its cobblestone streets and centuries-old buildings are magical under a dusting of snow. And the Place d’Youville skating rink is no exception. Nestled amidst the old city walls and surrounded by quaint buildings, this rink immerses skaters in a European-like setting. Skaters will feel like they are far from home as they take in the charming atmosphere and winter vibes.

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