Outdoor skating rinks in Toronto

by Christine Ottoni

Lace up your skates and head outside this winter. Toronto is home to community rinks and trails that offer scenic views and cozy facilities. [Image credit: iStock.com/Niloo138]

Outdoor skating rinks in Toronto

East End

Monarch Park is conveniently located just south of the Danforth between Greenwood and Coxwell. There are clean and bright changerooms with a well-maintained outdoor rink. You’ll find colourful signage at the rink entrance and along the outside boards. Dieppe Park at Cosburn and Donlands Avenue is another poplar spot for outdoor skaters. This three-hectare park has outdoor artificial rink and an ice skating trail for pleasure skaters.

Greenwood Park, located at Gerrard and Jones Ave, is a stellar spot for an evening skate. With an outdoor rink and skating trail, a hockey rink and bright change areas with colourful benches, this is the perfect place for weekend family fun. The recently renovated facility is a major point of pride for the Regent Park community; the new change rooms and revitalized rink make the park a favorite winter spot for kids.

West End

Colonel Samuel Smith Park is located south of Lakeshore and Kipling. This popular ice-skating trail and busy rink offer serene lakefront views. And little did you know, but the beloved west-ender Dufferin Grove Park is home to an artificial ice rink and clubhouse equipped with a wood stove, games, toys, lots of lockers and a snack bar.

On to High Park, the ice-skating facilities at one of Toronto’s top-rated parks are located across from the tennis courts on the main ring road. You’ll find a hockey rink and pleasure pad at this busy family spot. Afterwards be sure to stop by the Grenadier Restaurant for a cup of tea and a snack. For the Blansdowne community,  the rink at the Wallace-Emerson community centre rink a snack bar, board games and books for kids in the rink change area. There are lots of skate aids for little kids and skates are lent out for donations.

Midtown

Cedarvale Park has a cozy, bright rink warming room with lots of seating. Locals from this family neighbourhood praise the rink’s lovely facilities and helpful staff. On St. Clair West you’ll find the Giovanni Caboto Rink in Corso Italia. This rink has clean facilities, vending machines, community skates and lots of shinny hockey for adult players.

Hodsgon Public School just north of Mount Pleasant is a popular community spot with two rinks: one for shinny and one for pleasure skating. Winter lovers in North York flock to Mel Lastman Square, an amphitheatre park where the pond is frozen to become an outdoor community skating rink in the winter.

Downtown

Downtown rinks are perfect for iconic pleasure skating and sipping hot chocolate. Alexandra Park is located right at Dundas and Bathurst. With an outdoor rink and pleasure skating pad and rink, this is a popular spot for the neighbourhood to gather and hit the ice.

You may have whiled away many summer days at Christie Pits Park, but did you know that in the winter months, it also hosts an outdoor ice rink? Located in Koreatown, there are lots of options for warming up after your skate. Grab some walnut cakes at Hodo Kwaja, indulge in some comfort-inducing ramen at Kinton Ramen, or settle in for a hot beverage and a board game at Snakes and Lattes.

Trinity Bellwoods also has an outdoor artificial rink and with its proximity to the Queen West and Dundas West strips, it’s arguably one of the best date sites in the city. Slip into a café for a hot chocolate, macaron or éclair at Nadege. Or cozy over to the 24-hour Lakeview Diner for comfort food eats and cheap drinks. Last but not least, Nathan Philips Square is probably Toronto’s most Instagram-worthy outdoor rink. Rent skates and grab shots of yourself in front of the iconic Toronto sign. Downtowners can lace up on their lunch break or enjoy a romantically lit night skate.

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