Skating in Ottawa is one of the most magical parts about winter. There are tons of wonderful options, from trails through the forest to beautiful downtown rinks. And of course, we can’t forget the famous Rideau Canal! Skating in Ottawa is a wonderful way to get outside and this year we are fortunate that it is one of the activities that remains open and available to us. Looking for a rink or trail for your next adventure? Here’s where to go skating in Ottawa!
Check health and safety protocols before going to a rink. Follow public health guidelines by choosing a rink near your residence.
Skating in Ottawa
Where to begin? There are so many amazing places to go skating in Ottawa! I have provided links to the main websites for all of the rinks listed. Make sure to check website directly for the most updates hours of operation, ice conditions, safety protocols, and prices.
Skating Trails & Natural Rinks in Ottawa
Patinage En Forêt
This magical skating trail is easily one of the most beautiful rinks I have ever skated on. There are 3km of skating trails winding through the forest, and snow shoe trails around the outskirts if you want to experience a winter wonderland a different way. Patinage en Forêt also hosts special torch light nighttime skates a few times per year. Day passes and torchlight skating tickets are available on their website. Skate rentals and snowshoe rentals are available.
Patinage en Forêt is located in Quebec, 20 minutes past Wakefield (about a 1hr drive from Ottawa total) so be aware of regulations in both Ontario and Quebec before venturing out.
RiverOak Estates Skating Trail
Another beautiful skating trail, this time located in the lovely community of Metcalfe. The apple orchard at RiverOak Estate is transformed into a beautiful 3km skating trail come winter. Skating is open day and night, with partial lighting. Dogs are allowed at this family-friendly winter escape! Reservations are required for weekends only. Purchase tickets on their website.
The Rideau Canal Skateway
The Rideau Canal, our great claim to fame in Ottawa! Every year by January I am eager for the announcement that the Rideau Canal Skateway is open. The skate way stretches 7.8km and promises lots of personal space for everyone. BeaverTail stops are available along the way, and you totally earned one (no matter how far you skated). Rentals are typically available at the downtown rest stop near the NAC, Dows Lake Pavillion, and Fifth Avenue.
This year some safety measures will be in effect such as contacting tracing at rest stops. The full measures are yet to be announced. Get updates on the Rideau Canal Skateway here.
Countryside Adventures is more than a beautiful place to skate: they also offer snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and (new in 2021) tubing! On the property you will find a 3km forest skating trail and plenty of snowshoe and ski trails to choose from. Once you’ve had your fix of adventure, warm up by the bonfire with a hot drink and say hello to some animal friends at the petting zoo! Reserve your visit on their website. Equipment rentals are available.
Brewery Creek Skating Rink
This lovely little creek is located in Gatineau. Under normal circumstances, there is a fantastic brewery nearby called BDT where you can warm up post-skate with a fresh beer. Access to the rink is limited so book your spot in advance on the website.
Refrigerated Skating Rinks in Ottawa
City of Ottawa rinks are operating across the city. The great thing about refrigerated rinks is you can skate regardless of conditions (except for inclement weather). Bookings open two days in advance and are limited for safety. All of these rinks are free. Register for a time slot here.
Rink of Dreams
You will find this beautiful rink outside of City Hall. There is a BeaverTail stand nearby so you can warm up with a treat and hot chocolate after you skate!
Lansdowne Pavilion probably has the prettiest rink in the downtown. It is especially beautiful at night! When you’re done skating, grab take out from a local restaurant nearby.
Jim Tubman Chevrolet Rink
This is a wonderful neighbourhood rink if you live near Canterbury High School. It’s also sheltered, which can be nice during harsh weather!
Benjamin Franklin Place
Choose Benjamin Franklin Place if you live near Algonquin College. This lovely asymmetrical rink is a really enjoyable place to skate.
Hours: Daily 7 AM-11 PM | Reservations: always required | Location
None of these rinks nearby? Scroll down on this City of Ottawa page to find a map of all the community rinks in the city. You can skate at these locations without a reservation (up to a maximum number of people on the ice, check for updates and signage).