Canada’s capital is home to a whopping 250 outdoor skating rinks, which makes Ottawa nothing short of one of the best spots in Canada to visit this winter for outdoor activities.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner and some of us desperately looking for fun (and inexpensive) date ideas, Ottawa’s rinks have got you covered. A majority of the rinks we’re listing here are open free to the public, which means you don’t have to break the bank.
Here are 7 of our favourite outdoor rinks you need to check out in these last few months of winter:
1. Lansdowne Park Skating Court
The rink at Lansdowne offers free public skating daily from 6am to 11pm. And hey, since it’s right in the heart of Lansdowne, you’re super close to some of Ottawa’s trendiest bars and restaurants. Note: There’s no skate rentals at the rink, so you’ll have to bring your own.
2. Rideau Hall
Skate at the Governor General’s house. This rink, dating back to the 1870s, is open to the public from noon until 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays. They just renovated the Winter Pavilion on the property for Canada’s 150th, so make sure you to check this one out. Just make sure to bring your own skates.
3. The Sens Rink Of Dreams
Skate in front of City Hall at the colourful Rink of Dreams. It’s free to the public daily from 6am to 11pm and they even offer skate rentals and sharpening on weekends in the afternoon and evenings. The rink is right across Confederation Park, so you can easily check out the Winterlude ice sculptures before or afterwards.
4. Lac Des Loups
Just a short one hour drive from Ottawa, take a magical skate through this 3km rink through the Quebec wilderness. It’s $12 a day for adults and you must bring your own skates, but this might just be the most unique rink around the city.
5. Brewer Oval
This 400m oval rink in Brewer Park is just walking distance from Carleton U and is perfect for students studying nearby. It’s typically open to the public for free daily from 9am until 10pm, except on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when the Ottawa Pacers are doing their speed skating practices. For more info on their schedule you can check it out on their website here. Also: Must bring your own skates.
6. Ben Franklin Place
This cute rink in Centrepointe is perfect for the west enders who don’t want to mission downtown. Open daily for free from 11am to 8pm. Note: Must bring your own skates.
7. The Rideau Canal
Didn’t think we’d forget this one, did you? It’s been dubbed the world’s largest skating rink and its full 7.8km is open right now. Since it’s the city’s biggest tourist attraction, you can rent your skates at Capital Skates on their website here. However, since the canal literally cuts through the entire city, you can rent skates at a number of locations.
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