The GTA is turning cold and that means only one thing. It's time to start planning those winter activities to ensure your social life doesn't die out with the warmth. For anyone who loves strapping on the blades and gliding away, this list of six outdoor skating rinks in Toronto and the GTA will help you get an early start on your adventure planning.

Skating is a great way to get out and enjoy the crisp winter air. Whether it's in a rink or on any one of Ontario's great skating trails, it's guaranteed fun with a few friends, on a date, or just to brighten your winter. And, the great thing is, it really doesn't matter how skilled you are. There's no need to sweat it if you fall on your butt, because we've all done it!

Things can get pretty frigid in GTA winters, so don't forget to bundle up. And while you're at it, run out and grab a drink, such as coffee, hot chocolate, or even apple cider, to warm you up.

So, before you bundle up this winter, check out this list of neat — and free — outdoor skating spots across the GTA. All of these rinks are free admission, but most will charge for the rental of skates on-site.

Nathan Phillips Square

Price: Free

Address: 100 Queen St. W., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: When it comes to skating in downtown Toronto, this is arguably the iconic spot. It's easily accessible and close to transit with its central location, and you can skate in front of the famous Toronto sign. 


Natrel Rink @ Harbourfront Centre

Price: Free

Address: 235 Queens Quay W., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Natrel Rink, on the shore of Lake Ontario offers a breathtaking view of the water and Toronto's skyline. Make sure you bring a camera, as this is half skate op, half photo op!



Colonel Samuel Smith Park 

Price: Free

Address: 3145 Lakeshore Blvd. W., Etobicoke, ON

Why You Need To Go: This skating trail allows you get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown life and bit closer to nature. Think of it as a sort of skating escape.


Bentway Skate Trail

Price: Free

Address: Under the Gardiner Expressway, 250 Fort York Blvd., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: How many places can you go skating under a huge expressway? Under the Gardiner turns into a free-skating trail each winter. If you haven't tried it yet, make this the year!


Sherbourne Common

Price: Free

Address: 61 Dockside Dr., Toronto, ON. 

Why You Need To Go: Another rink found virtually on the shores of Lake Ontario, this is a popular winter hub. What it may lack in flashiness, it more than makes up for in atmosphere. 


Gage Park

Price: Free

Address: 45 Main St. S., Brampton, ON

Why You Need To Go: As Brampton's oldest city park, this place has a serious retro and small-town feel to it. But it becomes a beautiful winter wonderland when the weather turns snowy, and you can skate right through it.


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