5 skating rinks to try this winter

Ice skating has proved to be a great sport for family and friends to enjoy together, it helps relax and free our mind of our daily busy life.

Ottawa city has the most outdoor skating rinks in Canada. With over 250 outdoor skating rinks, this is one winter activity that shouldn’t be missed!

Canada, with its generally cold and snowy winters shares a love for many winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding and curling but skating and hockey have always been among the favourites. As Canada's capital, Ottawa houses more than 1.25 million inhabitants whom many are big fans of the country’s national winter sport.

Here are just a few rinks throughout the city of Ottawa that you need to check out this season!

Rideau Canal

Ottawa's Rideau Canal, which has been dubbed the world's largest skating rink at 7.8 kilometers long, has an average of 20,000 visitors per day and close to a million annually! Winding through the center of the city, it's not only easy to access but is also open 24 hours a day! Skaters can find parking at the Rideau Centre, Dows Lake and at the World’s exchange plaza to name a few.

Along the way you'll find heated changing huts, hot chocolate stands, activities and BeaverTails! Created in 1978, this delicious deep fried dough pastry is a must-try! If you don't have skates, don`t worry! Sleighs and skates can be rented at various Skateway locations. 

Sens Rink of Dreams

The Sens Rink of Dreams gives its visitors a magical feel. Having a refrigerated surface, the rink is able to open from mid November to mid March. It’s open from 6am to 11pm all week long, which means plenty of time to admire the cityscape that surrounds it and the sunlight reflecting off the skyscrapers. But it’s when it turns dark that the rink gives an otherworldly feel with multicolored lights illuminating its surface. 

The Lansdowne Skating Court

The Lansdowne Skating Court has free skating sessions which makes it a great spot to start skating. Its surface is refrigerated and smooth, allowing it to stay open longer and making it easy for beginners to skate. It’s conveniently located south of Ottawa’s downtown core.

Rideau Hall Skating Court

This outdoor skating court, originally built in 1872, resides next to the stunning heritage building, Rideau Hall. Built during the mandate of Earl Dufferin, Canada's third governor general organized many skating parties during his stay at Rideau Hall. Before you lace up your skates, journey through a small exhibit about the history of winter sports at Rideau Hall. Like the governor and his wife, you can host your own private skating party. Reserve the skating rink for up to an hour and a half with 20 or more friends.

Lac Des Loups

Less than an hour away from Ottawa you’ll find a charming 3-kilometre frozen trail that lets you explore the natural beauty of the Lac Des Loups. If you’re in need of a hot drink, you can buy one and warm up at the chalet. If skating isn't in your favour, you can also go snowshoeing and walking through trails. The ice is smooth and perfect for families to enjoy a day away from the city.

What would Canadian winters be without outdoor skating rinks? Skating has a big impact on Canada. It's one of the many things we are known for! It’s a healthy exercise that helps you build up stamina, joint flexibility, better balance, cardio and even mental fitness as you clear your mind of your daily stress and enjoy the beautiful scenery while gliding across the ice.