10 Free Toronto Skating Rinks That Aren’t Overcrowded With Tourists

Toronto Skating Rinks
Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash.
Toronto Skating Rinks
Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash.

We love the rinks at Nathan Philips Square and the Harbourfront as much as the next guy or gal, but with so many people on the ice, we try to limit those trips to special occasions.

READ: 5 Tips To Build Your Own Backyard Rink

Fortunately, the city has dozens of free rinks you can take advantage of this winter. Whether you live on the east end, west end, north of the city or right downtown, there are plenty of options for skaters with or without their own skates.

READ: Toronto’s Only Outdoor Summer Skating Rink Is FREE And Waiting For You At Ontario Place

Below, we rounded up our 10 favourite Toronto skating rinks to help you find a rink you can actually skate on… and not just one to take pictures on.

The Bentway

 

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Address: Fort York to Bathurst
Hours: 11 a.m to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Cost of skate rentals: $10

Possibly the busiest rink on this list, The bentway skate trail is a one-kilometre figure eight rink located underneath the Gardiner Expressway between Strachan and Bathurst. Located close to Fort York and Liberty Village, this rink is a mere 10-minute walk for the almost 70,000 condo dwellers in the area. Stop by on a Friday night to listen to a live DJ while you skate and to get free figure skating lessons!

Ontario Place

 

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Address: 955 Lake Shore West.
Hours: Monday to Thursday 6-10 p.m., Friday 6-11 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Cost of skate rentals: $5-$10

Overlook Lake Ontario and Ontario Place’s stunning light display at their new synthetic rink. The Polymer “ice” can withstand all weather conditions and was designed with metal-bladed skates in mind. But the best part is, no bumps!

Sherbourne Common

 

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Address: 61 Dockside Dr.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
No skate rentals available.

This small rink is perfect for skaters who want nothing to do with crowds. Close to Sugar Beach, the area is quiet in the winter so you’ll have plenty of room to practice your twirls, jumps and glides.

Colonel Samuel Smith Skating Trail

 

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Address: 65 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Dr.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
No skate rentals available

Enjoy the ice without the crowds. This beautiful outdoor rink is made even more stunning thanks to the outdoor scenery. Located close to the lake, this trail is perfect for families looking to spend the day outdoors. And don’t forget to bring your dog, there’s an off-leash park close by.

High Park

 

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Address: 1873 Bloor St. W.
Hours: Various see here for details
No skate rentals available

High Park has not just one rink, but two! Grenadier Pond is one of the prettiest places to go skating in the city. The natural pond is tested daily to ensure the ice is safe for skating. Be sure to check the High Park website before leaving for the latest on ice conditions and hours. Alternatively, you can skate on the man-made rink.

Evergreen Brick Works

 

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Address: 550 Bayview Ave.
Hours: Friday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesdays 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
No skate rentals available

Bring your skates to one of the city’s most picturesque rinks. Skating under the exposed beams and twinkling lights of The Evergreen Brick Works is truly an experience you won’t find anywhere else. The rink is also used for lessons and can be rented out for private parties.

Mel Lastman Square

 

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Address: 5100 Yong St.
Hours: Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
No skate rentals available

Nestled in the heart of the North York Civic centre, this large rink is great for late night skaters and those who live north of the 401. Being on the Yonge line certainly doesn’t hurt either.

CF Shops At Don Mills Skating Oval

 

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Address: 1090 Don Mills Road
Hours: Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m to 6 p.m.
No skate rentals available

Take a break from your shopping to go skating… or maybe it’s the other way around. Either way, the Shops At Don Mills offers skaters and shoppers the best of both worlds. And if that wasn’t incentive enough to stop by the rink, every Friday night, starting Jan. 25, there will be live performances on the ice. Weekends at the Shops will also be a lot more enjoyable if you stop by the rink for goodies from Jack Astors and other sponsors before you start running your errands on Saturday mornings. See the event schedule for more details on events and giveaways at the rink.

Rennie Park

 

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Address: 1 Rennie Terrace
Hours: Varied see schedule for details.
No skate rentals available

Another rink and trail duo. Rennie Park has both a fenced in hockey rink and a small trail for pleasure skaters.

Greenwood Arena

 

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Address: 150 Greenwood Ave.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
No skate rentals available

With both a figure-eight trail and a covered outdoor rink, this is the perfect spot for a family skate. The ice is well maintained and the crowds are minimal making this rink a major contender for the best in the entire city.

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