Family-Friendly Skating Rinks in Toronto

Family Fun

Ice-skating, winter, and Toronto just go hand in hand (in hand). We have an abundance of free, family-friendly skating facilities across the city and skating in Toronto is the best type of fun. “It gets us out and exercising without feeling like its physical fitness,” says Amanda Burke, Scarborough-area mom of three. “It teaches new skills like balance, and builds confidence.” Another bonus is that skating is a great activity for families with kids that range in ages. Burke’s kids, who are 11, 5, and 3, all love skating together.

Not all rinks are city-run, but the City of Toronto has 50 free outdoor artificial skating rinks (find all public skating rinks), open from late November until March.

Only a few rinks offer rentals, so you will have to bring your own gear in most cases. Exceptions are noted below. CSA-approved hockey helmets are required for kids under age 6. Learn-to-skate programs are available at most rinks.

Following are our favourite outdoor rinks in Toronto for kids and families.

Greenwood Park

Toronto got its first-ever covered outdoor ice-skating rink, Greenwood Park, in November 2013. That’s right, an outdoor skating rink with a roof over it. That means the Leslieville park is ideal if it rains on the one day you promised you the kids you would take them skating. Experienced rink skaters in your family will also appreciate the novelty of an attached outdoor skating path.

150 Greenwood Ave. (at Gerrard St. E.), Toronto
Public skate daily 9 am–10 pm

Evergreen Brick Works

The Brick Works have quickly become a beloved destination for Torontonians with children. While summer brings a delight of sunny activities at this community environmental centre accessed from Bayview Avenue, the winter brings fantastic recreational fun here too. The rink is covered by a roof supported by wooden beams from the old brick factory. There are chairs for toddler skaters to borrow to steady themselves as they take baby steps on the ice and a scenic ice trail cooled by eco-friendly technology.

550 Bayview Ave., Toronto
Closed temporarily for restoration of the historic kiln building; call 416-596-1495 ext. 405 for updates

Skate rentals $5, helmet loans free for kids under 18

The Bentway Skating Trail

First opened in the winter of 2017/18, this 1.75-km figure-eight skating trail under the Gardiner Expressway is right downtown and has skating lessons and rentals. On weekends and Friday evenings, The Bentway hosts food and beverage on-site and for 2019 new warming stations and fire pits (and washrooms, too). Skate rentals are free on Thursdays (5–9 pm) along with free skate lessons for ages 6–adult. Follow the calendar for special events including après-skate events.

Under the Gardiner Expressway, Fort York Blvd. to Bastion St., Toronto
Public skate Mon.–Thu. 5–9 pm, Fri. 5–10 pm, Sat. noon–10 pm, Sun. noon–9 pm; extended ehours during holidays and on PA days
Skate rentals $10 adults, $5 kids; helmets (kids only) $5

Colonel Samuel Smith Park

This is the first rink in the city to offer an ice skating trail (in the a figure of eight). Near a stretch of wooded shoreline at Lake Shore Boulevard and Kipling Avenue, Colonel Samuel Smith Park‘s skating trail doesn’t offer skate rentals, so be sure to bring your own. It does, however, offer an indoor change room and washroom, and an area to the side of the trail for beginners to skate around. The park also has a dog off-leash area.

3145 Lakeshore Blvd. W. (near Kipling Ave.), Etobicoke
Public skate daily 9 am–10 pm

Nathan Phillips Square

Nathan Phillips Square is one of Toronto’s most magical places to skate, especially leading up to Christmas at dusk or after dark. Don’t count out the skating rink at City Hall after the holidays are over, though. The festive decorations might be gone, but so are the Christmas crowds. With the Queen Street subway stop and the Eaton Centre (and its bright new food court with lots of better-than-usual dining options) next door, this skating locale can make for a memorable half-day outing with the kids.

100 Queen St. W., Toronto
Daily 9 am–10 pm
Skate rentals $10 adults, $5 kids; helmet rentals $5 kids

Harbourfront Centre Natrel Rink

We can probably all agree this is the ice-skating rink to take your out-of-town family members to when they visit. Not only does the Natrel rink have a lovely lake view and cheerful, bustling vibe, it has an extensive Learn to Skate program for all ages and stages. That includes parent-and-tot classes, and even a Women Only Intro program. So if you’re learning to skate along with your kids, this might be a great place to start.

235 Queens Quay W., Toronto
Sun.–Thu. 9 am–10 pm, Fri.–Sat. 9 am–11 pm
Skate rentals (includes helmet) $13 adults, $8 students

Centennial Recreation Centre Scarborough

For some families with kids that are sensitive to crowds or loud environments, all you want is a really quiet place to go skating. And if the Polar Vortex strikes again, you might also want that to be inside. In that event, check out Centennial Recreation Centre, a versatile Scarborough indoor rink. There’s a hockey rink and a figure skating rink, and regulars report that it’s hardly every crowded.

1967 Ellesmere Rd., Scarborough
Skate times vary by week; see website

Dufferin Grove Park

Across the street from Dufferin Mall, Dufferin Grove Park has two modest-sized but welcoming rinks, one dedicated to shinny hockey and one to leisure skating. Another draw is the comfortable, family-friendly rink-house and the Zamboni Café snack bar with yummy light meals. If you can make it there on a Thursday before 7 pm, you can pick up a few groceries at the winter farmer’s market.

875 Dufferin St. (at Bloor St. W.), Toronto
Skate times vary by week; see website

Ledbury Park

This long, rectangular skating rink is between Avenue and Bathurst streets, north of Lawrence Avenue. What make Ledbury Park’s rink great are the spaciousness and the relaxed environs, both of which can be in short supply in the city. Plus, parents and guardians not out on the ice can still watch all the action from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the heated change area.

Ledbury Park, 160 Ledbury St., Toronto
Skate times vary by week; see website

Christie Pits Park

Not only is there a great rink to play some hockey or work on your figure skating technique at Christie Pits Park, but there’s also huge hills around the perimeter of the large park that make it a popular spot for tobogganing.

750 Bloor St. W., Toronto
Skate times vary by week; see website

High Park

The gorgeous High Park has plenty of wildlife, beautiful gardens and paths, the High Park Zoo and “castle” playground and an artificial rink. But it also has natural skating on Grenadier Pond. Check the ice report to see if it’s safe, and skate on a real pond, just like Canadians did a century ago!

1873 Bloor St. W., Toronto
Public skate daily but artificial rink times vary; check schedule

Rosedale Park

Rosedale Park features a large artificial rink surrounded by a large field with a baseball diamond, a playground, and street parking around the neighbourhood.

20 Scholfield Ave, Toronto
Public skate daily but times vary; check schedule

Albert Campbell Square

Check out the skating rink located between the Scarborough Civic Centre and Scarborough Town Centre. There’s lots of room to practice your skating and play some hockey with friends.

150 Borough Dr., Scarborough
Public skate daily 10 am–9:45 pm

Trinity Bellwoods Park

The main attraction through the winter at the ever-popular Trinity Bellwoods Park is an ice rink. The rink is located on the south of Dundas St. West on Gore Vale Avenue.

Dundas St. W. at Gore Vale Ave.
Skate times vary by week; see online schedule

West Mall Rink

Located across the street from the Etobicoke Civic Centre, it has a double padded ice rink with one leisure skate pad and one shinny pad—with lots of space for all levels of skaters to enjoy themselves.

370 The West Mall, Etobicoke
Skate times vary; see online schedule

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