So Winter Break is sort of half over and so far, all you’ve done is vegetate at home or at your friend’s house. Toronto is a bit quiet during the Winter but this is Canada and apparently skating is in our blood, so there are tons of places to skate! It’s fun and it’s exercise! So rather than grumble about it, take advantage of the cold weather and skate! All of the venues listed here are free, though not all of them will have skate rentals. If you plan on going skating several times a year in your undergrad years, I highly recommend that you make a long-term investment (your feet probably won’t grow anymore anyways) in a pair of skates. Canadian Tire tends to sell skates for a fair price.
The experience of living in Toronto is not complete until you’ve skated at least once at Nathan Phillips Square. The lights at City Hall turn on at 6:00PM and it’s absolutely beautiful. I suggest going during a weekday and non-peak hours because the rink can get pretty crowded. As in really, really crowded. Skates can be rented for $10 for 2 hours. You will need a piece of government issued I.D. (such as a driver’s license) so that the skate rentals can ensure that you will return their skates.
The Natrel Pond at Harbourfront turns into an ice skating rink in the winter. There are skate rentals and adult rentals are $7. A driver’s licence, credit card, passport, birth certificate or citizenship card is required to rent skates and/or helmets.
If there’s a park nearby with an outdoor rink, you can skate there for most of the winter! The downside is that there probably aren’t any skate rentals and they’re open for specific hours for free skating (other time is set aside for hockey) but these rinks tend to be less crowded. For their hours of operation, search for your local park at the Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation site.
Evergreen Brick Works
The final renovations for Evergreen Brickworks have been completed and the winter has come, so they have opened their skating trail. This is probably one of the newest outdoor rinks in the city and it sounds absolutely fantastic. There are no skate rentals but the rink is extremely environmentally friendly: heat from the refrigeration system warms the Café building next door! Isn’t that cool!? Click here for hours of operation and more information.
Varsity Arena on campus (you might have written an exam here before) is an Olympic-sized rink that will be open to the public once term restarts on January 3rd and it will remain open until April 8th. The rink is open for recreational skating in the times listed here.