Skating in Ottawa

As winter wanders the streets of Ottawa, whether cold and grey or clear and sparkling, it’s time to consider winter sports, including Skating in Ottawa.

Of course, right at the top of the list is the free skating that is available at Ottawa’s Rideau Canal…once reputed to be the world’s longest skating rink.

Rideau Canal Skating in Ottawa

“The Rideau Canal – designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site – becomes the world’s largest skating rink every winter! Romantic strolls, exciting outings for the children and a festive atmosphere… so grab your skates and get ready for an unforgettable experience!” this an excerpt from the NCC website about skating on the canal.

Skating on the Rideau Canal

Skating on the Rideau Canal - www.all-about-ottawa.comFor a couple of months each winter, when temperatures hover at or below the freezing point, Ottawa’s NCC (National Capital Commission) ploughs the ice surface of the Rideau Canal from right downtown Ottawa all the way to Dow’s Lake turning the heritage site into a skating wonderland.

Huts, benches and kiosks (offering among other things Ottawa’s own Beavertails confection) provide the skating visitor with eating establishments and comfort stations.

For more information about Skating on the Rideau Canal, or to check the ice conditions on any specific day, please visit – – for information and a virtual tour.

Rideau Hall Skating

Rideau Hall’s famous outdoor skating rink was built way back in 1872, by Lord Dufferin.

The sons of Lord Stanley, yes he of the hotly and annually contested (except when there is a strike on!) Stanley Cup, skated on this rink.

The Rideau Hall skating rink is usually open from January through March, weather permitting. Come skate! Remember, it’s an outdoor rink so dress appropriately.

For more information about Rideau Hall skating visit – – and follow the links to the skating information page.

Ottawa’s RA Centre

  • 2451 Riverside Drive
    K1H 7X7

For those that choose to become members of the recreation association at the RA Centre, public skating and skating instruction is available.

Visit the RA website – – to get more information on their skating facilities, up to date hours, and location.

Barbara Ann Scott Arena

(Pinecrest Recreation Complex)
2250 Torquay Avenue
K2C 1J3
Tel: 613-828-3118

For more information about dates and times please visit:

Bell Sensplex

With four rinks, a bias towards competitive hockey, and offering rink time for organized pick-up hockey, if you are at all hockey inclined, consider the Bell Sensplex as your skating in Ottawa headquarters. Ice can be rented for private use if desired.

1565 Maple Grove Road
Kanata, ON.
K2V 1A3
Tel: (613) 599-0363

Lansdowne Park

Here is free skating from early a.m. until late p.m., weather and rink clearing permitting. You will need to bring your own skates, and since this locale is part of the Lansdowne complex, eating and drinking facilities are nearby.

More info? Visit:

Skate at Ottawa City Hall

It’s called the Rink of Dreams, open very early until late seven days a week, weather and snow clearing permitting, and the facility offers skate rental and skate sharpening as well.

Visit their site:

Skate Trails in the Forest

Skating in the Forest -


It’s about 45 minutes from Ottawa, a distance that could be problematical on a snowy winters day, yet if you are enthused about skating through a forest, why not enjoy their 3 km of cleared and accessible ice trails. Check out the local wildlife? Enjoy skating up in the heated facilities.

For more info visit:



Do you offer Ottawa Area Skating Facilities?

If you offer public skating in an around Ottawa, post your information here to provide details for Ottawans and visitors alike. If you found a good place to skate in and around Ottawa, why not let everyone know? Just add a comment with details.