Where to go ice skating in Montréal
This article was updated on January 7, 2020.
Ice skating in Montréal is as classic as poutine, bagels and the view from Mount Royal. Whether you're here with family, friends or solo, own skates or rent them, here to glide like an Olympian or learn the basics, a skate around the city's festive rinks always make for a memorable time.
Ice skating stands out as one of the highlights of Montréal's many winter activities because it's a great way to see the city and its people while getting some exercise that'll add a rosy glow to your cheeks. Go for a skate at the Beaver Lake ice skating rink in the famed surroundings of Mount Royal Park and on the natural ice surface in beautiful and quaint Parc La Fontaine in the Plateau neighbourhood – you can rent skates and get skates sharpened at both parks. Or try the pro-sized BLEU BLANC ROUGE refrigerated outdoor rink at Verdun's Willibrord Park, which also offers skate rentals.
If you have your own skates, head to the pond in Parc Jarry near Little Italy and along the wide ice paths in Parc Maisonneuve (near the Montréal Botanical Garden and Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium). Many smaller city parks also feature charming outdoor skating rinks and boarded hockey rinks, such as Parc Saint-Viateur in Outremont, Parc Sir-Wilfrid-Laurier and Parc Jeanne-Mance in the Plateau and Parc Toussaint-Louverture near the Saint-Laurent metro station downtown.
Old Montréal and beyond
Take Old Montréal's cobblestone streets down to the Old Port of Montréal ice skating rink next to the St. Lawrence River, a festively lit, refrigerated rink with themed music nights, skate rentals, skate sharpening and more. In late January and early February, family-focused winter festival Fête des neiges de Montréal includes a meandering ice skating path with river views in Parc Jean-Drapeau, also home to Environment Canada's geodesic-domed Biosphère and history-rich Stewart Museum.
If the weather isn't cooperating or you just prefer to skate indoors, it's time for Atrium Le 1000. Located on the main floor of one of downtown's tallest and most recognizable skyscrapers, the bright and airy rink features skate rentals and sharpening, a food court and a direct underground link to Bonaventure metro station.
When you're off the ice, watch the Montréal Canadiens NHL action at the Bell Centre. If you're here in mid-March 2020, Montréal hosts the ISU World Figure Skating Championships for the first time since 1932. Or cheer for hockey and other pro winter sports with food, drink and company at the best sports bars in Montréal. And learn about Montréal's history as a port city (on a river frozen part of the year!) at the Pointe-à-Callière museum, Centre d'histoire de Montréal and Château Ramezay in Old Montréal, at the McCord Museum downtown and at the Musée de Lachine along the Lachine Canal.
Robyn Fadden, blogger
Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.