Where to go ice skating in Montréal

Robyn Fadden

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.

This article was updated on December 5, 2022.

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.

Downtown ice dazzles

Right in the heart of downtown Montréal, Esplanade Tranquille becomes a skating rink from mid-November to March 2023. You might hear the music before you even see the illuminated outdoor rink at the corner of Saint-Catherine Street and Clark! Rent skates or bring your own for musical mid-day and early-evening skating sessions, watch for DJ nights and go “dancing” on the ice, and even learn a few moves from instructors on site.

 

Riverside in Old Montréal

The Old Port of Montréal ice skating rink is one of Montréal's most picturesque, with views of Old Montréal's historic architecture, including the neoclassical silver dome of Marché Bonsecours and the angels atop Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel (the one in the middle is the “Lady of the Harbour” in Leonard Cohen's song Suzanne), La Grande Roue de Montréal, the Jacques-Cartier Bridge and beyond. Among the city's biggest refrigerated outdoor rinks, it opens in early December and doesn't close until winter's over in mid-March, amping up the on-ice fun with DJ nights, cardio workouts, karaoke and other themed events. You'll also find skate rentals for all ages, lockers and Bistro Bonsecours, where you can warm up, sip hot chocolate and have a snack.

 

Big ice in the park

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 refrigerated 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. Natural surroundings, a city view and park amenities make Parc Jean-Drapeau a winter must: this year the park offers a special program of winter activities, including a skater's trail – if you don’t have your own equipment, rent it on site! Or try the pro-sized BLEU BLANC BOUGE refrigerated outdoor rink at Verdun's Willibrord Park, which also offers skate rentals.

 

Neighbourhood outdoor rinks

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.

(For information about outdoor skating rink conditions, check the Ville de Montréal Website.)

 

Cool indoors

For a different kind of ice skating experience – one you don’t need a parka for – skate indoors at Atrium Le 1000, a skating rink located in one of the city’s tallest buildings, Le 1000, accessible at street level and through the Underground Pedestrian Network. Music, seasonal lighting and year-round events add to the indoor rink lively atmosphere. Rent skates at the locker room below the rink, book a skating lessons for kids and adults, and even fuel your adventures at the nearby food court.

When you're off the ice and cozy at home, watch the Montréal Canadiens NHL team in action. And learn about Montréal's history as a port city (on a river frozen part of the year!) in exhibitions at the Pointe-à-Callière museum, Centre d'histoire de Montréal and Château Ramezay in Old Montréal, at the McCord Stewart Museum downtown and at the Musée de Lachine along the Lachine Canal.

To locate ice rinks near you (both indoor and outdoor locations) and check their conditions, get the free application Patinoires Montréal or consult Patiner Montréal’s map.

Robyn Fadden

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.

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