Whether you are looking for a Montreal skating rink to impress your date or seeking out a budget-friendly rink where you can entertain the whole family, there will be a skating rink to suit you. And some of the best experiences Montreal can be had on a subzero surface.
Knowing Montreal's wonky weather, it's important to check skating rink conditions online first and then make plans to go skating. And if that doesn't work out you can consider this top Montreal indoor skating rink as an alternative.
While most rinks rent skates, you may want to consider purchasing a pair if you plan to go skating more than three times in a season. In fact, if you have your own skates, you may be tempted to go more often. (The United States Figure Skating Association states that a 150-pound person can burn anywhere from 600 to 800 calories an hour while skating and improve muscle tone and balance—so if you're looking to shed some winter weight, skating is a fun way to do it!).
Parc La Fontaine
Parc La Fontaine is a popular place for free skating. The park has long, tree-lined ice paths, a welcome alternative to going round and round in a standard oblong-shaped arena. It's great for nature lovers on the hunt for a more authentic woodsy skating experience in the heart of the city.
Parc La Fontaine features unboarded ice paths as well as two standard boarded rinks. It's a great skating destination for just about everyone, from hockey players who can play a game in the standard rinks, to families who require bathrooms, equipment rentals, and proper locker rooms. The rinks are ideal for friends on tight budgets looking for a free way to get active and have fun together.
Right on the Old Port, just below Old Montreal's Marché Bonsecours, the Bonsecours Basin outdoor skating rink ranks high in flash and visual value and is a great place to bring a date, friends from out of town, and family. The rink can get crowded on weekends, but there's still room on that ice, even with a crowd.
You'll pay admission fees in addition to ice skate rental fees. Its refrigerated rink also allows for a longer and more stable skating season. It takes more than a sudden winter thaw to break it down.
The area is a destination for tourists and locals alike. Bonsecours Basin is in the general vicinity of several Montreal tourist destinations, from one of North America's most beautiful churches to the birthplace of Montreal and of course, the Bonsecours Market. The rink is a ten-minute walk from several Old Montreal hot spots, including Kyo, Flyjin and Velvet.
Olympic Park (Village Mammouth)
Out of all of Montreal's best skating rinks, the Olympic Park's rink is possibly the most desirable skating destination for families. The area is in a convenient location, has equipment rentals, and offers an abundance of activities suitable for kids both big and small, including a 24-foot long snow tubing slide.
It costs up to $20 to park in the Village itself. Free street parking is available nearby but it risks being a lengthy trek to and from the skating rink. As for food, there's a restaurant and wafer stand on location. Prices aren't exactly a steal, so do factor in these costs. There's also an admission fee for access to the rink, even if you bring your own skates.
Here it is, speed demons. This is your skating rink. The skating surface is huge. There's still a comfortable amount of spacing between skaters on a busy day on that oblong track. Just remember to bring your own skates. No equipment rentals are offered at Parc Maisonneuve.
And like the Olympic Village skating rink, you're in the thick of Montreal's nature museums, top city attractions in their own right.
Parc Jean-Drapeau has some great ice paths. These paths are only maintained for a few short weeks in January and February.
Consisting of a long, 1.5-km skating stretch situated near the St. Lawrence River, Parc Jean-Drapeau's outdoor ice paths offer a delightful forest-lined experience in addition to choice views of the city. Overall, this is a great option for families and nature lovers who need a break from the city without actually leaving the city. The only pain is having to change into your skates outdoors. There are lockers on location, but again, they're outdoors.
Beaver Lake (Lac aux Castors)
Beaver Lake (Lac aux Castors in French), an outdoor skating destination atop Montreal's sort-of mountain, Mount Royal, is a hit with both locals and visitors, so much so that the rink gets really crowded. Mount Royal Park is iconic, and the winter activities offered at that one spot are unbeatable. You've got snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snow tubing.
Beaver Lake is a fantastic spot to bring kids and the whole family when traveling by car. You can also hop on the 11 Bus and head up the mountain year-round, but unless you time things perfectly for the bus ride home, you can be stuck in the chilly winter wind at the bus stop. Waiting 20 minutes with a wind chill is not fun after you've been skating, and there are no corner stores or fast-food joints nearby to step inside to warm up.
If you are a foodie and love skating, get thee to Parc Jarry's skating rink located on its artificial lake. And when you're done, head down to the Jean-Talon Market for some lunch and maybe purchase a few tasty morsels to go.
You'll need to bring your own skates. There aren't any skate rentals on location.
Located at the foot of Mount Royal Park, Jeanne Mance Park's skating rink is more easily accessible by public transit than Beaver Lake's refrigerated rink. And unlike its picturesque counterpart, Jeanne Mance Park offers not just a recreational rink but a hockey-friendly one too.
But do bring your own skates. While there are bathrooms and a lodge to change into your skates, there aren't any equipment rentals.
Verdun's Bleu Blanc Rouge
Made possible by the Montreal Canadiens Children's Foundation, the Verdun skating rink, Bleu Blanc Rouge, is one of a handful of outdoor rinks in Montreal to be equipped with a refrigerated surface that allows for a longer skating season.
Costing $1 million to build, the rink stays true to the National Hockey League's official rink size requirements—200 feet by 85 feet (61 meters by 26 meters)—identical dimensions to those of the Bell Centre's rink, the arena host to Montreal Canadiens home games.
Welcoming hockey players as well as recreational skaters, Verdun's Bleu Blanc Rouge is not only a sure bet in the winter, it's open year-round as the rink is adapted to suit roller hockey in warmer months.
Atrium le 1000
Atrium le 1000 is an indoor rink. However, it gets brutally full, so full that most of your ice time is spent dodging collisions.
If you absolutely cannot stand crowds, then go on an early weekday evening. It's empty, filling up a bit more on Thursdays and Fridays. There are plenty of food court eats here, and they have equipment rentals on location.