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Montreal: Patinoire des Quais

Parc du Bassin-Bonsecours, 514-496-7678


The Rink
Basin in front of the 168-year-old Marché Bonsecours, at one time Montreal’s City Hall, becomes a refrigerated, Zamboni-maintained skating rink.

The Amenities
A pavilion offers rentals, a changing room and a concession for snacks. Warm up in the nearby bistros on Place Jacques-Cartier and Rue Saint-Paul.

The Sights
Take in the Marché’s ­illuminated dome, plus great views of the Clock Tower and Old Montreal. On New Year’s Eve, look to the skies for a fireworks display.

The Tip
Weather permitting, a large natural ­section of the basin is also opened up to skaters. Each night of the week features a different musical theme; get ready to rock on Retro Fridays.

The Extra
project’s been on ice since it was dreamt up several years ago, plans are currently in the works by Parks Canada and the City of Montreal to open a section of the Lachine Canal, just west of the Old Port, to skaters.

Admission: adults: $6.75, children 6–12: $4.50, children under 6 free

Toronto: Nathan Phillips Square

100 Queen St. W., 416-392-2489


The Rink
The famous reflecting pool in the forecourt of the 50-year-old New City Hall is transformed into a refrigerated, Zamboni-maintained rink in late November.

The Amenities
A new pavilion offers skate rentals, a changing room and a snack bar, while restaurants and food vendors abound in the streets around the square.

The Sights
Skaters disport themselves in the shadow of the concrete Freedom Arches and New City Hall, Viljo Revell’s modernist masterpiece. Holiday lighting warms the downtown corridors of power.

The Tip
Nathan Phillips Square is home to what is arguably the nation’s most popular skating rink. Lace up on weekday ­mornings or at the end of the day to beat the crowds.

The Extra
The city’s 18-metre-tall Christmas tree lends an enchanting LED glow to the square as the annual Cavalcade of Lights rolls in with Saturday night skating parties and musical performances throughout the month of December.

Free admission

Tags

ENROUTE EDITION     MONTREAL     TORONTO     WINTER    

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