Skating Rink

COVID-19: As of August 1, the grounds of Rideau Hall are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. via Sussex Gate. Public tours and in-person events at Rideau Hall are postponed until further notice. For more information, please visit Rideau Hall/COVID-19.

A family of four (2 parents and 2 young children) skating. Winter Pavilion in the background.

The outdoor skating rink was originally built in 1872, during the mandate of the Earl of Dufferin, Canada’s third governor general. Along with his wife, Lady Dufferin—who quickly became a keen skater herself—he organized many skating parties during his stay at Rideau Hall. Take a step back in time and go for a skate on this historic rink, now refrigerated to extend the skating season.

Due to COVID-19, the skating experience at Rideau Hall will be a little different than in the past, but we are doing everything possible to ensure this magical winter tradition can continue to be available to visitors this year, in as safe a way as possible. Thank you in advance for your co-operation.

Skating Schedule

This year, due to public health restrictions, skating is available by reservation only. To ensure physical distancing, there is a maximum of 20 visitors allowed per time slot. Please note that the rink may be shared with other groups of visitors.

December 11, 2020, to March 14, 2021* (weather-permitting)

Open daily, for a 1.5 hour timeslot between 10 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., by reservation only. Timeslots are available at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. or 6 p.m. 

The skating rink will be closed on December 25 and 26, 2020, as well as January 1, 2 and 3, 2021.

Reservation Procedures

Reservations are accepted on a month-by-month basis. Visitors must submit their request via email (guide@gg.ca) to reserve a date and time slot within that month.

  • Reservations for December will be open as of November 16, 2020.
  • Reservation for January will be open as of December 1, 2020.
  • Reservations for February will be open as of January 4, 2021.
  • Reservation for March will be open as of February 1, 2021.

Reservations will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, as each time slot can only accommodate a maximum of 20 visitors. Please send an email to guide@gg.ca to reserve.

Guidelines for users

  • Due to COVID-19, the Winter Pavilion will be closed this season. An outdoor space with a fire pit and picnic tables will be set up for visitors.
  • On-site parking is not available. Parking is available on the adjacent streets in the neighborhood.
  • For reservations at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., or 2 p.m., please enter on foot through the Sussex Gate. For reservations at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., please enter on foot through the Princess Gate.
  • The rink is maintained on a daily basis; however, we cannot guarantee the ice conditions or maintenance if a snowfall occurs during your visit.
  • The rink at Rideau Hall is for leisure skating only. Hockey sticks, pucks and roughhousing are not permitted.
  • Pets are not permitted at the facility.
  • It is recommended that all skaters wear helmets.
  • Light snacks such as cookies and non-alcoholic drinks are permitted.
  • Appliances such as hot plates and crock pots are not permitted.
  • Food cannot be delivered to the site.
  • Food or beverages are not allowed on the rink.
  • Smoking and alcoholic beverages are strictly forbidden on-site.
  • For your safety, please do not walk in the wooded area near the skating rink; remain within the designated skating rink area.
  • Rideau Hall will provide music for your skating pleasure.

COVID-19 Health and Security Measures

  • Visitors are asked to follow all public health protocols.
  • All activities will be held outdoors to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to promote physical distancing.  As such, the Winter Pavilion will be closed except for first aid emergencies.
  • While on the rink, visitors are asked to keep a two-metre distance from others at all times. When physical distancing is not an option, please wear a mask or face covering.
  • For contract tracing purposes, OSGG will require contact information for each participating household.
  • Picnic tables will be placed outside as spaces for visitors to place items and to put on their skates.
  • An outdoor fire pit will be set up for visitors to use for warmth.
  • The public washrooms at the Stable Building will be open for use and maintained as per public health guidelines.

Rideau Hall is a working residence and official events may require unforeseen changes to your visit.

As this is an outdoor facility, the schedule may vary during the season according to weather conditions. Please consult our website for up to date information.