Lacing Up at Robson Square

Robson Square Skating Rink Photo: Rob Weiss

Spending my early childhood years in Calgary, Alberta, I was never far from the ice. Growing up at the local outdoor skating rink I spent my formative years enjoying endless hours of figure skating and good old-fashioned shinny hockey. Unsure where the time has gone, I am embarrassed to admit, it has been a few years since I last put blades on my feet. In a valiant attempt to revisit my youth, I promised myself I would lace up and brave the outdoor rink at Robson Square.

Photo: Rob Weiss

Unfortunately, I must report that ice skating is not like riding a bicycle. The skill set does not come back quickly. In my mind, I envisioned myself turning, gliding and jumping like our Canadian figure skating darling, Tessa Virtue. In reality, I spent a great deal of time on my rear end, gazing up at those on ice experts who effortlessly glided past me. Despite my shaky start, I soon found my “ice legs” and managed to skate a few obligatory circles without hurting myself or causing harm to others.

Photo: Rob Weiss

I am thrilled to report that the ambience of an outdoor rink has not changed. Groups of strangers skating in circles, young lovers holding hands, music pumping in the background and staff members affectionately referred to as “rink rats” reminding us to stay in control and change direction when the ice gets choppy. A shared joy of outdoor activity emanates from the chilled surface. Young and old come together in a single solitary purpose: to get in as many laps in as possible before being asked to clear the ice and welcome the Zamboni. Moreover, speaking of Zamboni’s, old traditions hold true. Youngsters flock to the boards to wave at the Zamboni driver, dreaming of the day that they too might drive such a magical machine.

Photo: Rob Weiss

Although my skill level was suspect, I exuded joy after skating just a few laps. Maybe, just maybe, the Robson Square ice rink is the fountain of youth!

Ready to lace up?

Located at 800 Robson Street, the Robson Square ice rink is easily accessible by transit. Skating is free, and skate rentals are available.

Hours of Operation:

  • SUNDAY to THURSDAY: 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • FRIDAY and SATURDAY: 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM

Holiday Hours:

  • Christmas Eve (Dec. 24): 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  •  Christmas Day (Dec. 25): 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
  •  Boxing Day (Dec. 26): 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  •  New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31): 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM
  •  New Year’s Day (Jan. 1): 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM*Skate rental ends 30mins prior to close
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