The Emera Oval is an outdoor year-round facility located on the Halifax Common. In the winter, the Emera Oval transforms into the largest outdoor, artificially refrigerated ice surface East of Quebec City equivalent to the size of three NHL hockey rinks.
The Emera Oval is now open for the winter season. Please check the schedule for closures due to weather or special events. Cancellations can happen at the last moment due to weather and ice conditions.
In addition to free public skates, the Emera Oval offers:
- Free equipment rentals
- Public washrooms
- First aid
- An accessible washroom, accessible parking and wheelchair access on the outside lane of the skating surface only
The Emera Oval will be closed for an event Feb. 18-25, 2023
We’re pleased to host the Prince Edward Island (PEI) Canada Winter Games’ long track speed skating events from Feb. 18-25. All are welcome to attend these events and cheer on the world-class athletes performing in our region.
The Emera Oval will be closed for public use during this time and will reopen on Feb. 27, 2023.
We encourage you to explore alternative options for free or low-cost public skates:
- LeBrun Arena, 36 Holland Ave., Bedford
- Halifax Forum, 2901 Windsor St., Halifax
- HRM 4-Pad, 61 Gary Martin Dr., Bedford
- RBC Centre, 259 Commodore Dr., Dartmouth
- Sackville Sports Stadium, 409 Glendale Dr., Lower Sackville
- Zatzman Sportsplex, 110 Wyse Rd., Dartmouth
- Centennial Arena, 27 Vimy Avenue, Halifax
- Cole Harbour Place, 51 Forest Hills Parkway, Dartmouth
- St. Margaret’s Centre arena, 12 Westwood Blvd., Upper Tantallon
- Spryfield Lions Rink and Recreation Centre, 111 Drysdale Rd, Halifax
- What are the rules and regulations for the Emera Oval?
Participation at The Emera Oval is at your own risk. The Emera Oval and the Halifax Regional Municipality are not responsible for any accident, injury, loss or damage. Helmets are mandatory for all users. In the winter, children 12 years of age and under must wear a CSA approved multi-impact helmet (hockey helmet). During the other seasons, users must wear a multi-impact or bicycle helmet while on the concrete surface.
Skaters may not enter the ice until the ice resurfacing is complete. Skaters must leave the ice promptly at the end of a session. Skates must be worn on ice surface at all times. Shoes and boots not permitted. Skaters should use appropriate speed during public sessions. During the
- Winter: Slower skaters use outside lane. Faster skaters use inside lane.
- Other seasons: Big wheels (bikes and trikes) use outside lane. Small wheels (skateboards, rollerblades, etc.) use inside lane.
- No more than two people may join hands; chain skating is not permitted.
- Hockey sticks, pucks or any type of equipment are not permitted.
- Eating or drinking is not permitted on ice surface.
- Strollers and wheelchairs are permitted on the ice in the outside lane, children in strollers must wear a CSA hockey helmet.
- Skate in a counterclockwise direction at all times.
- Please do not loiter in areas that may block major traﬃc ﬂow.
- Directions of Skating Monitors are to be obeyed at all times. Your safety is our utmost priority!
- Hockey helmets are mandatory for any registered municipal Skating/Sledge Lessons regardless of age.
- Do I need to register in advance to skate?
While individuals are not required to register in advance, organized group bookings for between 20 and 75 people should be made at least two weeks in advance. Visit our group bookings webpage for details.
- Do you also service equipment brought from home?
No. We do not service equipment brought from home. This includes filling tires, adjusting seats, tightening equipment, taking off training wheels, skate sharpening, etc.
- Is there a vending machine on-site for food and drink?
No. We encourage residents to eat and drink before visiting the Emera Oval or packing snacks and drinks to consume when you’re off the ice or concrete surface.
- Why is the Emera Oval closed?
Reasons for closures may include:
- Ice conditions
- Storm days (schools are closed)
- How do I get to the Emera Oval?
The Emera Oval is located on the Halifax North Common at the corner of North Street and Cogswell Street. We encourage individuals to use active transportation to get to the Emera Oval. This includes using Halifax Transit, bike lanes or walking.
- Where do I park?
There is no parking on site at the Emera Oval. We encourage individuals to use active transportation to get to the Emera Oval. This includes using Halifax Transit, bike lanes or walking.
- Can I use the Emera Oval anytime of the day or night?
Please refer to the Emera Oval schedule for times the surface is available to be used.
- What are safe helmet practices?
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A proper helmet should:
- Fit comfortably on top of your head and sit low on your forehead, just above the eyebrow.
- Not move if you shake your head.
- Have an outer shell, inner protective liner, chin straps that hold the helmet firmly in place, and adjustable sizing pads.
- Meet CPSC, CSA or Snell standards.
For additional information on helmet safety, visit the Province of Nova Scotia webpage on injury prevention and helmet use.
The Emera Oval offers free rentals during open hours. In order to borrow equipment, you must present a government issued photo ID, which includes a Driver’s License, Foreign Government ID, Permanent Residence, Passport, Firearm License, and student ID presented with a health card.
Free equipment rentals include:
- Hockey Skates
- Figure Skates
- Skate Aids
- Kick Sleds
Residents are also welcome to use the Emera Oval with their own human-powered equipment. E-powered or other fuel-powered equipment is not permitted to ensure the safety of all users.
Individuals not wearing a helmet may be subject to fines in accordance with provincial legislation. Helmets are for your safety and have been proven to reduce the risk of brain injury. You could also be fined $151.25 under the Motor Vehicle Act and have your wheeled transportation seized for up to 30 days for failing to wear your helmet.
In the winter, children 12 years and under must wear a CSA-approved multi-impact helmet (hockey helmet) that they can bring from home or borrow from us for free with a valid ID.Please check your helmets for expiry dates.
Helmets are mandatory for all users of the Emera Oval. Multi-impact or bicycle helmets are required for individuals biking, scootering, skateboarding, and skating. Helmets can be borrowed from our free equipment rentals with a valid ID.
We're pleased to offer the following adaptive equipment at the Emera Oval:
- A Hippocampe
- Four sledges
- Skate aids
*Please note that you must to be 18+ to ride the trikes and double trikes due to flipping hazards
Winter at the Oval
The Oval ice surface usually opens in December and closes in March of each year. The open and close dates are based on weather conditions and the safety of users. Follow @hfxrec or check this webpage for updates on the Oval winter schedule.
Contact the Emera Oval
Emera Oval Hotline: 902.490.2347