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Family Fun / Outdoor Adventure / Seasonal January 7, 2021

Everything You Need to Know About Skating at the Emera Oval in 2021

Last updated: January 26, 2021

Register to skate here: Emera Oval Pre-Registration

It’s a local winter staple; a winter outing to the Halifax Common for a skate on the beloved Emera Oval, perhaps followed by stop in at one of the nearby local cafes for a hot chocolate and a bite to eat.

Of course, as with many long-standing traditions in the era of COVID-19, traditions must be adapted to ensure that our community stays healthy and safe. Fortunately for Halifax, the city’s most popular outdoor skating destination has done just that; the Emera Oval is open for the 2021 season – complete with updated health and safety protocols. Read on to find out what’s changed for 2021.

New COVID-19 Safety Measures

In consultation with public health, new COVID-19 safety measures for the Emera Oval include:

– reduced ice capacity
– pre-registration
– mandatory masks in the building
– enhanced cleaning for our skate and helmet rentals

Ice Capacity

This year, the Emera Oval will have a reduced capacity to follow current public health guidelines.

Effective Wednesday, January 27, the Emera Oval will be increasing to 240 skaters per skate time. With this increased capacity, physical distancing may not always be possible, which is why non-medical masks will now be mandatory at all times, including on the ice surface.

Staff will continue to explore increasing the capacity to allow for more skaters, while maintaining public health measures.


Effective Monday, January 25, skaters can register on a 48-hour rolling schedule, meaning you can book up to 48 hours in advance of a desired skate time.

How to Register:
1. Online: Register online here
2. By Phone: Call 902-490-6666 anytime from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

NOTE: Once registered, be sure to check the Emera Oval schedule online, as weather and ice conditions can cancel an open skate session. If registration is cancelled due to weather, participants must register for a new session. 

Skate & Helmet Rentals

Free equipment loans, including skates and helmets, will be available in limited quantities.* Equipment is available on a first come, first serve basis. Skaters are encouraged to bring their own equipment where possible.

Reminder: A valid government photo ID is required for borrowing equipment. Helmets are mandatory for all children under the age of 12, and are recommended for all skaters.

* Rentals are limited to ensure there is proper time for sanitization after use. In a standard year, rentals can be limited due to size availability. There will be approximately 700 pairs of recreational, hockey, figure skates and about 150 helmets.
* Please note that the red “skating helpers” will not be available this year. Registered skaters can bring their own skating aids, as they have been able to do in past seasons.


A reminder to skaters that as per the provincial public health order, non-medical face masks are required in all indoor public places, including hallways and washrooms.

Effective Wednesday, Jan. 27 non-medical masks are mandatory at all times, including on the ice surface. 

Emera Oval Info & Updates

For updates on the Emera Oval, residents can visit, or follow on Twitter at @hfxrec and @hfxgov.

Please note that there will not be any skating lessons, or other programming offered at the Oval this season.

Get out there, enjoy the winter weather, and stay safe!