Want to skate under the Northern Lights in the city? Well, you will soon be able to… Kind of. The Bentway, Toronto’s skating trail under the Gardiner, will soon have a new aurora borealis-inspired installation.

According to the skating trail, its winter programming begins on December 16, and this year, skaters are invited back to cruise the 220m figure-eight skate trail under the Gardiner Expressway. New will be the soaring art installation above the trail, which they say is and “inspired by the glowing hues of the northern lights.”

This year, you can expect the return of free skate rental nights, free hot chocolate nights, beginner skate lessons, and the annual crowd-favourite Polar Bear Skate.

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the bentway
Image via Shane Parent/The Bentway

“New for this year, a colourful procession of woven arches stretches above the skate trail, bringing the magic and movement of the northern lights into the city,” states the Bentway’s description of the new installation.

“Inspired by the natural phenomenon of the aurora borealis and the role of weaving in their cultures, Canadian artistic duo Yi Zhou and Carlos Portillo’s installation The Gateway accentuates the monumental architecture of the Gardiner with vibrant hues of green, blue, violet, and magenta.”

Starting on December 16 and running until January 7, the Bentway will be open daily from 12 PM to 9 PM.

After the holidays, from January 8 to February 19, the Bentway will be open on weekends, holidays, and TDSB Elementary P.A. days, it will be open 12 PM to 9 PM.On weekdays, it will be open from 5 PM to 9 PM.

If you’re looking for free hot chocolate, Mondays will be the day to go – with free hot chocolate offered before or after skating from 5 PM to close.

As for the Polar Bear Skate, The Bentway’s “wildest winter tradition”, Torontonians are invited to strip down to their skivvies (or bathing suits!) and skate the trail for a good cause on December 31 at noon.

Also new this year, there will be a Holiday Market at The Bentway’s Strachan Gate every Saturday and Sunday from December 2-31, hosted by Street Eats Market.

There, organizers say you can artisan market, sugar shack, food stalls, and much more, all with free admission!

Get ready for a fun winter under the Gardiner, Toronto!

The Bentway

Where: 250 Fort York, under the Gardiner