The Canada 150 Rink on Parliament Hill opens to the public today, but don't expect to just show up and start skating. You'll need to book in advance to be able to take a spin on the NHL-size ice surface in the shadow of the Peace Tower. 

Passes for the 40-minute skating sessions on Parliament Hill are free and available online two days in advance.

Daily reservations begin at noon, and you can book up to six passes at a time. But don't dawdle — many of the first available slots are already full.

Groups of up to 50 can also book weekend slots by emailing

Ice rink opens parliament hill

The ice rink on Parliament Hill opened on Thursday. (Mathieu Theriault/CBC)

Activities on the rink will include public skating, minor hockey games, ice sport demonstrations and an Ottawa Senators alumni game, according to the Canada 150 Rink website. Most events on the rink will be free and open to the public.

The Canada 150 Rink, which was originally scheduled to open for just three weeks in December, will now remain open until Feb. 25, 2018.