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Rock Garden reduced hours Jun 20: Rock Garden closing at 2 p.m. in preparation for RBG After Dark. Hendrie Park / Laking Garden remain open until 8 p.m.


Skating on Cootes Paradise

Princess Point provides access to a designated skating area across Cootes Paradise. Ice is measured each Friday (before end of day), and updated at the on-site signage, here, and on Twitter. Please note: weather changes quickly, and so upon arrival the ice may not be in the same condition as listed. Please use caution, take time to read the signage, and follow the listed guidelines.

Reminder Cootes Paradise is an environmental protection area with sensitive species – please respect the space of the wildlife and remain within 0.5 km of the ice access point. 

Safe skating conditions for groups and recreation requires a thickness of about 4 inches (10 cm).

  • group skating and playing hockey at princess point -
  • Person skating on Cootes Paradise Marsh
  • Groups of people spread out on the frozen marsh
  • people skating at Princess Point


  • Parking for Princess Point is available in the lot at 335 Longwood Road, Hamilton
  • The parking lot has metered parking, fees apply($3 per hour). Meters accept coin and credit card payment
  • Parking is FREE to RBG members displaying their parking pass
  • The Parking lot closes and is locked at 8 p.m. each night

If arriving by bicycle: Please note that bike riding is not permitted on RBG’s trails. Each major trailhead has secure bike locking stations so you can leave your bike behind and enjoy a walk in nature

Safety, Conservation, & Visiting Tips

  • Check the ice status before visiting. Natural Lands staff monitor ice thickness, and post information at the on-site sign at Princess Point (and in the section above) when the ice reaches a safe depth of 10cm/4”. Unless it is marked safe to do so, stay off the ice.
  • Make note of unsafe areas. Locations of water current have thin ice. This includes creek mouths and next to the Fishway. These areas are indicated on the skating map.
  • Stay off the banks. Treated with respect, the marsh is a great place for winter recreation, and a local winter tradition. Treating the area with respect includes staying off the islands and the shoreline banks along the wetland edge. The dry silty banks erode easily, even in winter. Belted Kingfishers and Bank Swallows tunnel into these slopes to nest each summer, but winter visitors can cause the slopes to collapse.
  • Liability. Persons using this area do so at their own risk. The signage is for information purposes only. Royal Botanical Gardens assumes no responsibility for loss of, or damage to property, personal injury or mishap, all activities are at the risk of the participant. Our parking lots are not monitored, please do not leave any valuables in your car.
  • Bring a shovel! This is a natural space, and not maintained for perfect skating conditions. Consider the ice surface may be rough, or snow-covered, and plan accordingly.
  • Restricted Recreation. Iceboats/sailing are prohibited.

Support Conservation at RBG

These conservation projects are possible thanks to the generous support of RBG Members and donors. With a donation to Growing up Green, you can ensure an active, vibrant and healthy future for the children of today and tomorrow through our horticultural and conservation projects.

Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) is the largest botanical garden in Canada, a National Historic Site, and registered charitable organization with a mandate to bring together people, plants and nature.