There are a few local parks whose ponds were emptied in October and which now functioned as outdoor skating rinks. The prettiest one in my opinion is Parc Saint Viateur, about a 10 minute walk away. It's also one where ice hockey is not allowed, important to be aware of when you have a 4-year-old first-time skater!
So, Saint Viateur it was. We arrived at about 11am and the sun was bright and warm, taking the edge off the -15C. We were the only ones at the park at first but after a while lots of other families and couples turned up, strapped on their skates and did a few circuits. Nobody stayed long, either because of the cold, or because they had delicious Christmas feasts awaiting them back home.
Austin probably spent more time on his bottom on the ice than standing but he seemed to have a good time and quickly learnt to balance enough to stand and step along by himself. He soon tired of skating though, and ended up playing with his new snowball maker instead!