Ready, set, skate!

The Rink of Dreams at Ottawa City Hall officially opened Friday night, much to the delight of avid skaters.

“I've been here last year, been here this year for the opening,” said Cliff Thornton. “It's always a fun thing to be doing to come down here and see the city.”

“It's pretty and it's nice ice to skate on other than the canal,” said Samantha St-Germain. “There's more room.”

The rink is a partnership between the City of Ottawa and the Sens Foundation. The Sens Foundation plans to build 19 more natural ice rinks in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec.

“We'll build these rinks in neighbourhoods that really need it, that are lacking in infrastructure or need the services,” said Cyril Leeder, the president of the Ottawa Senators.

“We'll also provide programming and skating lessons for kids in the neighbourhood to really make it a community asset."

Another rink is already under construction at Jules Morin Park in Ottawa’s Lowertown neighbourhood. It is expected to be completed in the next few weeks and is the size of an NHL rink.

While the canal may be this rink’s biggest competition, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson hopes the fact that this rink is refrigerated will lead to a longer skating season.

“We can make ice even if it's 10 above zero,” Watson said. “It's a little more reliable than the canal.  We love the canal but it's off and on, it's weather dependant."

“I love it,” said Kaitie Jourdeuil. “I’ve never skated on this rink before and I thought it was great compared to canal, it's so much nicer; smoother.”

About 14,000 skaters took advantage of the first skating season which began in January 2012 and lasted for 45 days.

With files from CTV Ottawa’s Katie Griffin