The Ontario ski resorts are sprawled across east-central Canada. While this part of Canada is not known for its mountains, there are a surprising number of ski resorts in this region.
About Ontario Ski Resorts
Most of the ski resorts of Ontario have a relatively low base and summit elevation, as well as an unimpressive vertical drop. This is in sharp contrast to the other ski areas of Canada which are located in Quebec, British Columbia and Banff. However, the Ontario ski resorts are convenient to the cities such as Toronto. As such, they are popular with local residents who would rather not deal with the time and expense of traveling to the larger, more popular resorts.
Blue Mountain Ski Resort
Blue Mountain is located 90 minutes from Toronto, and 11 kilometers west of the city of Collingwood. It is situated in an area known as the Niagara Escarpment. The resort is owned by Intrawest, who also own a number of larger resorts such as Whistler/Blackcomb in British Columbia, Mount Tremblant in Quebec and Copper Mountain, Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado. Certain Blue Mountain multi-resort lift ticket options offer access to these resorts.
The Blue Mountain Ski Resort has a base elevation of 1457 feet and a summit elevation of 1482 feet. Its 251 acres of skiable terrain make it the largest of the Ontario ski resorts, and its 15 lifts service 37 trails. The Blue Mountain Lift system consists of:
- Four high-speed six-seater chairs
- One quad chair
- Three double chairs
- Three triple chairs
- Four surface lifts
The mountain terrain is divided as follows;
- 25 percent of the terrain is marked green or beginner
- 55 percent of the terrain is marked blue or intermediate
- 15 percent of the terrain is marked black or advanced
- 5 percent of the terrain is marked double black or expert
Mount St. Louis Moonstone Ski Resort
There's a reason why the Mount Saint Louis ski resort invokes images of the ski resorts of Europe. The resort was the brainchild of Austrian alpine skier Josl Huter. Even if you are not impressed by the mountain stats of Mount Saint Louis, its history may inspire a visit.
History of Mount St. Louis Moonstone
Huter arrived in Canada in 1956. Although he had no intention of getting into the ski industry, as a former competitor in the Austrian National Alpine Championship when his friend, who worked at the Limberlost Resort near Huntsville fell ill, Huter agreed to teach his ski classes. The management was impressed with his skills, and awarded him the position of ski school director.
In 1957, Huter began having problems with his vision. It was discovered that an enormous brain tumor was blocking circulation and causing the problem. After surgery, he was sent back to Austria to recover. When he returned to Canada, he took a job as ski school director of the Muskoka Sands ski area. However, he found that the size of this small resort was uninspiring. When someone told Huter about property for sale at the Medonte Township, he decided to buy it. A new Ontario ski resort was born. It has 13 lifts that service 36 trails.
- Two detachable six seaters
- One detachable quad
- Three triple chairs
- One double chair
- One surface lift
- Two magic carpets
- Three fixed quads
Today, the resort boasts 165 acres of skiable terrain. Its terrain is divided into:
- 35 percent beginner terrain
- 50 percent intermediate terrain
- 15 percent expert terrain
The resort usually opens in December and closes in March. Mount Saint Louis Moonstone has two super pipes and two terrain parks.
Other Ski Resorts in Ontario
While the Blue Mountain Ski Resort and the Mount St. Louis Moonstone are Ontario's biggest resorts, there are a number of smaller ski areas. These include: