Top 5 Places to Ski in Ontario, Canada

Blue Mountain Resort
Blue Mountain Resort (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Ah, the “Great White North” – Canada. Rather than dwelling over the frigid winter weather, many Canadians embrace it by participating in outdoor winter sports. When dreaming about the best places to go downhill skiing, the mountains of British Columbia and Alberta often come to mind, like the world-class ski resorts in Whistler and Banff. Even Mont Tremblant in Quebec is a popular choice with awesome skiing conditions. Though those are all excellent choices, don’t overlook the province of Ontario when it comes to skiing or snowboarding. There are ski hills in Ontario that are great for beginners and the experienced; ski resorts that are truly getaways with fine dining restaurants and relaxing spas. Many of these are within driving distance of major cities like Toronto and Ottawa, making for the perfect weekend escape. Here are the best places to ski in Ontario, Canada.

Blue Mountain Resort

Blue Mountain in Collingwood is one of the most popular ski resorts in Canada; in fact, it is the third most popular after Whistler-Blackcomb and Mont Tremblant. There are 42 runs, 16 chairlifts, and 3 freestyle terrains, with a vertical terrain of 720 feet. The ski hills range from beginner to expert, with seven double black diamond runs. The resort really is a self-contained community with a pedestrian village, condos, meeting areas for conferences, an indoor-outdoor spa, pubs, restaurants, and nightlife. As Blue Mountain is very popular, be sure to book your stay well in advance.

Mount St. Louis Moonstone

Mount St. Louis Moonstone in Barrie is a great choice for anyone traveling from Toronto as it takes only about an hour to drive there. There are 40 runs and 13 lifts, with a vertical terrain of 550 feet. There are several hills for beginners, intermediate skiers, and those who are advanced (6 hills are rated as black diamond). I can tell you from my own experiences that this is a great place to learn how to ski – I learned how to ski at Mount St. Louis Moonstone! My middle school used to take a field trip here once a year, and I learned how to ski when I was back in grade six. This is a great destination for the entire family.

Calabogie Peaks

Calabogie Peaks is a ski resort closest to our nation’s capital, Ottawa. Though Calabogie Peaks may have fewer runs (29 in total) than Blue Mountain and Mount St. Louis Moonstone, it does feature the highest vertical drop of public ski hills in Ontario at 761 feet. Though there is a good mix of beginner, intermediate, and advanced runs, Calabogie features the longest green trail in Ontario that would be ideal for beginners. If you choose to stay at the resort, it also has a spa, an indoor swimming pool, an outdoor hot tub, and a fine dining restaurant.

Searchmont Resort

Searchmont Resort is located near Sault Ste. Marie, offering some great skiing and snowboarding for those visiting Northern Ontario. There are 18 runs here ideal for beginners and experts, with a 750 foot vertical drop. Similar to many other resorts, night skiing is offered here for a unique experience (just make sure you bundle up!). If you’re truly new to the sport, you can take lessons here. Since Searchmont is farther north, you might find more real snow here earlier in the season if you’re dying to ski as soon as possible. Over the last 10 years, the region has an annual average of 132″ of real snow – that’s a lot!

Horseshoe Resort

Horseshoe Resort near Orilla is also a popular choice with residents of Toronto, as it is a little over an hour away from the city. Horseshoe Resort has 29 runs and 8 lifts. The mountain is only 308 feet tall, making it a great place for beginners or those just looking for a fun outing. The resort is known for more than just skiing and snowboarding – there are activities all year round like treetop trekking, segway tours, mountain biking trails, snowshoeing, an Ogo run (zorbing), zip lines, and a rock climbing wall. Justin and I visited here back in 2012 for the afternoon. While we didn’t go skiing, we had a thrilling experience going snow tubing! There were four tubing tracks and we had an absolute riot flying down the hill. Believe me, those tubes go FAST!

Horseshoe Resort
The two of us at Horseshoe Resort back in 2012

While it’s fun to go skiing for the day, why not make it a weekend? There are some fantastic ski resorts and accommodations you can choose for a fun-filled escape with friends, family, or a romantic getaway. After an invigorating day on the slopes, you can curl up by the fireplace with a mug of hot chocolate. Sounds like a great idea to me.

Do you enjoy skiing or snowboarding? Have you visited any ski hills in Ontario? What’s your favorite place to ski?

7 Responses

  1. I am (or was, I guess–I haven’t seen snow in a long time) a huge snowboarder, but unfortunately I have never been anywhere in Canada! I’m from Washington state originally so I’ve spent time in those mountains, Lake Tahoe in California, and the Colorado Rockies. Would love to go to any of these places!
    Leah of The Mochilera Diaries recently posted…A Salty Sea Voyage on the Sailboat Victory: Panama to Colombia via the San Blas IslandsMy Profile

  2. Tam Gamble
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    Snow and skiing have never really appealed to me – something about the cold makes me want to hibernate. Perhaps I should give it a go, but I am also frightened that bones will be broken. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Tam Gamble recently posted…Want a quiet place to stay whilst in London? Choose the Apex London WallMy Profile

  3. Toccara
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    The thought of skiing terrifies me! I’m good on the bunny slopes… in an inner tube! Thanks for the recommendations on ski resorts and accommodations, as that’s where you’d be likely to find me curled up by the fire with some hot cocoa all day!
    Toccara recently posted…St Gilgen: A Delightful Austrian TownMy Profile

  4. Alli
    | Reply

    I don’t do any outdoor winter sports except skating and cross country skiing! The last time I went downhill skiing I flew into a tree, luckily I was terrible so really not going that fast or down a huge hill, but I am terrified to go skiing again but have always been really wanting to give it another shot. I think I’d try Blue Mountain ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve been in the village before but never to their ski hills . . . yet!
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  5. Hannah
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    We usually tend to go to the Quebec side, but that’s only because there are a bunch of good spots just over the river. My favourite closeby spot is Camp Fortune. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hannah recently posted…Help me Become the Youngest Female to Travel the World with Global Degree!My Profile

  6. Jenna
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    These all sound like great spots to ski! I’ve never been snowboarding other than a quick failed attempt, but I do always love to ski. I will have to visit some of these sometime soon!
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  7. Mary {The World Is A Book}
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    This was enlightening. I wasn’t aware of these ski resorts in Ontario. How great that two of them are within an hour’s drive from a major city like Toronto. We love Whistler and if given a choice, my husband would go there every year. This opened some options for us to discover on the other side of Canada. I retired from skiing but my husband and son are snowboarders and my daughter is a skier. I’m more content sitting in the warmth of a lodge with a hot chocolate now ๐Ÿ™‚
    Mary {The World Is A Book} recently posted…Visiting Kiyomizu-dera in KyotoMy Profile

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