By Mike Spry
You can feel it in the air. The chill. The still settled frost on autumn’s fading gardens. Some hibernate when winter approaches. Some retreat into warmth, and wait for spring.
And then there are Canadians.
Winter marks the beginning of our season, where we grace the hilltops, snow caps, and flurried trails like live-action postcards. Skiers and snowboarders alike revel at the first true snowfall and head for their favourite runs. Here are eight of our favourite slopes in Eastern Canada, which wait eagerly for your arrival.
Milton, ON | gleneden.on.ca
Just 45 short minutes from downtown Toronto lies Glen Eden, offering six lifts, 16 slopes, and freestyle terrain to enthrall any and all alpine enthusiasts across 45 acres. Private and group lessons, a full fleet of equipment rentals, and community-concentrated, Glen Eden carves itself a niche into the Niagara Escarpment. A great place to get your downhill life started.
Skiable Terrain: 45 acres | Vertical Drop: 240 ft. | Number of Runs: 16
Mono, ON | hockley.com
Located less than an hour from the GTA, Hockley Valley Resort is a boutique resort with 108 rooms, world-class dining, indoor/outdoor pools, a 10km mountain bike trail and a full-service 8,000 sq.ft. spa. Oh, and there’s skiing too, with four lifts and sixteen runs, two terrain parks, magic carpet, race programs, ski school, and full event offerings. Hockley Valley Resort is a singular venue nestled into the rolling hills of Hockley Valley, offering some of the most scenic views in Southern Ontario.
Skiable Terrain: 30 acres | Vertical Drop: 375 ft. | Number of Runs: 16
The Blue Mountains, ON | bluemountain.ca
The alpine pride of South Georgian Bay boasts the largest public ski area in Ontario, offering 364 skiable acres, a 720-foot vertical and 42 runs, and 30 lit for night skiing serviced by seven chairlifts. But the slopes are just half the fun, with endless lodging, shops, restaurants, and bars in Blue Mountain Village; it’s like having Whistler in your backyard.
Skiable Terrain: 364 acres | Vertical Drop: 720 ft. | Number of Runs: 42
Barrie, ON | horseshoeresort.com
Horseshoe Resort in Barrie offers hotel-style accommodations, cozy and slopeside condos, and numerous celebrated eateries, as well as a full pool and fitness centre. And that’s just off the hill! For skiers and snowboarders, the resort has 28 runs, a terrain park, and boasts Ontario’s longest beginner carpet. All that, plus 30km of cross-country and snowshoeing trails, plus tubing, fat biking, and more.
Skiable Terrain: 61 acres | Vertical Drop: 308 ft. | Number of Runs: 28
Mount St. Louis Moonstone
Coldwater, ON | mountstlouis.com
Indigenous peoples have been exploring and adventuring on Mount St. Louis Moonstone for longer than a calendar can count, the traditional land of the Anishinabek (Ojibway, Chippewa, and Huron-Wendat). The spirit of that ancestry is apparent in the marvel of the resort’s offerings, a true community of activity that makes the most of the region: trails, a terrain park, and a ski school with scholarships.
Skiable Terrain: 180 acres | Vertical Drop: 550 ft. | Number of Runs: 36
Hidden Valley Highlands
Huntsville, ON | skihiddenvalley.ca
Hidden Valley Highlands is exactly that: a secluded gem in the middle of cottage country, a winter wonderland secret unto itself. The Huntsville ski resort brings summer communities together for winter fun. Ski and snowboard lessons and winter long camps, well-lit for great night skiing and snowboarding, private event venues, and an option to join the Muskoka Ski Club for those committed to spending winters on the slopes.
Skiable Terrain: 35 acres | Vertical Drop: 333 ft. | Number of Runs: 15
Calabogie, ON | calabogie.com
Just outside cottage country is an Ottawa Valley getaway boasting the best in winter fun. In addition to the hotel and slope-side condos, Calabogie has 24 trails, a snow park, and two quad lifts. With over 80 inches of annual snowfall, you’ll see why the mountain is a favourite of Ottawans and “Eastern Ontario’s tallest mountain resort with winter adventure for everyone.”
Skiable Terrain: 80 acres | Vertical Drop: 780 ft. | Number of Runs: 24
Mont Tremblant, QC | tremblant.ca
The alpine jewel of Eastern Canada, Tremblant, just a quick drive from Montreal, is the envy of enthusiasts around the world. The village celebrates 75 world-class restaurants, bars, bistros, and shops with a European flavour that only Quebec can offer, while the mountain has 102 trails, 14 lifts, and three parks. From a quick ski with the family to a luxury vacation, Tremblant has it all.
Skiable Terrain: 755 acres | Vertical Drop: 2,116 ft. | Number of Runs: 102