The 7 Best Ontario Ski Resorts

The 7 Best Ontario Ski Resorts - UPDATED 2020/21
Karl Sander
Written by Karl Sander / Photos by Jack Lee
Last updated August 13, 2020
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There’s more to Canadian skiing than Whistler, the Powder Highway, and Northern Rockies! For skiers and snowboarders in the more populated eastern part of the country, Ontario’s topography and the Great Lakes combine to offer some great skiing without the distance or expense of heading west. Here are our seven favorite Ontario ski resorts!

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Known for

Ontario’s largest resort, with a bustling family-friendly village

Highlights

  • European-style pedestrian village and some of the best on-mountain restaurants and hotels in Ontario
  • Close to Toronto
  • Lively après scene and plenty of shopping
  • A popular resort, so be sure to book early

Closest airports

Pearson Intl. Airport - 90 mi (2 hour drive)
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport - 100 mi (2 hour drive)
Blue Mountain’s family friendly beginner area 

The third most popular resort in Canada and only two hours from Toronto, Blue Mountain also ranks as one of the country’s most family-friendly ski areas. There’s an extensive array of terrain, including wide groomers, bumps, and off-piste tree runs, so everyone in the family will find something to their liking. There are even terrain parks with everything from beginner rails to super-pipes! The resort’s location lends itself to powdery lake-effect snow, and there’s plenty of snowmaking so the conditions are usually reliable. When you’re done shredding the slopes for the day (or if there are some non-skiers in your family) the bustling and charming village is home to a wide array of condos, spas, pubs, dining, and shopping.

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Known for

Great terrain and natural snow in a unique setting

Highlights

  • Convenient for residents of Ontario’s Algoma Country as well as northern Michigan
  • Relatively cheap tickets
  • Typically good snow conditions
  • Far away from Ontario’s more populated areas

Closest airports

Sault Ste Marie - 37 mi (50 minute drive)
Chippewa County Intl. Airport - 50 mi (1 hour drive)
Searchmont boasts natural landscape, secluded from the city (Photo credit: Searchmont Resort)

Perched on the Canadian Shield, Searchmont boasts one of the best vertical drops in Ontario at 700 ft. It features plentiful natural snow thanks to nearby Lake Superior. The area’s unique geology gives each of the 21 runs its own character, and there are terrain parks for the freestylers. The resort has upgraded its dining and other amenities, grooming, and even snowmaking. Even without the lake effect, you can feel confident about finding good snow! It’s not convenient for many Ontarians, with Toronto more than 7 hours to the south and east and Ottawa even farther. But local skiers and those who make the trip will enjoy the unique terrain and the authentic hospitality!

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Known for

Ontario’s highest vertical drop and conveniently close to Ottawa

Highlights

  • Easy to get to from Ottawa
  • Relatively long runs
  • Slopeside dining and lodging, including ski-in/ski-out
  • Can get crowded

Closest airports

Ottawa Intl. Airport - 70 mi (1.5 hour drive)
Calabogie Peaks is conveniently close to Ottawa (Photo credit: Calabogie Peaks Resort)

There’s more to Ontario skiing than the Toronto area. Calabogie Peaks is just over an hour from Ottawa, Canada’s national capital. But it’s not just a token entry on our list for folks in Eastern Ontario: Its 780 ft vertical is the biggest in the province! Its 24 runs are a nice mix, so there is something for all ability levels, and they’re served by two speedy quad lifts. Even though the resort can get crowded, the lift system keeps people moving. It makes for a great day trip from the capital. With dining, lodging, après, and off-piste activities available, it offers people in Eastern Ontario an excellent destination resort, too!

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Known for

A great place to learn to ski with plenty for intermediate visitors

Highlights

  • Excellent ski school
  • Convenient lodging and great dining choices
  • Plenty of other activities
  • Limited expert terrain

Closest airports

Pearson Intl. Airport - 70 mi (1 hour drive)
Horseshoe Mountain is the perfect place to learn to ski (Photo credit: Horseshoe Mountain Resort)

With more than 680 ac of skiable terrain and a variety of 29 trails, Horseshoe Mountain offers something for everyone. About an hour and a half drive from Toronto, it even offers plenty for people who don’t ski (or who at least need a break). There’s tubing, fat biking, skating, and snowmobiling, as well as well-regarded Nordic skiing trails. And if all that’s too much, there’s also a spa. While separate beginner areas aren’t unique, Horseshoe Mountain has been consistently praised for its instructional programs, making it an excellent choice for getting into the sport!

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Known for

Some of Ontario’s best slopes and best snow

Highlights

  • Only one hour from Toronto
  • Reliably good snow conditions
  • Conveniently close to historic Barrie
  • No accommodation and few dining and après options

Closest airports

Pearson Intl. Airport - 75 mi (1 hour drive)
Looking over Mountain Saint Louis’ diverse runs (Photo credit: Mount Saint Louis Resort)

At Mount Saint Louis, it’s all about the skiing! Located in Ontario’s snow belt, the resort also features Canada’s most advanced snowmaking system, so conditions will be good when you visit. Although it only covers 170 ac of skiable terrain, there are 35 runs across the Mount Saint Louis and Moonstone slopes – not too shabby for an eastern resort. There’s a dedicated area for beginners and terrain parks for freestylers. The base area is quite limited, but the nearby town of Barrie offers shops, galleries, and plenty of dining and bars. Horseshoe Mountain is nearby and another excellent choice for lodging, especially if you’d like to combine your visits!

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Known for

Popular night-skiing choice and some of the cheapest lift tickets around

Highlights

  • Separate beginner area
  • Great value
  • Steeper runs than comparably sized resorts
  • Variable snow conditions

Closest airports

Pearson Intl. Airport - 25 mi (30 minute drive)
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport - 38 mi (45 minute drive)
Glen Eden offers great skiing for a great price! (Photo credit: Glen Eden Resort)

Another smaller ski resort that’s only 45 minutes from Toronto, Glen Eden’s three chairs and four surface lifts serve a dozen runs. Though most trails are intermediate, some of the runs are steep and potentially present a more attractive option for more experienced skiers and riders. There’s also a terrain park. The resort is at a low altitude, and there’s no snowmaking, so the snow conditions can vary considerably. But it’s another extremely convenient place for Toronto and the surrounding communities, and its combination of affordable tickets and night skiing make it a fun choice to get some turns after work or school!

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Known for

A smaller resort that’s an excellent choice for beginners and young children

Highlights

  • Conveniently close to Toronto
  • On-site accommodation and restaurants
  • Relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere
  • Limited acreage and vertical drop

Closest airports

Pearson Intl. Airport - 40 mi (45 minute drive)
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport - 55 mi(1 hour drive)
Hockley Valley offers convenient ski in/ski out accommodation (Photo credit: Hockley Valley)

Only one hour from Toronto and close to Horseshoe Valley, Hockley Valley offers 30 ac of skiable terrain, 16 trails and a terrain park. There is a dedicated beginner area with surface lifts, and a longer beginner run accessible from one of the two chairs. With its modest vertical, some of the designated intermediate runs should be within a confident beginner’s grasp, too. Although there are designated expert runs with some steep aspects (including a double black), adventurous skiers might be underwhelmed. Still, the convenience for people in and around Toronto is hard to beat!

The 7 Best Ontario Ski Resorts
Blue Mountain Canada
Searchmont
Calabogie Peaks Resort
Horseshoe Resort
Mount St Louis
Glen Eden
Hockley Valley
Blue Mountain Canada