Canada’s east may not be comparable to the mountains of the west, but is nonetheless a great ski holiday destination! Spend less time driving and explore the variety of terrain and charming winter villages while remaining close to the city. Our local experts have narrowed down the five best ski resorts close to Toronto!
Due to COVID-19, safety measures were put in place by the Province of Ontario which impacted the 20/21 ski season. These included mask-wearing, physical distancing and a recommended 14-day self-quarantine when arriving in or returning to Ontario. The provincial stay-at-home order in January 2021 required ski resorts to temporarily close for approximately four weeks. This was later reinstated in early April due to rising COVID-19 cases. While open, resorts including Blue Mountain and Horseshoe managed provincial restrictions through increased sanitization and cleaning standards, reducing capacity on the mountain and requiring lift tickets to be purchased in advance. Such restrictions are not anticipated to continue into the 21/22 winter season.
Offering a wide range of terrain, endless accommodation options and plenty of kid-friendly activities, Blue Mountain is the ultimate resort for families. Although a highly popular resort, the beginner, intermediate and advanced areas that are spread across the mountain provide a seamless holiday experience. There are even three terrain parks with beginner rails and a super-pipe! Visitors are certainly not limited for choice when it comes to dining options, with over 50 bars, restaurants and shops creating a lively après scene. Highlight activities including illumination trails and sleigh rides nearby are not to be missed when you’re done shredding the slopes for the day. Kids will especially love the mountain coaster, tubing and playing at the all year round aquatic centre.
Consistent snow conditions are almost guaranteed at Mount Saint Louis thanks to its location in Ontario’s snow belt and having Canada’s most advanced snowmaking system. Just a 90 minute drive from Toronto, there are 35 runs across the Mount Saint Louis and Moonstone slopes, with most trails also open for night skiing. This resort is perfect for new and intermediate skiers thanks to the dedicated beginners area and predominantly blue runs. Park rats will also enjoy the four terrain parks here, catering to four levels of progression! Despite the base area being quite limited, visitors can dine at one of the many restaurants or catch an ice hockey game in the nearby town of Barrie.
A smaller resort just an hour from Toronto, Hockley Valley’s convenient location is hard to beat! In addition to its dedicated beginner area, the resort has a longer beginner run, giving new skiers and snowboarders a chance to confidently use the chairlift. Although experienced skiers may not be challenged by the terrain, Hockley Valley is the perfect family-friendly resort, offering kids ski and snowboard camps, on-site lodging and dining options. There is even a spa to unwind after a long day on the slopes.
One of the closest ski resorts to Toronto (just 45 minutes), Glen Eden offers some of the cheapest lift tickets in the area! The resort’s designated beginner area and mostly intermediate trails make it the perfect choice of resort for newer skiers. Nonetheless, there are multiple steeper runs amongst the dozen trails at Glen Eden to cater for more experienced skiers and riders. Despite snow conditions varying due to the lack of snowmaking and low altitude location, the resort offers everything from night skiing, a terrain park, and dining options at the base.
Horseshoe Resort is the ultimate ski resort for intermediate and experienced skiers, offering over 20 blue and black runs! The designated beginner area and excellent ski school program also caters to new skiers. Although a popular resort, Horseshoe’s efficient chairlift system allows you to maximise your time on the slopes. There are over 18 mi of groomed cross country ski trails and an extensive list of exciting snow activities including tubing, fat biking and snowmobiling. Onsite lodging and a variety of dining options are also available. And if Horseshoe Resort isn’t selling itself already, they also offer night skiing and consistent snow thanks to its upgraded snowmaking facilities.