This year, ski in Canada. In my years of skiing I have tried to ski most regions of Canada. This year it is more important than ever. Canada offers amazing resorts and here is my picks:
If you live in Ontario then there are some fantastic mountains you can drive to…
70 km north east of Quebec City is Le Massif, which is my favourite eastern resort. The lodges and parking are at the top and you ski its 2500’ vertical right down to the St Lawrence River, so the view is off the scale. Le Massif gets more snow then any other resort in the east, average 22’. It is about a 9 hour drive from Toronto. lemassif.com
In 7 hours you can make it to Mt Tremblant which is the biggest in the east. Here you have your choice of ski-in/ski-out or a short drive to the hill accommodation. The very cute village is full of fine restaurants and first class shopping. tremblant.ca
Also a 7 hour drive to the eastern townships is Owls Head at about 1800’ vertical, serviced by 9 lifts; this offers great value and is fantastic for families. owlshead.com
Don’t want to drive that far? 1.5 hours north of Toronto is Collingwood, home of fabulous Blue Mountain. This mountain is not that high, 720’, but it is 3 km wide. What Blue lacks in vertical it more than makes up for it in variety and lifts.
The village is very cute with great shopping and restaurants. www.bluemountian.ca Skiis & Biikes has its big store in Collingwood on First St, next to The Beer Store, with the best ski and snowboard tunes and a fully equipped store boasting city, not resort prices. Also in downtown Collingwood is my favourite Italian restaurant, Tesoro at 18 School House Lane 705 444 9230. This is the best real Italian pizza outside of Italy.
If you don’t mind flying, 4 hours will take you to Calgary and 1.5 hours on a bus and you are at the most beautiful group of mountains in the world. (In my opinion) Banff National Park has Sunshine and Lake Louise, two fantastic world class resorts. Most people stay in Banff and take a short shuttle to the ski hill. Sunshine is high up in the mountain on the continental divide and boast some of the best powder in the world. Lake Louise has a terrific front face for cruisers and a huge back bowl for the more adventurous. skibig3.com
If you are a skiing family with smaller kids, by far the best place to take them is Big White or Silverstar just outside Kelowna, BC. From Vancouver, it is a beautiful 5 hour drive up the Frazer or an easy 1 hour flight. From Toronto it is a direct flight on West Jet plus, if you take the 9am flight you can be skiing by 12:30 the same day and West Jet pays for your afternoon lift-ticket. The resort is set up for families with big condos and houses, all with ski-in/ski-out and a first class ski school that will have your kids begging to go each day. The mountains have great facilities and lots of variety. I raised my three kids here, 10 days a season. bigwhitesilverstar.com
Now if you live in Vancouver, you must ski Whistler. From Toronto it is a 5 hour flight to Vancouver which is a most beautiful city and well worth stopping for a visit. From Vancouver 1.5 hours up the new Sea to Sky highway will take your breath away. When you come back down you will think it is a different highway as the view is still unbelievable but the new angle makes it all different. Whistler/Blackcomb is the world’s mecca of skiing, part of the Garibaldi Provincial Park of 195,000 acres, 37 major lifts, 5,354 vertical feet, two facing mountains that use the same lift ticket and a first class town. The top is 7,500 feet above sea level so no one ever suffers from high altitude symptoms. I have skied here since 1969 and each year I ski something that I never knew was there. The shopping is second to none and restaurants to accommodate every budget and pallet. whistlerblackcomb.com The best part of Whistler is that it has two Skiis & Biikes-SnowCovers stores, one in Creekside, the original part of Whistler and one in the Marketplace of the Village. At Skiis & Biikes-SnowCovers, we have the best ski or snowboard tune ups in Whistler plus the best bootfitting. We rent the latest top performance skis for groomers, all mountain and powder. Skiis & Biikes-SnowCovers carries a great selection of the best brand accessories, helmets, jackets and pants.
So if you don’t want to bring your equipment we can hook you up.
Vancouver also has Grouse and Cypress practically in the city with day and night skiing which can be reached by city bus. All Vancouverites should be the best skiers in the world with these great resorts in town. cypressmountian.com grousemountain.com
There is no reason to go south of the border or to Europe, the best is right here at home. This year make Canada your skiing destination for the best facilities, mountains and snow plus it is good for our economy. Your dollar will be accepted at par.
For complete ski packages, contact ultimateskivacations.ca