Canada is home to some of the best skiing in the world. To help you decide where to go, we’ve asked our Editors to tell us some of the best places to hit the slopes or cross-country trails from coast to coast.
Looking for great skiing near Halifax? Just follow in the tracks of some of Canada’s top up-and-coming athletes. Located a 45-minute drive northwest of the city, Ski Martock is one of two Nova Scotian venues for skiing during this month’s Canada Games. Martock has snowmaking on all trails, and is noted for its high quality trail grooming. It was also the first ski hill in Atlantic Canada to install a half-pipe for snowboarders. Snowboard Olympians Sarah Conrad and Trevor Andrew honed their skills there.
Calgarians can easily spend a sunny afternoon on the slopes–inside the city limits. Canada Olympic Park, the former site of the ’88 Olympic Winter Games, offers downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and bobsleigh rides for both training athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. Another site for the 1988 Olympic games, Nakiska is just over 45 minutes outside of the city. Known for their great novice and intermediate runs, the ski hill’s enhancements over the past few years means those looking for more challenging slopes have plenty to choose from as well.
The absolute best skiing and snowboarding in the region can be found at Mont Tremblant, about two hours outside Ottawa. With a beautiful modern village speckled with shops, restaurants, and hotels, plus 95 downhill runs and a ton of other activities on offer (an outdoor spa, dogsledding, tubing), it’s safe to say this mountain is worth the drive.
Located in the heart of Edmonton’s river valley, Kinsmen Park is a hot spot for cross-country skiing with its finely groomed trails that are lit in the evening to allow for a serene night skiing experience. An emergency phone and covered shelters along the trails ensure your time spent exploring the lovely winter scenery is comfortable and safe. The perk about choosing Kinsmen as your trekking ground is that it’s the first park in the city to be groomed after a snowfall.
Cross-country skiing buffs head to Windsor Park Nordic Ski Centre, where 3- and 5-km trails are regularly groomed and offer varying challenge levels. Ski lessons, rentals and a full-service clubhouse are also on site.
Toronto might not have much in the way of mountainous terrain, but some of Ontario’s top downhill skiing destinations are just a short drive away. In the province’s “snow belt”—just outside of Barrie—sits Mount St. Louis Moonstone, which offers more than 40 runs serviced by 12 state-of-the-art chairlifts. For more winter fun, nearby Horseshoe Resort features a more intimate downhill atmosphere, as well as a six-chute tubing park and kilometres of cross-country skiing trails.
The Lake Louise Ski Area hosts the first World Cup event of each year, boasts four mountain faces where you follow the sun all day and offers full accessibility to the entire hill with beginner to advanced routes from every chair. And the new 4-lane highway from Banff makes it easier to reach Lake Louise than ever before. We like Jasper’s Marmot Basin for its lack of pretension and crowds, plus its high elevation allows for good snow conditions (both natural and man-made) over a long season. For more ideas on getting the most out of The Canadian Rockies’ ski areas check out our Insider’s Guide.
Just a short drive from downtown are three mountains packed with winter activities galore. Grouse features 26 runs and two trick-friendly terrain parks, while Seymour offers 39 runs, snowshoe trails and an eight-run Toboggan park. Cypress—host of the freestyle skiing and snowboarding competitions during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games—has 53 runs, nine lifts, multiple snowshoeing and cross-country trails and a family friendly tubing area.
Whistler was voted North America’s best overall ski resort—for the 14th year in a row—by Skiing magazine. Enjoy the runs on Blackcomb Mountain, then hop aboard the Peak 2 Peak Gondola for an 11-minute ride over to Whistler Mountain and then continue carving through the fresh powder.
Discover what many Olympians learned last year in their training for the Vancouver Games–and what Islanders have known for year–Mt. Washington Alpine Resort boasts amazing snow! Just a three-hours drive north of Victoria in the Comox Valley, Mt. Washington has a base this year of more than 400 cm, serving 65 alpine runs. Combined with 15 nordic trails, tubing areas, terrain park and more, Mt. Washington is the ideal Island ski destination for the whole family.