By Ilissa Maiatico
Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe region is home to ski resorts that range from bunny hill fare to splashy getaways with time-shares and romantic restaurants. Here are our top three choices for skiing and snowboarding in Ontario—all within day-trip or easy-overnight distance from Toronto.
BEST DAY TRIP | Horseshoe Resort
Often the first ski hill in the area to open each season, Horseshoe Resort is just an hour north of Toronto and has 26 runs with day and night riding. With a vertical drop of only 304 feet, it’s an ideal place for beginners to get started, but the short chairlift lines make it easy for experienced riders to clock countless laps. Horseshoe’s terrain park has fun features and a superpipe catering to freestyle riders. Plus, evening lift tickets cost just $29.
BEST VARIETY OF TERRAIN | Mount St Louis Moonstone
Family run and operated since it opened in 1964, Mount Saint Louis Moonstone is easily accessible off Highway 400, in the town of Coldwater, Ontario—the heart of Ontario’s snowbelt. The mountain sits a mighty 550 feet tall and has 36 runs with a good variety of free line and meandering trails for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders. Skiers and snowboarders can progress their skills at the popular Outback and Junkyard terrain parks, with countless jumps, rails and boxes. The two superpipes help keep Ontario’s halfpipe scene strong.
BEST OVERALL EXPERIENCE | Blue Mountain Resort
Ontarians get a taste of what they can experience out west at the province’s largest resort, Blue Mountain, near Collingwood on Georgian Bay. Blue has 36 daytime trails, 25 night trails and 15 lifts accessing 720 feet of vertical terrain, as well as bunny hills, double black diamonds and tree-lined runs. The Badlands terrain park has a halfpipe, some fun lines and its own dedicated chair lift.
The resort is a self-contained community with condos and a pristine pedestrian village with great après-ski shops, pubs and restaurants (among them is Oliver & Bonacini, also behind Toronto’s acclaimed Canoe), plus rousing nightlife and a spectacular indoor-outdoor spa.