So you find yourself in either Toronto area or in the Ontario province and you want a great place to ski or snowboard. What are your options? What are the ski resorts nearby? Are they good? Today I’m about to tell you about Blue Mountain Ski Resort!
I live in Mississauga. There are a couple of ski hills nearby within a 2hr radius but if you’re looking for the best ski resort in Ontario, there are always two places that I think of: Blue Mountain or Mount St. Louis. They are tied in my books. It just depends on what mood I am in when I go riding.
Blue is perfect if you want trail varieties, fun times, especially when you’re with friends who want casual riding/skiing. Mount St Louis is in the same level but Mount St Louis is better for people who are in the path of progression (you want to learn and improve) and if you like technique improvements. I wouldn’t say they are for beginners (neither of them actually). They offer easy trails and lessons, but I mean there are other, better, more affordable ski resorts out there if you’re a beginner.
Criteria for Judging
This review is entirely based on what I like, what I find good, etc. That said, I’ll give you a quick background about me so you can have an idea what I’m looking for
- intermediate skill level (maybe 7/10. 9/10 when I have a buzz)
- likes sidehits
- I can handle black trails but I’d rather do difficult blue or easy black so I can improve my technique
- loves trees/glades but only if they’re massive and spacious (so kinda Banff/Whistler level)
- pow hunter when possible
- loves park, specifically jumps and boxes
- originally a weekend snowboarder
From Mississauga, it takes me around 1h50m to get there; maybe ~2h from Toronto? It’s an easy drive of maybe 50% highways and 50% country roads.
If you’re bussing/commuting, I know there are shuttle services from Toronto to Blue. I’ll leave the googling up to you. If you also join groups via Meetup or Facebook Groups, Blue’s a popular destination anyways so either they have shuttles or you have someone to carpool with.
I’m not going to dive into the quality of the accommodations here but the only thing I wanted to mention here is that they do offer accommodations, lots of them. This is perfect if you’re driving from out of town or if you want to make a trip/weekend out of it. Staying a night or two is definitely worth it. They have a very fun and active village, lots of restos, and activities (more on that later).
It’s also just worth noting because most ski hills in Ontario are pretty much just the ski hill + food places + maybe a meeting room / dining hall or two, but that’s it.
Accommodations range from hotel room places to big chalets.
As mentioned, it’s a little getaway here and I can easily spend a weekend here, easy. Are you tagging along in the trip but you’re not skier/snowboarder or you don’t see yourself spending a lot of time on the slopes? No worries, this place is still epic for you!
They have a skating trail (so it’s a path; goes around) atop the mountain. I believe there’s a way for you to go up even if you don’t ski/snowboard. Oh and their pond becomes a skating rink too eventually.
They have tons of food places as mentioned. Craving Asian, pub food, Italian, wings, poutine, or BEAVER TAILS ouuuuuu!
They have tubing too! Heated pools, massages, spas….ooooouuu 🤤
Wanna get into the apres ski lifestyle? They have some shopping places as well too! You have kids? I believe there are establishments for kids too. I don’t know what it’s called but there’s a place I saw there where kids just spend time there and paint mugs and stuff lol.
Wanna have a night out with friends either drinking or dancing the night away? They have those too! There are definitely lots of options for everyone.
Are you passionate about your ski/snowboard gear brands? If there were brand events or demo days, it would almost always either be Blue or Mount St Louis.
Since it’s the best in the area and they do have so much to offer on and off the slopes, they’re the most expensive in the area (nearest from Toronto). Not mega expensive but I’m talking maybe starting at $70CAD~ for a day pass? Depends if it’s peak times too (e.g.: Christmas break)
I’d give you the exact price but it’s too early for them to post specific prices (this is written September).
Off the slopes, it may be a buck or two more expensive with a beer or something since it’s just their private property and it’s not like they have immediate competition around.
Trail Variety and Difficulty Levels
Here is a more detailed report on the trail varieties and difficulty levels if you really want.
Among the ski hills in the area, I believe they have the most number of trails. I’ve been there many times and I think they have a good ratio of beginner, intermediate, and advanced trails. I’ve never found myself there wishing: “oh I wish they had more easy/medium/hard trails”.
If you want to challenge yourself, I believe there’s this one face of the mountain where it’s nothing but black diamonds lol.
Sometimes their trails can lean more on the ‘difficult’ side. For example, there’s a green trail I know where it’s a cliff LOL. So it’s wall on one side, cliff on the other. So if you’re a beginner (mainly the reason why you’d stay in green trails) and if you’re not comfortable yet with your side where cliff is facing, it might be challenging lol😂
There are also blue trails where it’s so run-down where it gets icy so sometimes it’s in some dicey turns and intersections 😂
Trees / Glades
They even have a glades/trees area. I don’t go there much since it’s a bit tight for me. I think most paths are dug-in already by skiers so if you don’t know what you’re doing maybe the turns and timings will throw you off as a snowboarder lol.
They definitely have a variety of terrain parks available scattered across the resort. I think when it comes to laying out their parks, I think they go more for the variety (e.g.: box then rail then another funky feature, then box again, then pipe, then jump). I think when you’re pro already this is more enjoyable (they have those gigantic olympic-level jumps). For me, I’m still progressing so I’d prefer the Mount St. Louis layout where it’s like: “5 consecutive jump features, then a set of boxes, then a set of pipes, etc”.
I find their park features are more challenging too than Mount St Louis. E.g.: the “small” jump in Blue is larger than the “small” jump of Mount St Louis.
As mentioned, if you’re a total beginner, I would NOT suggest either Blue or Mount St Louis at all. First, you’ll be paying so much when you can go to ski hills that are closer and cheaper to rent and buy day tickets from. It’s the same quality, don’t worry.
Sure you can learn and be a beginner at Blue Mountain e.g.: they offer bunny(beginner) hills + certified ski/snowboard lessons but my problem here is that this place is so popular. That means long lines just waiting to rent gear, and more people on the bunny hill so less space for you + you worry more of bumping other people.
For beginners, I would highly suggest these places instead. These are places I go to and I personally learned from actually:
- Glen Eden / Kelso – closest from Mississauga (40m). It’s very cheap too since it’s a smaller ski hill. Your only challenge is that since it’s small, the bunny hills are proportionately smaller as well.
- Horseshoe Ski Resort – Around Mount St Louis area, but closest from Toronto. There are way less people compared to Blue or Mount St Louis so less people on the slopes. I think it’s a perfect place for learning too because they have this very long and wide bunny hill with the most mellow slope (degree-wise), unlike Glen Eden / Kelso where it’s short and relatively steeper. Easy magic ride too for the bunny hill!
Well, it’s east coast Canada so if you don’t know already east coast Canada (or even US) is ice country lool. Our temperature fluctuates a lot causing things to either melt or create ice trails. There’s no going around this lol.
It’s also not like we (Ontario) have high elevation.
I’m not saying it’s bad 24/7. It’s perfect actually. I barely ride ice. They’re always well-maintained (any Ontario ski resorts).
All I’m saying is that, snow-making starts late (late Dec) and things melt earlier (late March) so around those times yes the quality degrades fast. Also if you’re a 100% powder hound, yea…nah.
In Ontario, there are only two places I choose from: Blue Mountain or Mount St Louis. Blue is perfect when you want variety, fun times with friends, and fun times on and off the slopes. They’re popular, they’re tried and tested, and there are lots of things to do!