5 Incredible Ski Getaways in Ontario
By the time the leaves have fallen and wearing a toque on our morning run has become a necessity, there’s a familiar feeling that has arisen within us, triggering a primal instinct to play and reminding us why we choose to live in this province year-round. Early winter brings a thirst for the kind of adventure that challenges us, amps us up and gives us a unique feeling of freedom. Ski season is one of the special times of year that unifies outdoor lovers throughout Ontario as they prepare for the snow-filled months ahead.
Every year, snow-loving Ontarians pack their bags and head out in search of high-adrenaline downhill fun. With so many options for alpine skiing and snowboarding, it can be a little overwhelming choosing a resort destination to visit. So much so that many of the lesser-known gems get overlooked.
Northern Ontario is a mecca for downhill skiing and snowboarding. Home to a robust list of wilderness mountain lodges, ski resorts and hills, this province is packed with destinations for your next great Ontario ski vacation.
Find our picks for the best ski getaways in Ontario below.
Antoine Mountain, Mattawa
Situated on the Ottawa River, just north of Mattawa, Antoine Mountain is the culmination of everything that is awesome about Northern Ontario’s ski geography. The Laurentian Mountains stretch through Quebec and Labrador, while their foothills spill into Ontario and create modest, but perfect locations for downhill skiing.
Antoine Mountain stands at 630 vertical feet at its highest point, serving up panoramic views from the top of Ontario’s third highest ski hill. Home to 15 groomed runs, developed to challenge every level of skier and the longest ski run in all of Ontario (2.9 kilometres), Antoine Mountain is an exceptional destination for a ski trip.
Looking for a romantic ski getaway? Book this Slopes, Sights & Sleep package at Le Voyageur Inn. For $595 you’ll receive two days of skiing at Antoine Mountain, a two-night stay in one of Le Voyageur Inn’s cozy suites, continental breakfasts and dinner at the Voyageur Restaurant.
If you’re vacationing with a large group of people, book one of the spacious, rustic cottages from Mattawa Adventure Camp. They have options for groups of all sizes, with cottages that can sleep as many as 11 people. Or book a cottage at the Mattawa River Resort and get rejuvenated in one of their portable spas before heading to dinner at their upscale restaurant.
Take a break partway through your ski day and warm up with a hot chocolate, coffee or lunch at the newly renovated on-site chalet. At night, the chalet’s lights dim as they offer signature “Canadian Cocktails,” authentic poutine and live music, creating the perfect ambience for your après experience.
Stop by Myrts Family Restaurant after your day on the slopes to enjoy classic home-cooked fare and local beer.
Mount Jamieson Resort, Timmins
If you’ve never had the opportunity to do so, this is your chance to ski on the grounds of an extinct volcano. Though it’s not possible to see any definitive volcanic qualities, the mountain that remains makes for an excellent ski destination. Formerly known as Kamiskotia, Mount Jamieson Resort rests just north of Timmins and offers eight kilometres of groomed runs lined with northern conifers, a terrain park and a high-speed four-seater chairlift.
With runs ranging from green to double black, Mount Jamieson is a great place for beginners and seasoned riders to enjoy fresh snow and great views of the surrounding area. The resort also offers tubing for those who prefer to tackle the snow slopes from a lower vantage point.
Book a room for two at Cedar Meadows Resort & Spa to make use of their Nordic Circuit, a perfect mixture of hot and cold aqua therapy that will restore you after a day on the slopes. Rooms start at $162 per night, while spa packages begin at $264 per couple and include dinner at the Cedar Meadows Dining Room.
Stay in one of the winterized cabins at the Horwood Lake Lodge to experience the beautiful icy landscapes of Horwood Lake, located an hour from Mount Jamieson Resort.
Families may want to book a room at the Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham and make the most of the on-site pool, hot tub and continental breakfast.
Visit Mount Jamieson’s on-site restaurant, The Kam Eatery, to grab a hearty breakfast, midday bite or full-on dinner once you’re finished skiing or riding for the day. Also on site, warm up inside with a seasonal cocktail at the Tbar bar or enjoy a cold pint at The Foggy Goggle, an outdoor hilltop bar with a view.
Once you’ve left the mountain for the day, stop in at Moneta Pub & Grub for their weekly specials, local drinks and log cabin atmosphere.
If your skis are in need of some TLC, plan a visit to Trails n Slopes in Timmins for tune-ups, waxing and more.
Loch Lomond Ski Area, Thunder Bay
Only 10 minutes away from the bustling streets of Thunder Bay, Loch Lomond Ski Area has been serving up winter adventures to locals since 1956. When the need for a ski hill in the area was made abundantly clear, a family of local competitive skiers named the Irwins made the dream a reality.
The resort has changed a lot since its humble beginning, when a T-bar and single run were all it had to offer. Now the ski area has three operating lifts, 18 groomed trails, glades and mogul runs. If the gorgeous mountain scenery and location near the waters of Loch Lomond wasn’t enough, the mountain also has a dedicated tubing area, terrain park that was rated number one in Ontario by On The Snow and snowshoeing trails.
Rent your ski, snowboard or snowshoe equipment from the Loch Lomond rental centre, located right at the base of the mountain.
To get the most out of your time on the slopes, stay at The Best Western Plus NorWester Hotel, only a four-minute drive from Loch Lomond. If you are planning to fly to Thunder Bay, stay at Valhalla Hotel right near the Thunder Bay International Airport.
For basic, affordable accommodations and a chance to meet other travellers—perhaps even ski buddies—stay at The Haven Hostel.
Take a break inside the mountain chalet to try some of the delicious items from the Farm to Table Menu at their North Face Lounge and Restaurant, or pop in for a drink when the day is done.
For vibrant nightlife featuring live music, great food and friendly atmosphere, head to The Foundry in the heart of Thunder Bay. Check out their upcoming concert listings here. Or go to dinner at The Sovereign Room to try their unique blend of high-end ingredients and fan favourites.
Laurentian Ski Hill, North Bay
North Bay has the kind of appeal unique to Northern Ontario cities. Exploring the areas around the city will lead you to lush forests with hiking trails showcasing the colourful changes of season. During the summer you’ll find parks, museums, beaches, local eateries and no shortage of culture, but when winter rolls around, drive only a few minutes from North Bay’s downtown to reach the base of Laurentian Ski Hill.
The area's very own premier alpine ski destination began as a private training facility, evolved into a public ski hill in 1947 and is now home to six runs, three lifts and 300 feet of vertical drop. This modest ski area is the perfect place for families with beginner skiers and riders to visit. While many of the runs are greens and blues, the hill also offers more challenging options, such as double black glades and a terrain park for more advanced riders.
The resort is designed to accommodate all skier needs and has a rental centre, dining services and ski school. Book your family ski getaway to Laurentian Ski Hill and immerse yourself in North Bay’s winter culture.
Rent full ski and snowboard packages or specific items like boots, helmets and snowshoes from their rental facilities.
Visit the Laurentian Cafe at the hill’s Lower Lodge to grab snacks for the kids while you sip a beverage from their licensed bar, or pack your own lunch to enjoy in the heated atmosphere of the Upper Lodge.
Book lessons with Laurentian Ski Hill’s Snow School. Their experts will create a memorable experience for first-time skiers and can help intermediate and advanced skiers and riders improve their skills.
Visit one of North Bay’s 11 maintained ice skating rinks, like the Lee Park Oval/Trail that rests near the shores of Lake Nipissing.
Go tobogganing at Thomas Park, one of the city’s best-kept winter secrets.
Stay at the North Bay Hampton Inn. Only five minutes away from the hill and in close proximity to grocery stores, coffee shops and restaurants, this hotel has great family amenities like a pool and continental breakfast.
For a great après ski atmosphere, visit The Raven & Republic for drinks, live music and comfort food.
Searchmont Resort, Searchmont
Nestled in the beautiful, but otherwise tame Algoma wilderness, you may be surprised to learn this Northern Ontario area is home to a true alpine gem. Searchmont Resort is a rapidly growing alpine ski resort, located roughly three hours north of Sault Ste. Marie. The mountain stretches to an impressive 750 foot vertical top and maintains 26 full runs, most of which extend over one kilometre.
Ski mellow groomers like Herb’s Meadow and Goulais, or challenge yourself with hectic tree runs like 5-0 Trees. The resort is equipped with four chairlifts, two crazy carpet conveyor lifts, an expert terrain park and a brand-new snowmaking machine.
Thanks to its location, the lake effect provides the mountain with an average of 336 centimetres of snow annually, meaning the conditions are just excellent. This secluded, but prominent pocket of skiers’ paradise is the perfect place for you to book your next Ontario ski trip, while avoiding massive lineups.
Reserve a spot in one of Searchmont’s ski school programs, or book private lessons with one of their professional instructors. If you have an old pair of telemark skis lying around and have been telling yourself that one day you’ll learn how to use them, now is your chance: they also offer telemark skiing lessons.
Book one of Searchmont’s recently opened ski chalets and villas to stay in the heart of the action right at the base of the hill. The slopeside villas allow you to ski straight onto an active run, and come fully stocked with everything you need for a ski vacation.
Cozy up by the fireplace at The Kiln, Searchmont’s very own rustic lodge-style restaurant and bar. Warm temperatures aren’t the only benefit to taking a break from skiing to visit The Kiln as their full menu of hearty meals, cocktails and beers and schedule of live entertainment makes this a prime spot for a midday break or an aprés ski hangout.
Stay in Sault Ste. Marie by booking one of the Trailhead Rooms at The Water Tower Inn. The Inn has options to accommodate skiers and snowboarders who are looking to spend time at Searchmont while also exploring the surrounding Sault Ste. Marie area.
Book Your Ontario Ski Vacation Soon
Choose from any of these Ontario ski vacation packages to embark on a memorable journey with your loved ones and friends this winter. You won’t regret it.