Toronto may not be surrounded by massive mountains, but the city’s nearby hilly terrain is home to plenty of ski areas that are just a quick drive away. Ontario’s ski resorts are the perfect size for learning to ski or for brushing up ski skills during a quick day trip.
While Toronto and nearby Brampton have three city-operated ski hills between them, there are other resorts within a short distance. Many nearby slopes don’t offer places to stay on-site, yet they all are within a very short distance of accommodations. The area’s ski season generally runs from December through March.
Here are the closest ski areas near Toronto, ON, Canada, in order of proximity:
Earl Bales Ski Centre – North York: 13 km | 31 min
The City of Toronto operates two ski hills open from January 1 through mid-March. In the suburb of North York, Earl Bales Ski & Snowboard Center is a perfectly-sized ski area for locals to both learn and practice skiing and snowboarding.
Earl Bales Park has a rope tow, chair lift, and a total of four runs. For those who would like to drop in anytime, purchase a full-season pass that can be used at either of the city’s ski hills.
Centennial Park Ski Centre – Etobicoke: 23 km | 23 min
Toronto’s other city-operated ski hill is Centennial Park in Toronto’s municipality of Etobicoke. It’s a great in-city option for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy local skiing with limited travel. Equipment at both parks can be rented for as little as an hour or up to a full day.
Centennial Park is a bit smaller than Earl Bales. The ski area has a hill for preschool-aged skiers that is accessed by walking to the top, then the main hill with a carpet lift and two downhill runs. Lessons for skiing and snowboarding are offered at both locations during the season.
Mount Chinguacousy – Brampton: 44 km | 36 min
Another city-owned park, Mount Chinguacousy, is a bit further from downtown Toronto with the same low-key atmosphere. The city of Brampton operates the ski hill to the west, with a chalet on the top of the hill providing warm beverages for skiers and those watching them.
Lift tickets and equipment rentals can be purchased for a one- to three-hour period, or for a full day. Multi-week lessons are offered by the city’s recreation department.
Uplands Ski – Thornhill: 31 km | 30 min
A small ski area known as much for golf as for skiing, Uplands has four runs and one lift on its hills north of Toronto. Uplands offers a wide variety of lessons and camps for anyone learning to ski.
Lift tickets and equipment can be purchased for a full day or three hours. Discounted rates are offered for those six and under, or seniors over 60.
Glen Eden – Milton: 61 km | 50 min
One of the best reasons to visit Glen Eden is the ski school. Once skiers and snowboarders have learned the basics, they can take part in one of the ski area’s Academy Programs with courses in racing, high-performance skiing, introduction to freestyle, or advanced freestyle.
Note that to ski at Glen Eden, reservations must be made in advance to limit overcrowding. Reservations are limited to four hours, which should be plenty of time to explore the resort’s 17 trails and its terrain park.
Dagmar Ski Resort – 62 km | 45 min
Although it’s a small resort covering a mere 30 acres, Dagmar is loaded with fun experiences for freestyle skiers and snowboarders. The resort has four terrain parks boasting 60 features.
Beyond freestyle parks the resort has 18 runs that are primarily for beginners, a 235-foot (71 m) vertical, and a snow school. Dagmar, located northeast of Toronto, has a restaurant and coffee house in the ski area lodge. Reservations for skiing must be made in advance.
Lakeridge Resort – Uxbridge: 66 km | 46 min
Down the road from Dagmar on 70 skiable acres, Lakeridge Ski Area has three terrain parks mixed among its 23 trails. The mountain caters to beginning skiers and snowboarders, primarily with easy runs but the ski resort includes some chutes, moguls, and black diamond slopes on the backside of the mountain.
Lakeridge has plenty of lessons daily for individuals or small groups. The resort also offers group lessons over a period of seven weeks for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. For intermediate or advanced skiers aged 6 through 17, there are Bumps & Jumps or the Racing House League which helps students improve their skills.
Hockley Valley Resort – Mono: 83 km | 1 hr
An hour northwest of Toronto, Hockley Valley Resort has 15 trails on a mere 30 acres of skiable terrain, yet there are a wide variety of trails meaning something for everyone. It’s a perfect resort for families, as slopes aren’t particularly long but skiers ready to improve can always find a challenge.
There are two terrain parks located at the top and bottom of the mountain. Ski lessons are available, and children under six must have a private instructor. This allows emerging skiers to really receive dedicated instruction.
Brimacombe – Orono: 95 km | 1 hr
A bit further east along Ontario’s hills, Brimacombe is a straightforward ski area with slopes spread along the face. The resort has a lodge with dining at each end, but no shuttle between the two.
Brimacombe is one of the larger resorts in southern Ontario with a 300-foot (91 m) vertical drop and more than 65 skiable acres. Although 43 percent of its trails are rated for beginners, there are enough blue and black slopes to challenge experienced skiers. Lift tickets can be purchased for a full or half day.
Snow Valley Barrie – Minesing: 122 km | 1.75 hr
No matter the age or skill level, Snow Valley will find a lesson for any skier or snowboarder. The family-focused resort strives to ensure that everyone can learn downhill skills.
The resort has a 280-foot (85 m) vertical drop, and 21 long runs for all skill levels. One large terrain park is located to the side of the slopes. In addition to skiing, the resort has snowshoeing and snow tubing.
2632 Vespra Valley Rd, Minesing, ON L0L 1Y3, Canada (Map) | +1 705-721-7669 | skisnowvalley.com
Horseshoe Resort – Barrie: 133 km | 1.5 hr
An hour north of Toronto, the lakeshore city of Barrie is filled with outdoor activities including skiing and snowboarding. The area is home to three ski areas: Mount St. Louis Moonstone, Snow Valley Barrie, and Horseshoe Resort. With year-round activities and all amenities on site, Horseshoe is one of the most popular options for just about anyone.
The ski area has 29 runs, and other winter activities such as fat biking, snowshoeing, snow tubing, and cross country skiing. The resort’s ski school is open to school groups as well as private individuals.
Mt. St. Louis Moonstone – Coldwater: 142 km | 1.75 hr
With the only half pipe in Ontario and four terrain parks, it’s easy to see why Mount St. Louis Moonstone is a popular option in Ontario. The parks features urban staircases, rails, boxes, zero gravity kickers, and a progressive park for teaching skiers and snowboarders to safely learn techniques.
As a family-owned ski area, which is not operated by some large corporation, it’s one of the biggest of its kind in the province. The resort’s 36 ski slopes are spread across the mountain with easier runs to the left and right and a mixture of blues and blacks in the center.
Blue Mtn Resort – Blue Mountains: 156 km | 2 hr
For the largest resort in the area, look no further than Blue Mountain and its 722-foot (220 m) vertical drop. The resort has 365 acres of skiable terrain and 55 runs. Blue Mountain also has four terrain parks with simple jumps and rails for learning, progressing into larger features.
The resort is packed with lots of bars, restaurants, shops, and lodging just steps away from the slopes. The resort reports that it receives 123 snow days annually and 125 inches (317 cm) of snowfall each year.
Four Nearby Private Ski Hills
Several resorts within two hours of Toronto are members-only slopes. Mansfield Ski Club, Alpine Ski Club, and Caledon Ski Club each have their own rules limiting the number of guests that each member is allowed to have, and specifying the reservations required for these guests.
Osler Bluff Ski Club has no public access at all so members can enjoy an exclusive skiing experience. For anyone who doesn’t want to commit to a private ski hill, consider one of the many other locations that are a quick trip from Toronto.
These ski areas near Toronto are ideal for skiers and snowboarders to learn and practice basic skills. Plus, there are plenty of ski school options and different ways to learn all types of skiing and snowboarding.
Anyone who has a little more time and is seeking high vertical drops might consider visiting the Allegheny Mountains across the border in New York. The list of ski areas near Buffalo has plenty of choices that are a bit further to drive, but with a higher level of difficulty.