Ontario, Canada Premier Says That Ski Hills Are the “Last Thing on My Mind” | Have We Already Seen the End of the Season?

Liam Abbott | | Industry NewsIndustry News
View of Georgian Peaks Ski Club on Saturday. A snow gun is seen in the foreground with people sledding in the mid-ground and a groomer in background. Image courtesy of Liam Abbott.

Today, Tuesday, January 12, the Government of Ontario announced a second state of emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic after new modeling has suggested daily cases will double within the next month. With this terrible news and new projections, what can we expect for the rest of the current ski season—or have we already seen the end of it?

New Ontario COVID-19 modeling released by the province on January 12th 2021. Image courtesy of the Science Table COVID-19 Advisory for Ontario.

During a news conference last Friday, January 8, Ontario Premier Doug Ford responded to a reporter asking about the status of ski hills by saying that it was the “last thing on my mind.”

Back on December 26, 2020, the Government of Ontario closed all ski hills in the province until at least January 23. Many still have their hopes up thinking that the ski hills may open then, but with continually rising cases since then plus the recent comments made by the premier, those hopes have begun to dwindle.

What are the ski hills doing?

Up until today, many hills were confident the Government of Ontario would allow them to reopen at some point this season.

On Saturday, Blue Mountain was blowing snow at almost full capacity on over a dozen runs while groomers were spotted at Craigleith, Georgian Peaks, and Osler. This continual work and preparation demonstrate that hills are ready to start spinning their lifts whenever they are allowed.

In the meantime, plenty of ski hills have opted to offering other activities for their guests, most prominently tobogganing, hiking, cross-country skiing, and ice skating.

Sledding runs set up at Craigleith Ski Club. Image courtesy of Liam Abbott.

Ski hills are also encouraging people to follow the rules by discouraging them to hike up and ski the hills themselves. Although groomers are out working on the runs, they are purposely leaving their cat tracks in order to make for a rough ride down on skis.

Economic Hardship

With ski hills in Ontario initially blindsided by their closures, it will be interesting to see how ski hills will fare with going one and a half seasons without skiing, with the exception of the two-week window in December. Bigger hills like Blue Mountain may survive with the help of their parent companies, while smaller hills such as Hidden Valley or Dagmar may go under. Only time will tell.

Groomer tracks left on a run at Craigleith Ski Club. Image courtesy of Liam Abbott.
Although the ski hills may not be filled with skiers, they sure are filled with hikers nowadays. Image courtesy of Liam Abbott.

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7 thoughts on “Ontario, Canada Premier Says That Ski Hills Are the “Last Thing on My Mind” | Have We Already Seen the End of the Season?

  1. Skiing/ snow boarding is the healthiest sport that we can do in the winter. Obviously Doug Ford is not a skier! If he was then I’m sure we would be skiing. There would not be thousands of people out of jobs, economic devastation to all the ski resorts in Ontario! Wake up Doug! Is Trudeau going to play monopoly with them too! Another Reset button on our human rights? He opened up Golf and boating for his buddies during the pandemic? Why not skiing? Focus on your TORONTO Doug where the issue mostly is. Why do the all Ontario people suffer because you can’t control TORONTO?

  2. Wow I have skied 17x this year at Mt Baker Wa.
    Everyone is following the safe standards that have been set.
    Any Ski Area can operate safely.
    People need to get out. They are safer on the mtn. than a grocery store.

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