As a BC boy, I admit I take mountains for granted. So I was a little surprised and how, um, ‘bereft of mountains‘? – the Ottawa Valley was on a recent trip to the Gatineau Lakes. This led me to ponder what the highest ski resort would be in Ontario, Quebec or quite frankly anywhere east of the Canadian Rockies.
(Much love Ottawa. It’s a beautiful city, and your real estate is actually affordable – GASP!).
Defining ‘The Highest Ski Resort’
You’ll likely get different answers when you ask which of Canada’s many ski resorts are the highest. That’s because they’re measured differently. You can measure a ski resort by its base, summit, vertical drop or longest run.
That’s in contrast with ‘Vertical Drop’, which simply measures height from base to peak, and does not account for the skiability of the terrain between those extremes.
The Highest Ski Resorts in Eastern Canada
Yet a few patterns emerge no matter how we choose to size our ski runs. The highest ski resorts in Canada cluster within the Canadian Rockies. No surprise there, and Revelstoke Ski Resort claims the prize, in case you were wondering. But Quebec ski resorts simply clobber those in Ontario for elevation. Three ski resorts in La Belle province come in at a very respectable 2,000+ feet. And five more eclipse the 1,000 foot mark.
The highest ski resort in Ontario barely passes 700 feet – again, going by True-Up Vertical Descent. Let’s not beat around the bush. Size matters, right?
Highest Ski Resorts in Quebec:
Le Massif Ski Resort – 2,220 Feet (Skiable Area: 250-500 Acres)
Mont-Sainte-Anne Ski Resort – 2,068 Feet (Skiable Area: 250-500 Acres)
Mont Tremblant Ski Resort – 2,031 Feet (Skiable Area: 750-1000 Acres)
Mont Sutton Ski Resort – 1,472 Feet (Skiable Area: 250-500 Acres)
Owl’s Head Ski Resort – 1,410 Feet (Skiable Area: 100-250 Acres)
Highest Ski Resorts in Ontario:
Blue Mountain Ski Resort – 732 Feet (Skiable Area: 100-250 Acres)
Calabogie Peaks Resort – 684 Feet (Skiable Area: Less Than 100 Acres)
Bear in mind height alone does not make a ski resort. Other factors are at work, like number of lifts, runs, and the skill levels they bring.
And that’s before amenities, customer service and the all-around vibe that makes it pop.
Still, you’re reading this for the highest ski resorts in Ontario and Quebec, correct? Head to Blue Mountain Ski Resort if you live in the Toronto area and prefer to get your skiing kicks here in the great white north (rather than New York State’s Bristol Mountain, which is higher). In Montreal, Mont Tremblant is less than two hours away. Quebec City has Le Massif and Mont-Sainte-Anne.
And Ottawa? You get can your snowboarding kicks at Mont Ste Marie – the highest ski resort in the Ottawa area. Bonus points: head to nearby Wakefield Quebec when the mercury climbs. You may not have the highest ski resort in Canada, but you DO have quick access to the highest bungee jump in North America in nearby Wakefield, Quebec.