Two smiling people riding in a toboggan

Huntsville | Destination Ontario

Great tobogganing spots in Ontario

Two smiling people riding in a toboggan

Huntsville | Destination Ontario

A toboggan is a flat, lightweight plastic or wooden board that’s curved upward at the front.  

The Mi'kmaq people of eastern Canada first invented toboggans or sleds that were used as a transportation tool for heavy loads and also for their young children. The word “toboggan” is thought to have come from an early First Nations Algonquian term (“tepaqan” in Mi’kmaq, or “dabôgan” in Abenaki).  

Today toboggans are different to sleds (which have runners or skis) or tubes (inflated inner tubes).

Tobogganing safety tips and regulations

Make tobogganing fun and safe by following a few basic rules.

Before you grab hold of your toboggan and prepare to launch, always make sure that tobogganing is allowed in the area (look for signage and check with your local authority if you aren’t sure) and that facilities and equipment are safe for use. Toronto, for example, has 26 designated tobogganing hills that are inspected regularly to ensure safe conditions.

Young children should wear a properly fitted helmet and be supervised by an adult. Secure long hair and check clothing to make sure there aren’t any hanging drawstrings or loose scarves that might get tangled up or block someone’s view on the way down.

Check the slope’s conditions—too many trees or rocks, patches of ice or a dangerously shallow landing spot can cause serious injuries. Follow your toboggan’s usage guidelines and share these essential rules with your kids: remain seated, ride with a maximum of two people at a time (depending on your toboggan’s size), keep a safe distance from others and move out of the way of fellow tobogganers.

Wondering where to go tobogganing near you? Here are some of the best, officially designated places to go tobogganing in Ontario.

Northern Ontario

Finn Hill, Sault Ste. Marie

It’s one of the most popular tobogganing hills in the area for a reason: this broad and long slope makes for a truly exhilarating ride. There are plans to add new lighting, a washroom and even an accessibility-friendly lift to carry riders back up the hill.

Location: 75 Village Court, Sault Ste. Marie

Thomson Park, North Bay

A snowy hill is pretty much a sure thing at this well-kept secret in North Bay. Located next to the skate park, the tobogganing slope is perfect for younger children and families.

Location: 100 Chippewa Street West, North Bay

Central Ontario and Muskoka

Port Sydney Community Hall, Huntsville

Next to the Port Sydney Community Hall is an excellent hill for kids that’s popular with locals but might not be as crowded as other sites in the region.

Location: 607 Muskoka Road 10, Port Sydney

James W. Kerr Park, Bracebridge

For a gentler ride, give Kerr Park’s designated sliding hill a try. Ideal for younger tobogganers, the site is also centrally located and easy to get to.

Location: 130 Beaumont Drive, Bracebridge

Southern Ontario

The Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa

This nature reserve—the northernmost arboretum or tree sanctuary in North America—is a spectacle all year round. But its tobogganing hill is a wintertime favourite. Take special care at this site, though, since there are a few trees to look out for on your way down the hill.

Location: Arboretum, Ottawa

Albion Hills Conservation Area, Caledon

Escape from the city to this winter activity destination, less than one hour from downtown Toronto. After a few exhilarating rides on the excellent tobogganing hill, take a refreshing hike through the trails or warm up in the heated lodge.

Location: 16500 Regional Road 50, Caledon

Hy-Hope Farm and Golf Course, Pickering

A family-owned property, Hy-Hope Farm has a range of hills perfect for tobogganing. From steep and fast to steady and gentle, there’s a hill for everyone in your group.

Location: 5450 Lake Ridge Road, Ashburn

Chedoke Golf Club, Hamilton

One of the best of the city’s four designated tobogganing sites, Chedoke offers you both a long, steep hill for speedy rides and a wide, shorter hill for more relaxed ones. The hills are popular and can get busy, so arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Location: 563 Aberdeen Avenue, Hamilton

Pinery Park, Grand Bend

There’s a slope for everyone at this scenic spot on the shores of Lake Huron. The tobogganing hill is lit up at night and the nearby Winter Chalet has heated washrooms.

Location: 9526 Lakeshore Road RR#2, Grand Bend

Riverdale Park East, Toronto

Adventurous tobogganers looking for a city thrill with a small-town feel should head to Riverdale Park East, which also offers riders a great view of the downtown skyline. You can also take a ride down the adjacent hill at Riverdale Park West and then pay a visit to the animals at nearby Riverdale Farm.

Both hills are quite steep, so best for riders with a bit more experience. For a delicious post-tobogganing hot chocolate try the Rooster Coffee House at 479 Broadview Avenue, near the east hill.

Location: 550 Broadview Avenue, Toronto

Linus Park, Toronto

A wide and high hill that’s lit up after dark, so you can keep tobogganing long after the sun goes down. A great spot for kids and families, the tobogganing hill is located beside the park’s skiing area.

Location: 125 Seneca Hill Drive, Toronto

Find more hills where safe tobogganing is permitted in Toronto.

Last updated: January 15, 2024

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