Where to go snowboarding in Ontario
Heavy lake-effect snowfall combined with Ontario’s scenic escarpments, highlands and mountainous terrain make for a wide range of snowboarding experiences, including world-class terrain parks and exhilarating steeps that keep advanced riders coming back for more.
Find the most challenging slopes across the province and plan your next snowboarding trip.
Where to rent equipment
On-site equipment rentals at most Ontario snowboarding hills and resorts make it easy for occasional riders to hit the slopes.
Rental packages typically include a snowboard, boots and helmet, with some hills also offering discounts on combined equipment rental and beginner lift ticket packages. Larger resorts like Blue Mountain also rent snowboarding jackets, pants and goggles.
Rental prices average from $50 to $70 per day for adult equipment packages and $35 to $50 per day for youth packages.
In addition to slopeside equipment rentals, you’ll find a wide variety of rentals at independent ski and snowboard shops in Ontario’s top snowboarding destinations, such as:
Location: 279 Mountain Road, Collingwood
Location: 774 Mountain Road, The Blue Mountains
Location: 8575 Keele Street, Vaughan
Location: 278 Geneva Street, St. Catharines
Contact the ski and snowboard shop before your day out on the slopes to find out if pre-booking is required for rentals, to avoid disappointment.
As a snowboarder, it’s your responsibility to learn the rules of the resort where you’re riding. But there is also some basic etiquette that applies everywhere. Keep these guidelines in mind before hitting the slopes:
- Know which slopes are right for your skill level and snowboard only on those. If you find yourself on a slope that is too difficult, keep your snowboard on and sidestep down the hill.
- Stay on marked paths and never go past the snowboard area boundary or into a closed area.
- Pay attention to warning signs such as "Slow skiing area" and "Caution."
- Learn to stop before you ride at high speeds or on steeper hills.
- Before you start down a hill or merge onto a trail, look uphill to make sure no one is coming towards you.
- Skiers and snowboarders in front of you have the right of way. Keep your distance and stay in control. If you are higher up the slope and going faster than the person below, it is your responsibility to get past safely.
- Never stop in the middle of a trail (move off to the side instead) or in any spot where you can't be seen from above, such as below a drop-off or in the landing zone of a jump.
- Be courteous to the hill’s employees, other riders and skiers.
Where to go snowboarding in Ontario
Snowboarding experiences in Ontario are as varied as the terrain. Whether you’re craving deep natural snow, looking for top-notch lesson programs or seeking out a full resort experience complete with slopeside lodging and a fairy-tale mountain village, the province’s ski and snowboard areas deliver.
Ontario’s snowbelt region extends well beyond popular resorts like Blue Mountain. Head farther north and the increase in drive time translates to less time waiting in lines, more fresh tracks on powder days and substantially lower prices on lift tickets, food and accommodation.
Best hills for experienced snowboarders
Boasting one of Ontario’s highest vertical drops (220 metres) and more rideable terrain than anywhere else in the province, Blue Mountain has 11 lifts and nearly 30 kilometres of slopes to shred.
Half the mountain’s runs are rated intermediate, while a full 30% are for advanced riders. There’s an extensive array of terrain, including wide groomers, bumps, super-pipes and off-piste tree runs.
On top of all that, you’ll find a European-style pedestrian village with a lively après scene and some of the best on-mountain pubs, dining, boutiques, hotels and spas in Canada. One of the most convenient and best places to stay is The Westin Trillium House, Blue Mountain. This is Ontario’s priciest and most popular peak so be sure to book early.
Perched on a vertical drop of 214 metres, Searchmont’s 21 runs twist and turn through the rugged terrain and frosted forest of the Canadian Shield, challenging more experienced riders.
Bush trails and glades tempt adventurous souls, while a terrain park beckons freestylers. But the best part may be all that natural, fluffy snowfall—with almost four metres (11 feet) annually, chances are good for catching a powder day.
This winter is the perfect time to visit Searchmont. The resort has recently completed major upgrades to grooming, snowmaking, lifts and dining. Plus, newly renovated condominiums at the base of the hill make Searchmont one of the only northern resorts where you can stay slopeside. Nearby Sault Ste. Marie also offers a range of convenient accommodations, including the well-appointed Water Tower Inn.
Location: 103 Searchmont Resort Road, Searchmont
Thunder Bay’s extraordinary geography—embraced by the Nor’Wester Mountains and the world’s mightiest lake—spoils local riders and makes Loch Lomond a spectacular destination for a snowboarding road trip.
Expert riders head to the north side of this 229-metre drop, where the steepest and most challenging terrain includes tree runs and double black diamonds. There is also a terrain park and weekend night skiing if you’re craving a few more turns.
Loch Lomond is located just minutes from downtown Thunder Bay, where you’ll find a wide variety of places to stay and eat. The waterfront Delta Hotels by Marriott boasts breathtaking Lake Superior views. Catch live music and an extensive selection of imported beers at The Sovereign Room gastro-pub. Experience Thunder Bay’s vibrant Finnish culture at Kangas Sauna, where a steamy sweat banishes winter chills and aching quads.
Location: 1800 Loch Lomond Road, Thunder Bay
The 27 runs at Mount Jamieson skew towards advanced with four double-blacks and three glades to challenge expert tree riders. If steeps, trees and cliffs aren’t your thing, freestylers will also find a terrain park with all the usual features.
Relax at the Foggy Goggle, Mount Jamieson’s hilltop patio bar, or head back to Timmins for more après options. Just 20 minutes away, Cedar Meadows Resort & Spa offers the full resort experience in a beautiful natural setting with luxury suites, delicious food, Nordic baths and even a 100-acre (40-hectare) wildlife park.
Location: 5050 Kamiskotia Road, Timmins
The 238-metre vertical drop at Calabogie Peaks is the highest in the province, but that isn’t the only reason to visit this charming Eastern Ontario resort. Its 80 acres (32 hectares) of rideable terrain are served by two speedy quad chairs, minimizing lift time and maximizing your vert.
The 24 runs here are long—the longest is over two kilometres—so you can really get in the groove. Expert runs make up 25% of the total terrain and there are also rail parks, a mogul field and a snowcross track.
Slopeside dining and ski-in/ski-out lodging at the Calabogie Peaks Hotel make this a great weekend destination from the capital region. Off-piste and après activities include pond skating, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, outdoor bonfires and pouring a pint of craft beer at Calabogie Brewing Co.
Ontario’s second-oldest family-owned ski and snowboard area is set in 100 acres (40 hectares) of serene hardwood forest and Canadian Shield outcrops overlooking Eagle and Moose lakes. Over 40% of the hill’s 14 runs are rated difficult, with a terrain park serving up rails, jumps and tabletops.
Choose from a variety of slopeside options, or plan a romantic couple’s getaway at Sir Sam’s Inn, a luxury adult resort and spa just a short walk from the hill. Dating from 1919, this restored inn offers fine dining and lakeside rooms with cozy wood-burning fireplaces and whirlpool baths.
Location: 1054 Liswood Road, Eagle Lake
Best snowmobile terrain parks
Renowned for having the best terrain parks east of the Rockies, Mount St. Louis Moonstone is the place for freestyle riders of every ability. The features at the resort’s three terrain parks vary in size and difficulty, allowing for the perfect progression for aspiring and serious riders.
Skool YaRd Grom Park is Moonstone’s freestyle “classroom,” where new freestyle riders can learn on thicker and lower rails and boxes, mini bumps, rollers and a mellow quarter-pipe.
Next up is Junkyard Progression Park, the first terrain park in Ontario to open each winter and host to scores of freestyle competitions.
Finally, the Outback Super Park is reserved for the most advanced riders with an 18-foot-deep halfpipe, the longest rail in North America (over 40 metres/140 feet) and 60 other awesome features.
Mount St. Louis Moonstone lies in Ontario’s snowbelt and features Canada’s most advanced snowmaking, so the conditions here are guaranteed to be good. The resort has also recently invested millions in lift, lighting, grooming, rental and chalet upgrades, so their lift tickets are amazing value.
Horseshoe is a hot spot for freestyle boarding in Ontario. The resort’s Outlaw Terrain Park consistently ranks as one of the best progression parks in the province. Choose from three different runs for a great variety of features: Bullpen delivers medium and large slopestyle elements; Horsefly Hop is all about rails; and Rodeo is the hill’s boardercross run.
Location: 1101 Horseshoe Valley Road West, Barrie
It’s no surprise Ontario’s largest ski and snowboard area offers plenty of fun for freestyle riders.
The four terrain parks at Blue Mountain have everything from beginner rails to super-pipes for the pros. Novice-friendly L-Park, The Grove and the new Yahoo Park are home to foundational snow park features that give riders a gentle introduction to freestyle riding. Advanced riders can get massive air and epic rail rides at the famed Badlands Terrain Park. Mid-season, the L-Park morphs into a boardercross track for head-to-head riding.
Blue Mountain’s pedestrian village keeps the energy pumping off-piste, with a lively après scene featuring on-mountain pubs, dining, boutiques, hotels and spas.
Less than an hour from Toronto in the rolling hills of the Oak Ridges Moraine, this small resort delivers big thrills for freestyle riders. Lakeridge’s three terrain parks are built with progression in mind, so there’s something for every level of rider. The hill also boasts a snowcross track and half-pipe for more experienced shredders.
Lakeridge is an excellent day trip destination from the city, with 23 runs, a large tubing park, a snow school and a new day lodge that is roomy and bright.
If you’re planning a longer stay, choose from hotels in nearby Ajax or a cozy room at Trailside B&B in Uxbridge. For drinks and dining after a day on the slopes, Slabtown Cider Co. is just up the road, serving up stone oven-baked pizza and fleets of delicious heirloom apple cider.
Location: 790 Chalk Lake Road, Uxbridge
The terrain park at Dagmar is the largest in Durham region, with 60 features for riders from beginner to advanced. It also runs right under the main chairlift, so the ride back up usually provides plenty of entertainment.
Beyond the terrain park, the resort offers 18 family-friendly runs and an acclaimed snow school. Dagmar is just minutes away from Lakeridge, so you can hit both resorts on a weekend visit to the area.
Location: 1220 Lake Ridge Road, Uxbridge
Less than an hour north of Sault Ste. Marie, Searchmont Resort’s rockin’ terrain park is at the centre of the region’s dedicated freestyle community. Packed with bumps, jumps and rails of all sizes, the park also hosts a slate of fun freestyle events and programs each winter.
Stay slopeside in Searchmont’s newly renovated condos at the base of the hill, or head to the Soo for a hot tub session and comfortable room at the Water Tower Inn.
Location: 103 Searchmont Resort Road, Searchmont
Snowboarding is an exciting, healthy and fun way to enjoy winter across Ontario. Après ride, relive the day’s adventures around a warm fire with friends or family. Whatever your appetite, Ontario’s snow resorts deliver.
Last updated: September 8, 2023