Government of Ontario Closes Ski Season
December 22nd, 2020 – The Ontario Snow Resorts Association (OSRA) responded today to the news of a 28-day
shutdown for the majority of Ontario ski hills beginning on December 26th, 2020.
“Despite working with the Government of Ontario over the past several months, despite nearly 2,500 Ontarians sending letters through the Save Our Skiing campaign, and despite investing heavily into this year’s season to keep Ontarians safe, the government has decided to shutdown ski hills,” began Kevin Nichol, President of the OSRA.
The OSRA had been working with the government to ensure that ski hills would be supported like golf courses were
during the first wave. The association, in partnership with the Canadian Ski Council, created the Ski Well, Be Well
program, to keep skiers and staff safe during the pandemic. In November, Save Our Skiing was launched, a campaign
which got thousands of Ontarians to write to their local MPP to ask for their support for the snow season.
“While golf courses were supported by the Ontario Government, even during the height of the first wave of the
pandemic, ski hills have been left behind.
This has caused resorts to spend millions of dollars in anticipation of opening,
just to be closed. Thousands of resort employees are now furloughed and all Ontarians who enjoy downhill skiing won’t be able to participate and will lose out on an activity that helps their physical and mental health,” continued Nichol.
On the same day as the announcement in Ontario, the Government of Quebec working with ski hills moved in the
opposite direction by increasing their ski lift loading capacity, from one person per chair to 50% of chair lifts. Ontario has now become the only jurisdiction in all of North America to close ski hills.
“Ski hills across Ontario are ready to welcome skiers this year with extra precautions.
They are ready to deliver an experience that Ontarians rely on during the darkest days of winter. Unfortunately, the government has decided to not support ski hills and is the only jurisdiction in North America to stop skiers from enjoying the sport. While we will miss the thousands of skiers over the next few weeks, we look forward to welcoming them soon in a safe and responsible
manner and continue to work with the government on fully and safely reopening,” concluded Nichol.