Guide to Skiing Eastern Canada

Don’t underestimate the eastern Canadian province of Quebec for your next winter exploit.

When most people think about skiing in Canada, images of Whistler and the big mountains in the West immediately come to mind—and understandably so. But don’t underestimate the eastern Canadian province of Quebec for your next winter exploit. While you may not find monster vertical drops (Le Massif is the highest at 770 meters), the area is blessed with a nice long winter season and night skiing almost everywhere.

The area is blessed with a nice long winter season and night skiing almost everywhere.

The region boasts more than 70 ski centers, distributed over two major mountain ranges–the Laurentians and the Appalachians. Most of the ski resorts are conveniently located near Montréal and Québec City, making for easy travel and a nice weekend getaway from the city.

Mont Tremblant

Tremblant sits at nearly 3,000 feet and offers magnificent views of the heavily forested Laurentians Mountains, delivering an “alps-like” experience without leaving North America. The resort has one of the most sophisticated snowmaking systems in the world with more than 1,000 snow guns, so Mother Nature has some back-up in keeping the area’s 654 acres and 95 ski trails in prime shape.

There is an open gondola-style lift called The Cabriolet that connects the upper and lower parts of the village. From the top of this lift, the main gondola sweeps skiers to the summit of the mountain, with the sparkling lights of the elegant cobblestone resort village of Mt. Tremblant glittering below.

Le Massif de Charlevoix

Boasting the highest vertical east of the Canadian Rockies, Le Massif features 52 trails and glades catered to every ability. Blessed with good snow, the resort sees an annual average base of 212 inches, with 391 snow guns to continually top off the powder.

Boasting the highest vertical east of the Canadian Rockies, Le Massif features 52 trails and glades catered to every ability.

What distinguishes the Massif from other resorts is its accessibility–both by the summit and by the base. There are three peaks, but only two are currently exploited; the non-resort types can venture out into Charlevoix’s backcountry to explore this third peak. Located near the village of Petite-Rivière-Saint-François, the setting is breathtaking, with the river running right along the base of snowy peaks.

Mont Sainte-Anne

Only 30 minutes from downtown Quebec City, Mont-Sainte-Anne boasts incredible ski conditions, with 71 runs and four snow parks on three faces of the mountain. The 19 floodlit runs and a 2,050-foot vertical drop means Mont-Sainte-Anne has Canada’s highest vertical drop for night skiing. This resort renowned for its snow quality and the daily grooming of its slopes has one of the province’s longest ski seasons. The gondola affords a breathtaking view of the St. Lawrence River.

Bromont

Roughly 45 minutes from downtown Montreal in the Eastern Townships, Bromont boasts the largest lit skiable terrain in North America, with 450 acres of skiable terrain, 156 trails and glades spread over seven hillsides. Up to 98 of these trails are lit at night–perfect for skiing after work or school or day-tripping in the city. For the little rippers, five separate ski parks offer many different jumps and features to play on all day and night.

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