Canada has an amazing range of locations and landscape , ideal for anyone wanting to visit a winter sports venue or experience the Canadian winter.
There is a lot to choose from. On the west coast there are the rocky mountains, and the provinces of Alberta and British Colombia. These can match any where else in the world. Do not forget Quebec province and Ontario. Plus the, the maritime provinces, on the east coast of Canada, also have a lot to offer. For those interested in skiing, there is something to be found in all the Canadian provinces.
If you are able to visit Canada during the snow season, November to April each year, these are some of the main centers. Temperatures can drop really low in Canada. Another advantage that British Colombia has, it that it can stay relatively mild, being on the west coast., but the snow can last. So there can be snow still on Black Comb Mountain, Whistler, British Colombia in April.
Whistler is the number one ski resort in Canada, which is just two hours from Vancouver. British Colombia. It has the most skiing resorts in Canada. The Grouse mountains are only 15 minutes from Vancouver. These too, can provide a good skiing experience.
British Colombia has six different tourist regions. For specialists there are “back country” ski destinations, “cat skiing” and “ heli-skiing”.
Vancouver it self, is a sophisticated and exciting city. It is well worth a visit.
The Rocky Mountains run through Alberta. An important center from skiing is Banff National Park. There are three prime mountain resorts, These are Red Deer, Medicine Head and Edmonton. They are resorts Package deals can be found for each of these centers. These can suit families and are easy to get too. This will include snow boarding as well as skiing along with other activities.
Quebec province may not have the same mountain ranges as British Colombia and Alberta, but there is skiing there. This includes the Laurentians, Quebec city and the area around it, Charlevoix and the Eastern townships. Quebec province does have one big advantage. You are close to both Montreal and Quebec City. Montreal is a major international city with a lot to offer. Quebec City is also very interesting historically.
From near by Toronto, it is also easy to reach Mount Tremblant, by aircraft, pretty quickly.
Climate and Clothing
One thing to note, Basnff can reach – 11c in January, whereas in Quebec province temperatures can drop to as low as -25c . So be very well prepared if you go skiing or for any other winter sport there. Add in the “wind chill” and temperatures can drop really low. Full thermal clotting and the classic Canadian, winter coats with a fur hood, plus the correct boots, grooves etc, are needed. Throw in a fur hat with the flaps for good measure, plus snow shoes. If you are out in the extreme cold without all this proper gear, expect frost bite and worse, pretty quickly.
The highest slope in Ontario is the Blue Mountains at 750 feet. However, there are options. There are hills and ski systems available around Toronto you can also try mountain biking and hiking in the summer months. There are a number of resort options open all the year round. The Ontario season starts in late December through to March.
What makes an excellent ski resort?
A variety of different slopes and conditions helps. This means a location would suit a pro skier as well as offer opportunities for beginners on less demanding slopes.
Along with this, there are the amenities, that go with a good ski resort. Whistler is a good example of a resort with a variety of very good restaurants and shops. The continuous lift system is one of the longest in the world. It also hosted the Winter Olympics in 2010.
The mountain resort in Lake Louise, in the Rocky Mountain Banff national park, has also a great variety of skiing opportunities. It is also known for its apres skiing, after skiing activities. It is again a place where pro skiers like to visit.
Sunshine village just 15 minutes outside of Banff, can offer up to 15 feet of snow ( around 4 meters), during the winter. This gives skiers fresh snow to ski on each season. Again, there are a variety slopes and conditions to ski on.
If you are looking for style and atmosphere. You can find this in Mount Tremblant in the Laurentian mountains, in Quebec province. This is rated one of the best ski resorts in eastern Canada. This will also give you the full flavor French Canadian culture.
Job Opportunities in Canadian Skiing resorts.
For an outsider wanting the experience of working in a ski resort, and experiencing what is has to offer, then the hospitality industry would be a good start.
This would suit any one on a short term working holiday visa, plus students on gap years etc. These will apply to the winter season, mainly November through to April.
All the major centers will have a lot to offer.
There are many large hotels associated with these resorts. Look at your skill set, and get a resume to match this.
If you have had previous experience working in a bar, as a barista, or working and serving in a cafe or restaurant, this could be a big plus. There will be openings for seasonal workers in bars, restaurants and cafes. This will be serving, waiting, and working behind the bar. There could be roles cleaning and helping to serve food in hotel restaurants and establishments outside.
If you have a background in culinary skills, you have worked as a chef, and have prepared and cooked food in restaurants etc, this could also be a big advantage.
There may be jobs for cleaners, lift operators and hotel guides. Again, those of you with admin skills in officer work plus IT experience may find openings.
Carpenters and any one with trade and craft skills could find work in maintenance departments in ski resorts and hotels.
If you are there long enough you can pick up enough experience and work, not just as a hotel guide, but also as a local guide.
If you can already ski and snow board, there may be a chance to become a ski instructor. A huge bonus would be coming to Canada with recognized skiing qualifications. Look into the possibility of picking up these skills once you are there.
Of course, unless you are a pro skier yourself, you will probably need to start with beginners.
So, experience of working with children, could be a good card to play. Your may have enough knowledge to get across basic skills, plus help with snow boarding and skating. Making this a learning and fun activity for kids. This could apply equally in a large hotel, where fun activities may be needed for bored kids.
Look to what you have. A good agency could guide you with this, and will know the possibilities that are available. There will be time to ski yourself, and have a bit of fun while you are in the resort.