Best Ski Towns To Live In – Canada’s top ski towns are spread across the country from coast to coast, with some options in several provinces. Most of the alpine communities on this list are part of full-service resorts, complete with a compact village atmosphere, so guests are perfectly content to stay and enjoy their surroundings even when they’re not on the slopes.
All of these ski towns have a shuttle service or gondolas in the center of town to take skiers and snowboarders to the peaks. They also have lots of activities that are easy to reach any time of the year.
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In southern British Columbia, in the Kootenay region, just a short drive from the Washington border, Rossland is a ski town with much more than downhill skiing. Whether biking in the winter or golfing in the summer, the all-season community has more than enough to keep visitors busy any time of year.
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RED Mountain Resort is just minutes away, with a shuttle service providing access from Rossland for a nominal fee. The resort is known for its tree skiing and advanced runs, though there are enough beginner runs for the whole family to enjoy.
As home to the world’s largest feline ski operation, it would be a shame to visit Rossland and not even experience the backcountry snow. Cross-country skiing, curling and snowshoeing round out the winter outdoor activities, with swimming and ice skating available any time of year.
In the summer, visitors can find fly fishing, ziplining and trail running, but there is another activity that has brought the town great recognition. Rossland became an early adopter of trail mountain biking when locals followed the trails of abandoned miners and railroad tracks. Today it is considered the “Mountain Bike Capital of Canada”.
The town, incorporated as a mining town in 1897, has a population of around 3,500. While Rossland’s shopping is mostly limited to ski-related supplies and items, there are a few boutiques and a wide range of dining options.
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Walking through Banff’s pedestrianized streets, it’s obvious that the mountains are the real star of this ski town. Alpine architecture is surrounded by peaks visible from almost every vantage point.
Banff may be surrounded by mountains, but it’s also a ski town surrounded by Canada’s first national park. In warm weather, visitors to Banff can go canoeing on the Bow River, rock climbing in the national park or exploring the area on horseback.
Winter is perfect for skiing in Norquay, about fifteen minutes away. A little further on, skiers and snowboarders can try out the slopes of Banff Sunshine. A free shuttle takes guests to any resort at any time of the year.
The city began with the discovery of hot springs, when railroad workers noticed steam coming out of a cave. The hot springs of Banff Upper have drawn visitors to the area for over a century, when the town was first established as a tourist destination.
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It is because of the railroad that Banff exists, and the railroad is still part of the ski town. Trains take visitors through the mountains on a scenic journey from Vancouver.
On the banks of the Columbia River, the small ski town of Revelstoke is an oasis in the middle of the Colombian mountains. The hidden town in the valley is surrounded by incredible mountains, bringing the outdoors to every vista.
Getting to Revelstoke Mountain Resort is easy with the winter bus, which provides access for a nominal fee. Many hotels offer free transfers between the ski area and the city center. The resort’s ski and snowboard slopes are best for advanced skiers and snowboarders, with heliskiing and cat skiing available for those ready to tackle even more snow.
In summer, the bus is available free of charge to visit the mountain. Rent a mountain bike and explore the green slopes, or purchase a Play All Day Pass to experience fun activities like the Pipe Mountain Coaster, Aerial Adventure Park, zip lining and disc golf.
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Revelstoke is the site of the continent’s first ski jump, a site that has been abandoned but can still be explored. Walk along the lake, take a canoe trip, visit the waterfalls or go paragliding when the snow melts.
The city may seem isolated from the rest of the world, but the population continues to grow and now boasts over 8,000 residents. Cultural exploration awaits with three museums, an art gallery and an outdoor art space, plus Art Alleries that turn downtown alleys into galleries. Musicians can be found performing at a number of notable venues throughout the summer.
The city was founded in 1880 by railroad workers and today its architecture is a mix of old log structures with contemporary buildings. Due to its remoteness, there are a huge number of accommodation and dining options in Revelstoke, as well as a number of craft breweries.
The charming pedestrian village of Mont Tremblant is reason enough to visit this ski town in Québec’s Laurentian Mountains. Shopping, activities and dining come together to make it an ideal four-season destination. Tremblant started out as a logging community and later became a national park. Today, its population of nearly 10,000 celebrates more than 80 years of skiing on the mountain.
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At any time of year, ride the gondola to the top of the mountains or visit the connected casino on the edge of the pedestrian village. Gondolas depart from the center of the village to each of the two ski peaks of Mont Tremblant and Mont Blanc.
The peaks combine to form the Mont-Tremblant Resort, with downhill skiing, downhill skiing and ski parks. At the base, ice skating, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, dog sledding and cross-country skiing are easy to find.
Summer is full of activities including horse riding, alpine luge, cycling and golf. Visitors can spend time on the lake and beach with swimming, paddle boats, kayaks and canoes.
The village has its own fairytale atmosphere, with tall buildings and hilly cobbled streets. Famous brand stores mingle with local boutiques, and dining options are plentiful for those staying in the village’s various condominiums, chalets, cottages and hotels.
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In the far west of Canada, the slopes of Whistler Blackcomb are known as some of the best in the country. Whistler Village at the base of the mountain is a ski town hotspot with plenty to explore any time of year.
Whistler is a former Olympic site, with the torch and rings still present and former sites teeming with activity. It’s no surprise, then, that the area is home to many more extreme activities that generally cannot be found in other ski towns and certainly not in one place. The city has an estimated population of 12,309 in 2022.
In winter, most people spend time on the slopes at Canada’s largest ski resort, but that’s not the only outdoor fun. Snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice climbing and snow skiing are perfect ways to spend a winter day. For an incredibly unique experience, Whistler also offers bobsledding and is the only place in Canada where anyone can experience this Olympic sport.
When the snow melts, many visitors move to Lost Lake for fishing, beaching and boating. Look for wildlife throughout the area during the summer or try ziplining, bungee jumping or rock climbing. Whistler Bike Park is the world’s premier lift-access bike park, boasting the continent’s largest riding terrain and more than 70 trails.
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Nearly a hundred dining options are located around the village. A large number of these restaurants pride themselves on using local ingredients. Shopping ranges from small local boutiques to designer stores, but there’s something for everyone.
Although the dream of Blue Mountain Village began in 1941, construction on the ski town only started in 2000 and has not yet been completed. The walkable village is filled with condos, hotels, retail stores and restaurants, with access to activities and events every day of the year.
Blue Mountain Village was designed to resemble a European ski town with a mix of old world styles and cobbled streets. Its position adjacent to the Blue Mountain Resort keeps skiing top of mind, although there is a wide range of other activities within the full-season resort community.
Shops, restaurants and accommodation are situated around a small lake, which offers paddle boating in the summer and skating in the winter. The four-season ski town has sleigh rides, snowshoeing, golf, ropes courses, rock climbing and ziplining. Hiking trails are well marked and the city’s year-round Aquatic Center includes a water park.
British Columbia, Canada
While the ski slopes at Blue Mountain may not be the most challenging and its hills the scariest, it benefits from easy accessibility. The community is just a few hours north of Toronto and all amenities are within walking distance.
Canada’s ski towns are pleasant to visit even without snow. All are extremely accessible and easy to navigate, and all have a wide range of activities for the entire family.
From extreme sports to a night at the casino, each of these Canadian mountain locations has something special.
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