Councillor looks into all-year skiing at Earl Bales

The use of a new synthetic material that mimics snow and allows for year-round skiing is currently being investigated at Earl Bales Park. The material, when secured to a framing on the hill, would make skiing in the spring and summer months a possibility, and it would remain fixed to the hill during the ski season under layers of snow.

Ward 10 councillor James Pasternak is currently in talks with an undisclosed private company over the plans and says a full consultation process would need to be undertaken with input from various community groups before anything goes ahead.

“We want to see how this has worked in other jurisdictions and make sure it’s successful there before proceeding,” he said. “We’re not just going to cover those hills overnight in synthetic material. It’s going to be a slow go.

“We have a great wealth of parks in Ward 10, and if there’s an opportunity to offer ski and snowboarding all year round, I think it’s worth exploring,” he said.

Pasternak added that the city would likely be looking at entering a multi-year licensing deal that would have the company bear the risk and cost of installation. He does not believe the prices of daily and season snow passes would rise if the plan is to go ahead.

President of the North York Alpine Racing Club, Clive Kessel, believes the venture could be worth looking into, given the possible benefit for beginner skiers.

“Right now we do dry land training at Earl Bales in the community centre and we start in October,” he said. “To have the kids onto snow [earlier in the year] with their skis would be an opportunity.”

“It may be something that we could integrate into our program.

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