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In 1948 two friends on a ski vacation to Quebec became frustrated with standing in long lift lines. For Struan Robertson and Bill Kingsmill the solution was simple – create their own ski area, a private club. By the spring of 1949 they felt they had the interest of enough keen skiers to source a suitable location.
The summer was spent exploring and hiking the Niagara escarpment in the Collingwood area, resulting in signed agreements to purchase 50 acres with options on an additional 200 acres. The first General Meeting of The Osler Bluff Ski Club was held on September 27, 1949. The membership goal of 300 was attained by 1954 plus a waiting list which, within two years, rapidly grew to more than 130 names. Thus, the vision of these two men became a reality.
As the old saying goes, the three most important factors for success are location, location and location. The same can be said for skiing. While our two founders were hiking and flying over the escarpment near Collingwood in that summer of 1949, they were also consulting with local farmers, who advised that the snow conditions on the slopes above the Poplar Sideroad were the best along the escarpment.
A base elevation 200 feet higher than Blue Mountain and being situated 10 kilometres from the Georgian Bay shoreline creates more natural snow as the prevailing winds push up over the escarpment and move inland. Osler Bluff’s northeast exposure also provides better protection against snow erosion from wind and direct sun.
Little did these Osler pioneers realize that the distance from Georgian Bay would reduce its moderating effect on the temperature to allow for more optimum artificial snowmaking at the beginning of the season, and much cozier skiing conditions later in the season when the Bay ices over. Our vertical drop of 743 feet is among the greatest in Ontario, and our natural terrain provides some of the longest, most scenic trails from beginner to expert. For those who wish a change of pace, over 12 km of marked crosscountry skiing and snowshoeing trails wind through the club property.