Dust off those skis---Mt. Antoine set to amaze

Posted: Dec 08 2014

Officials on stage at Voyageur Days in Mattawa dressed in ski gear, officially announce the re-opening of Mt. Antoine. Photo by Jeff Turl.

Dam Buster, Cliff Hanger, the Ottawa. If those names bring back memories you’ll be happy with Friday’s official announcement--- Mt. Antoine is back in business baby!

And the 4th highest mountain in Ontario (630 vertical feet) is going to feature a new Doppelmayr quad lift that will speed 2,000 skiers and boarders per hour quickly up the side of the hill.

“We’ve taken it to the right so we are going to hug the tree line,” Toronto investor and Antoine Mountain President Todd Yule told BayToday.

“We’re going to open up Dambuster. It’s a beautiful run,” he explained. “I think people will really be impressed by that.”

The two existing lifts, a double and triple will be taken down.

All of the runs will keep their names to honour the history of the club.

While the focus is getting the ski hill, with the longest run in Ontario at km, back in operation, Yule says they have an eye to the future as well.

The opposing mountain to the right is even higher at 750 feet. It has been purchased, and more four-season-like facilities are being looked at.

“We’re taking that year, by year, by year,” Yule says.

As to be expected, surrounding municipalities are excited by the news.

“It’s huge. It’s a whole new beginning,” exclaimed Mattawan Township Mayor Peter Murphy whose jurisdiction the hill falls under.

A long-time skier himself, Murphy watched his two boys learn to ski on Antoine.

“This is going to open up a whole new universe of stuff to do here in the wintertime.

“It’s going to add that quality of life aspect that people who are looking to start a business are looking for.”

For Mattawa Mayor Dean Backer the announcement fills a huge void in the community.

“I know personally that our council has worked extremely hard with a goal to see Antoine Mountain re-open, We are so thankful to the owners, (MP) Jay Aspin, (MPP) Vic Fedeli and the local municipalities for always believing that Antoine Mountain would re-open bigger and better.”

Bonfield Mayor Randy McLaren agrees.

“This is the first time in a long time that I am looking forward to winter’s arrival. Antoine Mountain will compliment winter programming at the Canadian Ecology Centre and is a positive for the entire region.”

You may have noticed one small change…the name is now Antoine Mountain.

Check out Antoine’s new website at www.AntoineMountain.ca

The looming question now of course, will be the impact on North Bay's Laurentian ski hill and whether it can survive without some kind of local government assistance.

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