Mattawa Ski Hill to reopen

Posted: Dec 08 2014

At long last, Mattawa will once again be known as a ski town.

The former Mount Antoine facility, which was closed due to financial challenges more than 14 years ago, is finally poised to reopen.

An official announcement was made Friday night on stage during Mattawa Voyageur Days, informing the public Antoine Mountain is expected to open for business this winter.

“After 10 years of persistence and dedication, I am very excited to see the vision for Antoine Mountain come to fruition,” said facility president Todd Yule, in a release. “Antoine Mountain will not only re-establish the sport of recreational skiing and snowboarding in the area, it will also serve to act as a major opportunity for local and regional businesses.”

Redevelopment of the ski hill will include the removal of the existing lifts and installation of a new 2014 Doppelmayr quad lift, as well as renovations to the chalet and out buildings.

Both the province and nearby communities are contributing funds toward the project, including a $1 million contribution from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund and $100,000 commitment from Mattawa. The Mattawa-Bonfield Economic Development Corporation, as well as Papineau-Cameron and Calvin are each also kicking a $25,000 share.

Additional details about the overall cost and long-term scope of the project, as well the work that's taking place at the facility are expected to be disclosed during another event at the site in October.

A release regarding the announcement, however, indicates that land has been acquired in all directions, including a second mountain peek which exceeds 750 vertical feet. The release also notes the ski hill has two approved subdivisions at its base, totalling 31 lots, including four that have already been developed.

A ribbon-cutting event is expected to take place in December.

The current shareholders purchased the facility in 2003. But various efforts to reopen the ski hill, which has 11 runs and boasts epic views of the Ottawa and Mattawa rivers, have been ongoing since shortly after its closure.

“My vision for Antoine Mountain is to see three generations of skiers – the pioneers, their children who grew up skiing on Antoine Mountain and their grandchildren,” said Janine Goad, the hill's director of marketing and human resources. “I am confident that we can all take a step back, slow down a little and enjoy the traditional ski experience that brings friends, families and communities together.”

Mattawa Mayor Dean Backer said the town was left with a huge void when the hill closed, noting his council worked hard see Antoine Mountain reopen.

“We are so thankful to the owners, Jay Aspin, Vic Fedeli and the local municipalities for always believing that Antoine Mountain would re-open bigger and better,” he said.

Mattawan Mayor Peter Murphy said Friday's announcement is the culmination of a group of people who, rather than seeing what is, have envisioned what can be.

“The redevelopment of Antoine Mountain is just the beginning of renewed economic development in Mattawan Township and in the Mattawa – Bonfield region,” he said. “This is just the beginning of what can be in our region and what, I firmly believe, will be.”

Aspin said the reopening of the ski hill is a perfect example of what can be achieved with teamwork, noting the facility owners worked with the area politicians and local economic development corporation to make the project a reality. He also credited Northern Development Minister Michael Gravelle for playing a key role.

“I am very pleased that, by investing in projects such as this one, the Ontario government continues to help grow the Northern Ontario tourism sector, strengthen the regional economy and create new employment opportunities for northerners,” said Gravelle.

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