The Blue Mountain area near Collingwood is blessed with more attractions for visitors than most tourist destinations. There are so many things to do and sights to see that even those who return year after year find attractions they never knew about before.
Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities, like skiing, hiking, biking and water sports; unique natural features, like the mountain itself, caves and Georgian Bay; restaurants and nightlife; theatres; museums; arts and crafts, urban settings or a chalet getaway, Blue Mountain offers it and much more.
But there’s no denying that, without the Blue Mountain Ski Resort, not as many people would have discovered the treasures that Blue Mountain offers. And the story of how the ski resort came to be is a good one.
The Story of Blue Mountain Resort
All you have to do to start learning about who started the Blue Mountain Ski Resort is drive to it. No matter which direction you come from, you’ll end up on Jozo Weider Blvd. before you get there.
While Jozo is famous as the founder of the resort, few know of his extensive background in building and managing ski chalets and resorts.
Still in his 20s, Jozo built a ski chalet near the Carpathian Mountains in what was then Austria-Hungary. He worked there as the innkeeper, mountain guide and photographer.
Just before the outbreak of World War II, Jozo and his family moved to Canada. He found work as a ski instructor at Quebec City’s famed Chateau Frontenac, before working at the Inn in Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson in rural Quebec.
In 1941, after meeting Peter Campbell in Quebec, the two formed a partnership to build the Blue Mountain Ski Resort. Jozo moved his family into a farm at the foot of the mountain. The family worked the farm in the summers as Jozo oversaw the development of the ski runs and resort amenities around them.
The contrast between the Blue Mountain area then and now is striking. Today, Collingwood is primarily the town most closely associated with Blue Mountain. But in the 1940s, Collingwood was a centre for ship building and apple growing.
Driving to Blue Mountain wasn’t easy. Early visitors to the ski resort had to get there by train, arriving at the station in nearby Craigleith.
Today, Blue Mountain Resort is the third largest ski resort in Canada, behind only Whistler-Blackcomb in British Columbia and Mont Tremblant in Quebec.
The next time you visit Blue Mountain Resort, and you’re walking through the beautiful Blue Mountain Village, remember this: the Village is built on what used to be a hayfield on the Weider family’s farm.
If you’re looking for well-appointed chalets that accommodate larger groups within short walking distances of Blue Mountain Resort & Village, get in touch with us here at Stay at Blue Mountain.