Toronto’s municipally owned and operated ski hills will remain open for another season, the city’s executive committee has decided.
CUPE Local 79, which represents ski and snowboard instructors, blew the whistle last March on budget decisions that were being made behind closed doors. Those decisions included selling or leasing assets such as the city’s two ski hills at Earl Bales Park and Centennial Park.
The city did approach private operators to take over the ski hills, but there was no interest. The executive committee voted unanimously to keep the hills open for at least another year because, said Councillor Janet Davis, skiing and snowboarding are accessible to everyone, not just “rich kids.” The city’s welcome policy means low-income families pay less to use the facilities.
In a deputation to the committee, CUPE Local 79 President Ann Dembinski said the city must do some serious marketing of the facilities and not just rely on employees to spread the word.
“These centres could be sustainable and profitable even if they were given a minimal amount of promotion,” she said.
The executive committee vote must be confirmed when city council meets on August 25 and 26.