Collingwood Christmas with COVID in the Air


It was different around here this holiday season in Collingwood…

COVID was in the air and ski hills were completely clear. Normally boisterous over the holidays, Collingwood celebrated lockdown with the rest of the province.

By now everyone knew someone who’d had COVID. Trails were packed with breathless hikers. People watched for COVID while cross-county skiing. Families watched Netflix in matching sweatsuits. Cozy AF.

Collingwood was crushed by news Ski Hills were included in lockdown measures. We had waited for so long for something. We had paid our 2020-2021 Ski Club dues!

We all did the math to calculate how much of the ski season we’d lost. Blamed Doug Ford a bit. We started refreshing the Allow Ontario Ski Hills to Operate petition. Checked to see if our friends signed.

The Collingwood holiday season would deliver no skiing, no après. Racing and snow school programs would be replaced by PS5. Meanwhile, Champagne powder tumbled from the Collingwood skies as quickly as new Ontario COVID cases.

With the ski hill closure announcement only a handful of days before Christmas, Backcountry Ski Gear quickly rose to the top of Collingwood’s Christmas Present charts. Traditional Ontario “resort skiers” stormed Facebook Marketplace. All I need is a multitude of complex and expensive gear, quick. They schemed.

The lucky ones with new backcountry gear set out to ski with stomachs full of fondue. Mush. Mush. Most quickly realized they had no idea where to go. Absolutely none. Water and rocks underfoot called caution to terrain. Dense heavy snowfall made it nearly impossible to move. Is this fun? Oh no, it’s getting dark.

Some disheartened Collingwood Backcountry skiers returned to Facebook Marketplace to resell. Others moved to Squamish on WestJet’s boxing day sale.

Fast-forward to a day before New Years 2022. Masks are hung by the chimney to commemorate Christmas 2020. Roving packs of party-goers flood Collingwood. Everyone is going to Jozos. Jozos line extends to Georgian Peaks Ski Club. All is well.

You take a jäger shotski and immediately need to find a taxi home. You finally get a taxi in 2023.