It would have taken $3 million to upgrade the ski hill and lift equipment, and it was costing more than $250,000 a year to run the place, so the city closed the Chedoke Winter Sports Park in 2003, ending 40 years at what was once called “Hamilton’s own Sun Valley.”
Unlike the current Hamilton controversy over the city’s anti-sledding bylaws, Chedoke was the perfect place to toboggan and slide. (Also See: Hamilton tobogganers outraged over outlawing fun)
Opened in January, 1964 by Hamilton Mayor Vic Copps, the Chedoke Winter Sports Park had a 900-foot T-bar, night skiing, snow making, ski rentals and instruction.
When it opened, an all-day lift ticket was $1 for adults, 50 cents for students, with free group instruction for kids on Saturdays and no-cost classes for ‘housewives’ on Wednesday afternoons.
As the years passed, toboggan chutes and more ski runs arrived.
When the park closed, Spec columnist Paul Wilson wrote in an ‘obituary’ for Chedoke that God gave Hamilton a good little hill, gravity and lots of snow.
“My own kids learned to snowboard there. good, rosy-cheeked fun right in the city. Forty years ago, Hamilton gave this winter treat to its people. And now it can’t. What kind of progress is that?”
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