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Canada’s Ski Towns

Photo ©Carolyn B. Heller

Whistler, British Columbia

If you live for the snow, look no fur­ther than Whistler — a small town with a big moun­tain.

Whistler-Blackcomb attracts an inter­na­tion­al crowd to its snow-cov­ered slopes, and in the sun­ny sum­mer­time, the area still hums with tourists, cre­at­ing job oppor­tu­ni­ties year-round. If you’re look­ing for invest­ment prop­er­ty, Whistler has a huge mar­ket in sec­ond homes as well.

With Vancouver, Whistler co-host­ed the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Whistler relo­ca­tion resources:

Banff and Canmore, Alberta

It’s hard not to gush about the Canadian Rockies. Even when you’ve seen pho­tos of the snow-capped peaks, crys­tal-blue lakes, and tow­er­ing ever­greens, it still doesn’t pre­pare you for being up close and per­son­al with these icon­ic moun­tains. If you’re lucky enough to live in the Rocky Mountains, keep a sec­ond home here, or just come for an extend­ed vis­it, you’re, well, lucky.

Located inside Banff National Park, the town of Banff has about 7,500 year-round res­i­dents, more than half of whom work in a tourism-relat­ed occu­pa­tion. About 25 kilo­me­ters (15 miles) to the south­east is the town of Canmore. Because hous­ing with­in the town of Banff is restrict­ed due to its park loca­tion, many peo­ple work­ing in, or reg­u­lar­ly vis­it­ing, the Banff area are choos­ing Canmore as their base.

Banff and Canmore relo­ca­tion resources:

Mont-Tremblant, Quebec

Most peo­ple who’ve heard of Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains know the area for Mont-Tremblant. The largest ski resort in east­ern North America, Mont-Tremblant isn’t only the play­ground of Montrealers, who can be on the slopes in less than two hours; it also attracts skiers from around the world.

Beyond Mont-Tremblant, though, the Laurentians offer every­thing from art­sy vil­lages to week­end get­aways to the largest nation­al park in Quebec. The top out­door recre­ation des­ti­na­tion in the province, the Laurentians typ­i­cal­ly draw over two mil­lion vis­i­tors a year, mak­ing tourism the major source of jobs. If you’re look­ing to set­tle, buy a sec­ond home, or start a busi­ness in an active, out­doorsy region with plen­ty of ser­vices and ameni­ties, all with­in an easy dri­ve of Montreal, have a look at the Laurentians.

Mont-Tremblant relo­ca­tion resources:

– Excerpted (in part) from the book, Living Abroad in Canada. To read more, buy the book.

Banff pho­to ©Carolyn B. Heller