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Kitchener ski hills busy despite the deep freeze


Frigid temperatures are expected in Waterloo Region this week with wind chill values hovering around -20.

Environment Canada forecasted a high of -12 Celsius Monday. With winds gusting to 40 km per hour, it felt more like -25 C in the morning and -20 C in the afternoon.

Tuesday won’t be much better. A high of -10 C is expected with wind chill values between -19 and -24.

The bitterly cold temperatures are expected to continue into the weekend before things start to warm up Monday, Jan. 22.

Walkers brave the cold on Kitchener's Iron Horse Trail in this Jan. 13 Weather Watcher photo. (Larry Ellis/Submitted)


Warming centres are open at libraries and community centres across the Region of Waterloo. A map of places to get temporary relief from the cold is available here.

Regional housing services, meanwhile, is working to expand emergency shelter spaces for those experiencing homelessness. They’ve also been creating overflow spaces since December.

“The region has 511 emergency shelters spaces that are operated 24/7,” the region said in an email to CTV News. “We have opened over 200 additional shelter spaces in the past 18 months to accommodate the community’s need.”

The region said anyone experiencing homelessness and in search of a shelter can call FirstConnect at 519-624-9133.


The deep freeze didn’t keep people away from the ski hills at Chicopee.

Monday was opening day at the Kitchener resort and staff were ready to welcome winter sports enthusiasts.

“We’re feeling excited about opening day – it’s fabulous, the conditions are fantastic,” CEO Bill Creighton told CTV News.

Chicopee typically aims to open over the Christmas break, but last year it was pushed back to Jan. 7.

Although a little late this year, the recent cold weather has helped Chicopee build a 3.5-foot snow base, allowing it to open seven of its 14 runs.

“We still don’t have all of our runs open, but with this cold weather, in a few days we’ll have lots of snow and lots of runs open,” Creighton said.

He added that, financially, things are going well for Chicopee and memberships are up this year. The hill opened to members privately over the weekend as workers geared up for Monday’s official opening.

Opening day on the slopes at Chicopee in Kitchener, Ont. (Colton Wiens/CTV Kitchener)

“Schools start coming [Tuesday] and programs start [Monday] night, so by 6:30 p.m., we will be rammed,” Creighton said.

Despite the frigid temperatures, there were lots of people on the slopes for opening day.

Creighton said it’s always easy to add extra layers and still get out to ski.

Jay Cutaia, general manager of the Select Sports store in Kitchener, agrees.

“As long as you layer properly and have the right gear on, you can get well down into the negatives. Minus 30, minus 40 is when it starts causing a problem,” he said.

The chilly weather has brought skiers back to the shop.

“A lot of hills are getting in better and better shape all the time with natural and manmade snow. So we’re pumped, we’re glad to be back on snow and doing what we love,” Cutaia said.

Chicopee’s opening also means more local skiers are stopping by for a tune up.

“We have a lot of customers locally that are members there, or do lessons, so it’s always a boost when they get up and running,” Cutaia said. Top Stories

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