The original clubhouse at the Kirby location

About Us

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

During the 1930’s, ski facilities in the Oshawa area were limited; however, nothing could keep the dedicated skiers off the slopes. They used any hill they could find including the gentle slopes of the Oshawa Golf Club and the Downsview Golf Club, as well as some small hills in Raglan.

Black and white trail photo of a small cabin with two windows in the winter. The roof, trees and ground are covered in snow.
The original clubhouse at the Kirby location
Black and white photo shows a skier turning a corner near a flag on a snowy ski hill.
Racing on the Bowl in 1955

A CLUB IS FORMED

In 1937, a small group of these skiers came together to form the Oshawa Ski Club on a small piece of land in Raglan. Today, this property is known as “Trillium Trails.”

The current property in Kirby, was discovered in the 1940’s and was originally called Brimacombe’s Hill. While most of the activity remained in Raglan, Brimacombe’s Hill was often used to hold races. Some of these races included exciting guests such as a team from the army!

In the late forties and early fifties, more and more activity began taking place at the Brimacombe site, with an official move occurring in 1954.

That same year, the first family memberships were offered for only $10. This price included both parents and all children, up to 18 years of age. To raise money for improvements at the new location, life memberships were also offered for just $100 each. A $300 loan was arranged to finance the construction of the first tow.

OUR FIRST LIFT

The first rope tow was constructed using an old car. The tire was removed from its rim, and a system of wooden posts and wheel rims was used to drive and guide a large rope up the hill.

Today, many of you may doubt the efficiency of such a rustic system, but the Oshawa Ski Club’s tows were noted for moving skiers up the hill at rather exciting speeds. In fact, Canada’s World Champion skier, Nancy Greene, visited our club after her victory and later remarked, “Oshawa is the only ski area in the world where you went up the hill faster than you could come down.”

Over the years, more rope tows were built, before slowly being replaced by t-bars, chairlifts and a Magic Carpet.

Today, we easily transport thousands of skiers up-hill each hour using 4 quad chairlifts, 2 t-bars and a Magic Carpet.

A black and white photo shows a boy using a tow rope while on skis. It pulls him up the hill. Two adults wait behind him.
The original clubhouse at the Kirby location
Black and white photo of a row of many skis available to use. In the background many people enjoy a ski hill.
During the early years, volunteers planted some ten thousand seedling trees around the Kirby property. That number has been far exceeded over the years.

A CLUB IS FORMED

In 1937, a small group of these skiers came together to form the Oshawa Ski Club on a small piece of land in Raglan. Today, this property is known as “Trillium Trails.”

The current property in Kirby, was discovered in the 1940’s and was originally called Brimacombe’s Hill. While most of the activity remained in Raglan, Brimacombe’s Hill was often used to hold races. Some of these races included exciting guests such as a team from the army!

In the late forties and early fifties, more and more activity began taking place at the Brimacombe site, with an official move occurring in 1954.

That same year, the first family memberships were offered for only $10. This price included both parents and all children, up to 18 years of age. To raise money for improvements at the new location, life memberships were also offered for just $100 each. A $300 loan was arranged to finance the construction of the first tow.


ADVANCING IN GROOMING

Would you believe that in the 1940’s, grooming was little more than the dedicated members “side-stepping” with their skis up and down the slopes!?! Another idea that was put forward was for the purchase of 12 pairs of snowshoes. It was thought that these could be used to pack slope by walking up and down the hills in a line… would you apply for that job today?

Grooming has advanced from these humble beginnings. Even our first hill groomer, purchased in 1961, pales in comparison to the three groomers used on-site today. Special blade-studded rollers called “tillers” spin at high speeds, cutting and chewing up the top couple inches of snow and then laying it out like a smooth corduroy carpet. Our whole hill is groomed at least once per day, usually before most of us are awake.

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME…

A group of people in winter clothes and on skis line up to wait for a ski lift to take them up the ski hill.

Today, the small group of avid skiers has grown from 137 members in 1937 into a present day membership of approximately 3,000 skiers and snowboarders with 150,000 visits annually… yet we remain true to our values of family, fun and safety as well as quality and affordability.

As a not-for-profit organization we continue to be led by a dedicated group of membership-elected, volunteer board members. The income we receive from our members and valued visitors continues to go directly back into the operation and growth of the facility.

And even though, as of 2009, the facility is no longer named after the Oshawa Ski Club, the new name, Brimacombe, has not only opened up a new and exciting future, it has taken us back to our roots and made prominent our rich and vibrant history.

2022-23 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

As a not-for-profit facility, Brimacombe continues to be led by a dedicated group of membership-elected, volunteer board members.

Steve McGill (President)

Rob Majdell (Vice President)

Chris Hunter (Treasurer)

Marvin Stapleton (Secretary)

Gail Short (Past President)

Robert Partington

Alex Ross

John Miller

Roberta Gjaltema

Tim Stezik

Rudy Zupancic

Stephanie Kowalenko