If you live in southern Ontario and are considering learning to ski or snowboard, consider yourself fortunate.

 

You're not far from one of the Heartland's busiest snowsports resorts and some of the best teaching programs found around the Great Lakes. 

 

Mount St. Louis Moonstone, located less than an hour north of Toronto, has a full slate of teaching programs for children and adults that cover all aspects of skiing and riding. There's even one for aspiring teaching professionals, where you work alongside seasoned pros developing kid's programs. 

 

All programs are eight weeks long, and range in cost from $165 CA ($162.71 US) for a weekly hour-and-half lesson to $620 CA ($611.39 US) for the two- and four-hour Ridge and Slope Racer Programs. Most eight week program rates include an appropriate lift pass for non-member registrants. 

 

The program registration deadline is Dec. 28, with most programs starting in early January. However, if you register prior to Nov. 11 you can save $50 on several programs and almost $100 on a few. Click here for more information.   

 

Children as young as three can start in the Ski Hearts, which is designed for kids ages three through five. It's a great way to get your young skier started in a lifelong sport. Beginner programs for snowboarders start at six years old. Programs for all-terrain intermediate and advanced skiers and riders are available for 8-12, and young free skiers 8-16. Adult programs start at 18 years of age.

 

The Assistant Pro program, designed to groom future ski and snowboard professionals is available for ages 15-17 and is $275 CA ($271.18 US). Orientation starts Dec. 11.

 

Moonstone offers a 550-foot vertical drop, 40 runs with a nice mix of difficulty, two super pipes and two terrain parks. The longest run is two kilometers. For those that live below the Canadian border, that's about a mile-and-a-quarter. Transworld Snowboarding has rated their terrain parks among the top five along North America's East Coast for 2011.