A personal view of Knowlton, Quebec, the Eastern Townships most beautiful village.

Mont Morin Likely No Threat To Ski Bromont
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Knowlton decided to build a new mountain right next to the community center instead of just watching visitors flock to Bromont! Innovation is our middle name here in Lac Brome!Residents of Knowlton are seeing another innovative idea to add more tourist attractions to Lac Brome. With such successful annual events as the Brome Lake Duck Festival, The Festival of Lights and this year's first Duck Race down the ColdBrook it seems that the locals are always trying to add another reason for folks to visit Knowlton.

Not that there is any shortage of reasons for visiting this region; we are constantly reminded of the beauty of this region of the Eastern Townships whenever we step outside no matter what the season and the growing number of visitors is attestation to Lac Brome as a vibrant and growing tourist center full of activities and events for the entire family.

Not willing to sit idly by as visitors from Montreal drove the highway 10 to Bromont for a day of skiing it seems Knowlton has decided to literally build a new mountain! The newly opened "Mont Morin" on Victoria Street was named after Johanne Morin who worked tirelessly as the executive director on the new community center. While the mountain itself is better suited for toboggans and crazy-carpets it is, as we all know, the thought that counts! The mini-mountain was excavated material from the construction site on Victoria Street and building a wee hill for local children to play on is a great idea. There is no word yet if a more permanent sign will be erected or if lighting will be added to allow for "night sliding" but it seems likely that for now the only night skiing will be down the road at Ski Bromont.

It was definitely a significant blow to the Lac Brome area economy when Mont Glen ski resort was sold to Societe Ski Glen Inc. and the land adjoining the mountain, which is located in a residential zone that was purchased by Societe immobiliere Bolton Ouest Inc. Since the sale in 2004 skiers have had to find other ski hills to pursue downhill skiing. While the official word was that the new owner of Mount Glen ski resort was dissatisfied with the current state of the ski resort’s facilities and thus decided to suspend activities at the resort there is talk that the ski hill is being kept closed deliberately to get boost the traffic at Ski Bromont. Apparently, investors involved in the Bromont Ski Resort, own interests in Mont Glen and consider it in their best interest to keep Mount Glen closed.

Bromont is considered by most in the area to be a brash commercial ski hill with long line-ups and a limited challenge as far as skiing is concerned. The fact it is right off highway 10 and only an hour from Montreal make it a good alternative for skiers not wanting to go to Tremblant but the best local skiing is most definitely at Mount Sutton which boasts a higher elevation, more trails and a lot more space than Bromont. Not only is the best skiing in the Eastern Townships in Suttoin but Sutton also beats Bromont hands-down for being a village with charm and atmosphere. The garish development at the Bromont exit off of the auto-route is testament to the vision of the Bromont development plan which is seemingly based on creating a large shopping mall to lull tourists into a daze.

Of course Mont Morin in Knowlton will never be a threat to Sutton as the best place to ski, but the fact that a sign was erected on the hill beside the Community Center to honor the hard work of one of Lac Bromes finest contributors for the project is a wonderful gesture! Indeed, a more permanent sign or marker should be erected to not only pay tribute to a hard working individual but also to underline the fact that Knowlton still does have a good sense of humour!

Our own Mount Morin may never compete for a chance at allowing us to host the Olympic Winter Games but at least it's something we can call our own!

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