Tag Archives: mount pakenham

History Clippings of Mount Pakenham

History Clippings of Mount Pakenham

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada11 Jan 1969, Sat  •  Page 3

CLIPPED FROMNational PostToronto, Ontario, Canada30 Oct 1971, Sat  •  Page 15 WHO were the original owners of the mountain? Does anyone know? In Plum Hollow Witch and The Mountain Man of Pakenham it was said that Pakenham Mountain was part of the White Lake Mountains.. All I know.

Mount Pakenham’s official opening was December 1968

January 1969

Ski buffs throughout the Ottawa Valley are discovering one of the newest skiing havens in the Capital area. Now in its first weeks of operation. Mount Pakenham Ski Centre, a skiers paradise nestled in the heart of the tourist region 30 miles west of Ottawa, has already become a mecca for more than 700 weekend skiers. The ski centre’, carved out of a 300-acre tract of brush- land just south of the village of Pakenham and several miles west of provincial highway 29, is a dream-come-true for two veteran Ottawa ski enthusiasts.

Russ Wilson and Andy Davison, ( December 2nd, 1970. Arnprior Guide. Developers Russ Wilson and Andy Davison) two former members of Camp Fortune’s Night Riders who together at one time cross-checked endless miles of powdery ski slopes before the era of mechanical grooming aids, are partners in the$350,000 resort project. Planned in three stages, the new centre already has three half-mile downhill runs with a 300-foot vertical drop and is serviced by a 2,000-foot T bar tow. A lodge at the foot of the runs which brings skiers a panoramic view of the Ottawa Valley down along well-groomed pine-flanked slopes, provides every facility for the skier. Key to the rapidly increasing popularity of Mount Pakenham, an affiliate of the Gatineau Zone, says Russ Wilson.

The centre is within a 30-minute drive from the Capital and from the communities of Carleton Place, Perth, Smiths Falls, Almonte, Arnprior, Kanata and.Stittsville. With the first phase of the project still underway the skiing facilities are currently, best suited for beginner and intermediate skiers. “Basically what we are offering now is just good family skiing and I doubt it at this stage of the development we could please the expert,” said Russ Wilson, who is himself a qualified ski instructor.

Plans are for a place for the expert skier later in the development when snow-making facilities and additional T-bars will be installed along with floodlighting to accommodate night skiers. Ski instruction and rental equipment are available at the centre along with a comforting thought for the accident-prone enthusiast. Members of the Canada Ski patrol keep a weathered eye on the slopes seven days a week throughout the 9 a.m. until 4.30 p.m. skiing hours.

A midget ski instruction course is scheduled to start at Mount Pakenham this Sunday when 10 qualified instructors will put youngsters in the five to 15 years age group through a comprehensive six week program. Since Mount Pakenham’s inaugural opening Dec. 29, thousands of skiers have swarmed over its slopes. Last Sunday more than 500 skiers converged on the centre. One Ottawa, skier, pretty 20-year-old Martyna Onoszko, of 1819 Lorraine Avenue, said the. major attractions of the” new centre’ to her are the scenic beauty of the area and the friendly atmosphere. “Its hard to believe this Is In Ontario,” she said. The developers anticipate ‘the centre will be completed over a five-year period to become one of the most popular skiing facilities in the area. Director of ski instruction at Mount Pakenham is Mike Ballard. 

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada28 May 1970, Thu  •  Page 54

MOUNT PAKENHAM Ski area closer to becoming year-round resort Mount Pakenham

Ski Area has moved a step closer to being transformed from a winter playground into a four-season resort in the next five years. Mount Pakenham co-owner John Clifford said a $20,000 federal-provincial grant alloted Monday will cover two-thirds of the cost of a feasibility study currently underway. The owners will pay the remaining $10,000. “Without the grant, I could never afford to have a study of this magnitude done,” said Clifford. “I believe people in Eastern Ontario are looking for year-round recreation or I wouldn’t have started the study.

Clifford, the man responsible for bringing the first alpine slide to Canada, said he would like to see one installed at Mount Pakenham. The ski area is about 60 kilometres west of Ottawa. Among other ideas to be looked at in the study are a 27-hole golf course, a water slide and a condominium resort hotel. Total investment could exceed $10 million and Clifford said the study, expected to be completed next week, will tell him whether or not to proceed. But a good economic forcast is only a minor hurdle overcome. Clifford said the ideas will have to meet the approval of local municipalities, other shareholders and the land owners. At present, Mount Pakenham Ski Area includes 435 acres. The business leases another 400 acres and has an option to purchase an additional 500 acres. Clifford feels that’s adequate for the new resort.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada23 Mar 1982, Tue  •  Page 3

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada11 Feb 1985, Mon  •  Page 25


John Clifford has a dream. Picture a glittering $3-million year-round resort nestled at the bottom of Mount Pakenham, complete with 18-hole golf course and more than 200 brand new houses next to the ski hills. Impossible? Not for the man who put the Mont Ste-Marie and Mont Cascades ski centres on their feet. Clifford, who bought the Mount Pakenham ski centre, 40 kilometres west of Ottawa, in 1979, isn’t content with its seven hills, 35 km of cross-country trails within 1,200 acres, lounge and two chalets for cross-country skiers. He wants a bigger and better version on 1,900 acres with golf course, clubhouse and a 223-lot subdivision. And all he needs is 22 investors to share his dream for $30,000 each.

Clifford’s company, Mount Pakenham Resort Development Ltd., now has a five-man board of directors but they need more partners. They want each partner to invest $30,000– $10,000 to buy one of the lots at the resort and the remaining $20,000 to the company to finance the expansion. There are other hurdles to clear, of course. Pakenham Township approved the project in principle last month, but further approval is needed from the Lanark County land division committee and the Ontario Municipal Board. Because the project would mean the development of some 200 acres of farmland and because houses would be built next to existing homes in the area, the provincial agriculture and environment ministries also must be consulted.

However, officials in the region are supportive of the project and the 61-year-old former national ski champion is confident the project will soon get final approval, allowing work to begin on the first nine holes of the golf course this summer. In order to provide proper grass for the greens, construction of the nine holes would take two years to complete, he said. The entire project would be phased in over about 10 years.

Clifford feels the time is ripe for a year-round recreation centre in the area because he believes more Canadians will be working a four-day work week in the near future and enjoying more leisure time. “I feel this is a fantastic area for year-round recreation since it’s so close to the city. We’re only 25 minutes from Kanata, and we’re in the middle of the high-tech industry, which is located in Kanata and Almonte and the other towns around here. “I’m positive the four-day week is coming soon and I think it will do for recreation what the five-day work week did when it was introduced in the 1950s.

“It will give people more leisure time and they’ll become more active. With the four-day week, people will want golf in the summer and skiing in the winter.” Unlike many new developments, Clifford’s scheme has drawn little opposition from residents near the site. “It would be good for business,” said John Langford, operator of the Petro-Canada service station in Pakenham. “I like the idea,” said Alma Mann, owner of Mann’s Grocery. “It should mean more business for all of us.” Don Downey, a homeowner on the 11th Line, whose house is next to the project site, said he hadn’t seen Clifford’s plans but he had heard about them and was not opposed to the scheme. “I don’t think anybody is against it.” Pakenham Township Reeve Charlie GilIan said, “If anybody is capable of putting it together, John is. “But I expect he’s going to be subject to some pretty stringent phasing-in regulations.” Gillan said he had not heard of any opposition to the scheme.

Only one person interviewed by The Citizen, a woman who lives on the 11th Line who did not want to be identified, had reservations. “The golf course would be nice, and he (Clifford) is doing a good job with the ski hill, but the subdivision would mean more houses and higher taxes.” She’s afraid taxes would be raised because city people would buy the homes and then expect city-type service in the country. “The old swimming hole wouldn’t be good enough for them; we’d have to build a municipal pool. Then we’d have to provide better school facilities and raise the standard of the water. “They don’t realize that country living is country living, and that you shouldn’t get mad if a neighbor’s cow wanders onto your front yard and eats the grass.”

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada15 Apr 1985, Mon  •  Page 3

But Clifford is used to succeeding. The former holder of national downhill, cross-country and water-skiing titles— of anybody he is capable of putting it together. John Clifford developed downhill skiing in the region in a big way after World War II when he built the first rope tow at Camp Fortune in 1915. Before that, only cross-country skiers used the hills. As well as starting the ski centres at Mont Ste-Marie and Mont Cascades, he erected the first all-steel T-bar in Canada, as well as the first double chairlift in Eastern Canada.

In 1958, he purchased Canadian distributing rights for the first snow-making machinery and he designed and installed snow-making equipment at 65 ski centres across the country. When he bought the Mount Pakenham ski centre, “there were only outdoor toilets when I arrived and only one hill was lit up for night skiing. There was no cross-country skiing and there was no lounge and the rental facilities were completely inadequate.” His first three winters there were disasters because of snow shortages, but he managed to hang on.

Today, the ski centre includes seven hills and 35 kilometres of cross-country trails within its 1,200 acres, as well as a variety of lifts and rope tows, a lounge, two chalets for cross-country skiers and warm, indoor toilets. He said the vertical drop on his hills is 280 feet, about the same as at Camp Fortune but well below the 750-foot drop at Calabogie Peaks, 50 kilometres to the west.

There is also a 45-lot subdivision at the foot of the ski hills. When completed, the expanded resort would comprise 1,960 acres and the Hilliard House, a local landmark on a hill just outside Pakenham, would become the golfers’ clubhouse. The golf club would be supported by memberships and green fees, Clifford said. His plans have drawn a favorable response from tourism officials. “John Clifford is an able operator and the government is very favorable to a four-season project,” said Jonathan Harris, a consultant with the provincial tourism ministry. He said the Eastern Ontario area is seen as having the greatest potential of any tourist region in the province and Clifford’s plan would help meet tourism targets.

Even Clifford’s closest competitor, Harold Murphy, wishes him well. “The area needs more recreation facilities to attract tourists,” said Murphy, who shares partnership of the Calabogie Peaks ski hills with other local investors. Murphy’s group is also expanding its facility to make it a year-round recreation centre. He said the group plans to develop its 2,500-foot waterfront ” on Calabogie Lake this year by building a marina, clubhouse and 50-unit hotel and providing sailing, sail-boarding and tennis facilities. The group spent $1 million on improvements to the centre’s 16 downhill ski runs, which are near the lake, in 1984. Andr6 Jean-Richard, general manager of the Mont Ste-Marie golf-ski centre 60 km north of Ottawa, said he wasn’t worried about competition from Clifford’s proposed project. “The more the merrier,” Jean-Richard said. “The more golf clubs there are the more golfers there will be, and that will mean more business for everyone.”

One of Clifford’s strong points in selling his project to Pakenham residents is that it will provide more jobs. He now employs 32 people full-time and 50 others part-time, and thinks he would need about 200 people full- and part-time when the entire project is completed. Also, local workers arnd businesses would benefit by the construction of some 220 houses because, he suggests, most of the work would be contracted to local businesses. “? As the developer, he would be responsible for building 6,550 feet of interior roads in the subdivision. It’s a big project io be taking on at 61 years of age, he admitted, and it will be his last. t And if he lives to see it completed, he will retireand enjoy his two favorite past-times: skiing and golf.

Andrea MacFarlane-Grieve


My season pass badges from 1969 and 1970.

Scot Moore


1989 Mt Pakenham ski shop! “The Shop”

Maddy Tuttle


Mt Pakenham
Ski Instructors

UPDATE-Brenda Deugo-Mills

Dad (Douglas Deugo) was one of the original owners and sold a section of his property (150 acres) to the two business men who started to develop the ski hill. An agreement between dad and the business owners was made and had been linked to the deed on the property when the transaction took place. Our father was very smart and to this day, the agreement is honoured for as long as the property is used for a ski resort. Russ Wilson and Andy Davison were the two original business owners. John Clifford came later. Russ Wilson and Andy Davison were the original founders. John bought from them at a later date and his family have had it since then. Our family skied there since the beginning…I’m impressed that Russ Wilson & Andy Davison had the vision and seeing it today, it’s an amazing family playground.

Lynne Barr

Brenda your Dad was the best!! I can’t tell you how many times Claire & I would walk from our homes in Pakenham carting our skis to the hill , ski all day with Shawn & he would drive us home💕 We were & are so lucky to have such a beautiful Ski Hill so close!!

Brenda Deugo-Mills

YES. We used to walk up to your place and put our downhill skis ⛷️ on and skate ski across the field. No drive, no problem. Such a fun part of the whole childhood memory. We always managed a drive home.

Tanya Giles

I remember it well, your Dad tried to convince us all to take up skiing. I remember trying to ski off the old deck at the house in my snow boots and an old set of boards. Perhaps a donation from the Deugo clan. It didn’t go well lol. I can still see your handsome Dad in his one piece snowsuit and my favourite hat he always wore in the cold months. Lovely man.

Lila Leach-James

According to my husband, his uncle Walter Bourk owned 50 acres of the hill but he cannot remember who he sold it to ! He remembers in the early 60’s, visiting Walters hunt camp situated there! The Bourks owned the farm that is now Pakenham Golf Club! There were owners after the Bourks before it became a golf course!

Myrna Timmins Bourk

My dad Ollie Timmins owned some of the property and some of the golf course property.

Lila Leach-James

Myrna Timmins Bourk you are correct according to Alf, the Timmins and Bourks owned a portion of it long before the others! Probably late 50’s Early 60’s someone bought the small portion to go with the entire hill! Of course. Back in early 1900s the Bourks owned where the golf course is and Alf’s mom Amy Bourk and her sisters would catch train in Pakenham to go to school in Almonte! Amy and two of her sisters became school teachers! Brother Walter attempted to farm the clay ground where golf course is and Bourk family lived in the big stone house!

Vicki Barr McDougall

Brenda Deugo-Mills Dad had the contract to clear the trees for Mount Pakenham but passed away before he could honour it. Laurie and I got skis for Christmas the year it opened and would ski to the Hill. Lots of great memories!…

Doris Quinn

My late spouse James Quinn and his brother Frank worked with the gang on making that ski hill.

The Clifford family still owns Mount Pakenham and all the info you need to know is here..CLICK

This was 2020 with my granddaughter and Sophia wth her Dad Perry who gets her thrills going down the mountain…her grandmother on the other hand LOLOL read- Misty Glen Mountain Snow Bunny Hop

Wm Lowe

“First Ski-Tow

In This District

The ski-tow erected by Norman Sadler on the farm of his brother, Nelson Sadler on the 10th line of Pakenham Township is now in operation at the week-ends.

As stated earlier it is located between the farms of Herbert Timmins and Stewart Currie and is about 500 feet in length.

This is the first time that a tow has been available in this area and it is expected that it will act as a fillip(sic) to this popular winter sport. The chief reason for this is that it is lots of fun going downhill and not so funny crow-footing it back to the top.

Those who have tried the hills are very pleased with the lay-out. Refreshments are available and a place to get warm.

For those who are not familiar with the local geography, the usual route is via the 10th line (ie) past Almonte High School, down to Blakeney, turn right, keep left of the C.P.R. tracks at Snedden and proceed two miles farther.”

The Almonte Gazette, January 7, 1960

Misty Glen Mountain Snow Bunny Hop

Plum Hollow Witch and The Mountain Man of Pakenham

Francis Shaw Pakenham Postmaster Gone Missing —Elizabeth Shaw — Residential School Teacher

The Mystery of the Masonic Rock – Pakenham

When You Fall Over in a Parade Float

When You Fall Over in a Parade Float




It’s not easy being inside a rotund penguin costume balancing yourself on a float. Downright impossible I would say. But,  apparently the penguin is noted for its balance-in fact, they say we should walk like a penguin in the winter to avoid icy mishaps.


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Well no one had their phones handy when the penguin on the Mount Pakenham float in the Carleton Place Santa Claus tumbled over. Laying on his back with his writhing feet and arms in the air, that fall was pretty precarious, but he never missed a beat. Thankfully his ‘handler’ came quickly to his aid and he got a rousing deserved applause. Well done Mr. Pakenham Penguin!


Image result for penguin fall over gif


This isn’t the first time mishaps have happened.

The glamorous Miss Piggy was singing a duet of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” with the living legend Tony Bennett at the Macy’s Day Parade in 2016. When the float moved forward into the parade, it caused the 90-year-old to briefly loose his balance and stumble — but Miss Piggy came to the rescue and grabbed onto Bennett, preventing his fall. She was called a life-saver just like the Mount Pakenham float aid.



Then there was Dopey, one of Snow White’s dwarfs, falling over at Disney World but Goofy  broke his fall.


Saturday, I had never see someone like that penguin use his arms so quickly while floundering on the float. As Thomas Jefferson once said: “No free man or penguin will ever be debarred the use of arms!”


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)




Do You Remember? Memories of the Pengor Penguin

A Collection of Lanark County Home Movies (parades)

It was 1967–a Centennial– Parade Slides from Wendy Healey–Armstrong Family


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