Build the hill: Optimist Hill opens to the public – Saskatoon

Optimist Hill officially opened Sunday after six years in the making.

Snow enthusiasts carved up and down the almost $3 million multi-space recreation area in Diefenbaker Park.

Anthony Thoen, worked on the Optimist Hill Campaign and was grinning ear to ear watching people of all ages take to the hill.

Optimist Hill in Saskatoon set to open to winter outdoor fun seekers

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“When I think of winter, I think of skiing and snowboarding,” he said. “To have this in the city, I see this as a beacon of winter activity.”

Phase one of the project includes space for snow tubing, skiing and snowboarding. A terrain park is slated to open next week, while the free toboggan hill is expected to be completed next year.

Joe Van’t Hof, a co-chair of the project, is incredibly pleased with the communities support for winter recreation in the community.

“Anything is possible,” he said. “If you can dream it, vision it and have enough stamina to push this through it can be done, we’re living proof that is can be done.”

Ground broken on $2M Optimist Hill project

Van’t Hof said the project has been a six-year process, starting from an idea to a fully functioning snow hill complete with a temporary chalet.

“We are overjoyed to see families have the opportunity to spend time together,” he said. “We’ve created a legacy to slide up and down, to learn their craft and maybe someday we’ll have a future Olympian come from Saskatoon.”

Optimist Hill will be open to the public seven days a week unless the temperature drops below -25 degrees Celsius.

Both lift tickets and rental equipment are available on site.

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