John Clifford


Athlete : Skiing
Year Inducted: 1982
Date of Birth: February 13th, 1923
Born in: Ottawa, Ontario

John Clifford (deceased) was a three time Canadian champion alpine skiing in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. In 1946 champion Ski Union of the Americas. Olympic team alternate 1948 and 1952. World championship team 1950. Canadian waterskiing champion 1955.

In an obituary in the Globe and Mail dated Friday, July 16, 2002, John Clifford was described as a ‘ski pioneer’ and ‘the father of popular skiing’. He spent seven decades in the sport, as a racer, ski area developer, instructor and ski resort owner. He brought snow-making technology to Canada which added almost two months to the alpine ski season each year. He was instrumental in the development of six ski areas in the Ottawa area including Camp Fortune, Mont Ste Marie, Mont Cascades, Carlington Park, Calabogie Peaks and Mount Pakenham.

His role in the development of Mont Tremblant was significant when, in 1948, he was asked to install a chairlift, 5200 ft in length. He was an innovator, for in addition to introducing snow-making technology eh built the first all-steel T-bar lift in Canada, the first double-seat chairlift in eastern Canada and pioneered the use of floodlighting to all enthusiasts to skin in the evening.