Originally Posted by jdistefa
Le Massif > MSA > Bromont > Sutton > Tremblant (too busy)
I second this although I have never actually skiied at Bromont, only mountain biked. I am not sure that I would put Bromont ahead of Sutton, but at Bromont you can night ski. I would rate Sutton, Jay, and Bromont as different but about equal.
Massif is just awesome. The runs, the location, the snow are all great. On hill food is fantastic but you won't get burgers and fries in the cafeteria. It's owned by the guy who owns the Cirque de Soleil and he is big on showcasing the local Charlevoix region. Almost everything has a local twist to it. Biggest downside is there is no on-hill accommodation, but there is some close by.
MSA - great runs for all levels, great location, good snow. Good on-hill accommodations and some amenities. Loads of restaurants with a 10 minute drive.
I have been in the Eastern Townships many times because it is where my wife is from and her father is still there. We always stay with him so we don't take accommodations nor frequent restaurants at or near the hills (we stay in Sherbrooke)
Bromont - can't comment on the skiing, but is easy access from highway(s), night skiing, and there is on hill accommodation and plenty of amenities close by.
Sutton, great skiing when the snow hits. The runs, especially the glades are amongst the best in the east. There is a fair amount of on-hill accommodations. Not sure about restaurants on-hill, but the village of Sutton is close by. A little further off of the highway to get to and the secondary roads can be a bit dicey if you get snow.
Owl's Head, actually the highest of all the Eastern Township mountains, but smallest of the four. Nice and family oriented, not much, if any on-hill accommodations and not much around it except for the nearest village (who's name escapes me). Several old, slow chairs. Tucked back even further off the highway than Sutton (you are not too far from Jay VT at this point).
Orford - nice mountain, lots of runs, closest to Sherbrooke (~30mins) but no on-hill accommodations because it is in a provincial park, but some close by. I would rank it ahead of Owl's Head, but behind Sutton/Bromont. Fairly easy access off the highway.
All of the above will give you a flavour of local Quebecois culture but also have many familiar elements. Owl's Head, Sutton and Massif are the furthest away from "major centres" while Bromont is a decent sized town, Orford is close to Sherbrooke, and MSA is close to Quebec City. In the Eastern Townships, while french is predominant, there is still a lot of english spoken and there are still many english towns. You wont have a problem with language. MSA and Massif are probably a bit less in general, but but they are destinations and they know where the business comes from so language isn't really a problem.
Jay Peak is my favourite of the region. Tons of great runs, great lift system and they get the most snow in the region, presumably because it is one of the largest peaks in the area and generates it's own microclimate including lake effect snow from Lake Memphramagog. Coming from TO, however, may take the longest as you end up having to go past Sutton and Owl's Head to get there on secondary roads. I don't know if there is a better route. Jay has invested a lot in on-hill accommodations with great condos for rent (my wife and son were just there for 8 days a t a pre-season race camp). Amenities at the hill are sparse however. The closest town of significance is Newport VT.
Tremblant, like I have stated before, I am not a fan. Once I-West got in there, it became a haven for pretentious a-holes trying to show off that they have money. While it is one of the biggest in the region, I have never found the skiing to be particularly extraordinary, with only average snow and the actual terrain is all that great. That being said they have opened up a large quantity of terrain that I have never skied. It is often stupidly crowded with a lot of bad skiers/boarder (heard many tales of collisions) and can often be quite cold and with only average amounts of snowfall I have almost always skied on hardpack/ice (except in the spring). On the upside however, it has relatively easy access on the highway from Montreal, massive amounts of accommodations and amenities, but can be on the pricey side.
What about Whiteface/Lake Placid?