Jennifer Robinson, LJI
West Bolton’s Glen Mountain has been in the news again this summer. This time, it is not talk of reopening the ski hill that failed in 2004. Instead, it was the purchase of the 500-plus acre mountain in late 2022 by Quebec businessman Neil Rossy that was the topic of a flurry of articles in La Presse, Le Soleil and La Tribune.
Rossy, who is head of the Dollarama retail giant, is transforming it into a private domaine focused on maple syrup and other outdoor activity. While many are saddened that the ski hill idea was a non-starter, many others are thrilled that the mountain is now in the hands of someone who plans to keep its natural wilderness.
Glen Mountain is ‘white zoned’ and can therefore be considered for development. But Mr. Rossy has told Denis Vaillancourt, West Bolton’s mayor, that developing the mountain is not part of his plan, unlike previous owners. Mayor Vaillancourt says that is ‘good news’ for now, and he is surprised by all the attention in the press. The ski hill was always a private business, and the town never had the money nor the will to subsidize it or allow massive development as some previous owners had wanted. “There are four other great ski hills close by that all struggle to be viable,” he said. Indeed, it should be no surprise that West Bolton, with its 732 residents, is a desirable place to put down roots. It offers large properties and wilderness that have become increasingly rare within commuting distance from Montreal.
While Bromont, Sutton and even Brome Lake are bursting with residential and commercial development, West Bolton has long opted for a very different pace: safe-guarding its agricultural and rural character. As for the buzz on the street, many local residents seem more concerned about the landscaping (or lack thereof) at the new Dollarama store in Knowlton, than what is happening at the Neil Rossy home in the Glen.