Hall of Famer

John Clifford

Affiliated Discipline(s): Alpine
Date of Birth / Death: 1923 - 2002
Hometown: Ottawa, ON / Pakenham, ON
Active Career Period: 1948 - 2000
Induction CSHF: 1982
Induction Category: Alpine: Downhill, Slalom; Builder
John Clifford. Newton Photographic Associates Ltd. / 9713-18.

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.

John Clifford was also 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, 5,200 feet in length. He was an innovator, for in addition to introducing snow-making technology, he 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 allow enthusiasts to ski in the evening.

John A Stevens & Elliott Kaufmann, White Gold: The John Clifford Story, The General Store Publishing House, Burnstown, Ontario, Canada, 1993

Racing Career Accomplishments

1946
2nd place, Slalom event and Combined, Ski Union of the Americas, Portillo,Chile.

1947
2nd place, Canadian Alpine Ski Championships, Mont Ste Anne, Quebec.

1948
1st place, Central Canada Cross-Country Championships.
Alternate on the Canadian National Ski Team for the winter Olympic Games, St Moritz, Switzerland.

1949
1st place, Central Canada Alpine Combined event.
1st place, Canadian Closed Alpine Championships, Mont Tremblant, Quebec.
1st place, National Capital Men’s Alpine Championship (Journal Trophy)

1950
Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) Canadian Team member, Aspen, Colorado, U.S.A.
1st place, National Capital Men’s Alpine Championship (Journal Trophy)

1951
1st place, Quebec Division Slalom Championships, Val Cartier, Quebec.

1952
Alternate on the Canadian National Ski Team for the winter Olympic Games, Oslo, Norway.

1953
1st place, National Capital Men’s Alpine Championship (Journal Trophy)

1954
1st place, National Capital Men’s Alpine Championship (Journal Trophy)

1956
1st place, Canadian Closed Alpine Ski Championships, Collingwood, Ontario.

 

Please Note: The ski information gathered here is compiled from a number of sources; it may not be inclusive of all accomplishments. Copyright © 2021, Canadian Ski Museum. For Personal/Educational use only. All Rights Reserved.

John Clifford in Cuspidor slalom race, March 28, 1954. CSHFM Collection.

Clifford family – Mr. Clifford, 3 sons and 1 daughter [L to R]: John, Bob, Fred (father), Florence & Harvey. Taken in either Ottawa, Gatineau or at the Ottawa Ski Club c. 1943. CSHFM Collection.

John Clifford - 1946
John Clifford – 1946. CSHFM Collection.

John Clifford (left) with Terry Kielty at 1986 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Irwin Photographic

[L to R]: ?, Punch Bott, Margaret Clifford, Christian Clifford, John Clifford at 1988 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. CSHFM Collection.

Christian and John Clifford at the 1988 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

1988 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony [L to R]: John Clifford, Fred Morris, Margaret Clifford. CSHFM Collection.

John Clifford and Rhoda Wurtele at 1989 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. CSHFM Collection.

[L to R]: John Clifford, Steve Podborski, Arturo Hammersley (Chile Ski Federation), Ken Read, Gerry Reagen? Minister of Sport and Recreation. CSHFM Collection.

Support