6 Unique Places You Need to “Camp” This Summer in Ontario
A yurt, a teepee, even a lighthouse—take your next adventure into the woods beyond the tent
If you love spending time in the great outdoors but a tent isn’t your dwelling of choice, here are six family-friendly Ontario accommodations deep in the wilderness that will fulfill all your camping desires.
1. Spend the Night in a Yurt in Bruce Peninsula National Park
Cyprus Lake in Bruce Peninsula is a nature lover’s paradise, with its rugged natural beauty and dramatic cliffs set against the glistening cobalt waters of Georgian Bay. For a totally unique experience, rent one of 10 circular yurts along the shore. Complete with beds, table and chairs, deck, woodstove, hardwood floors and propane BBQ for cookouts, these yurts can comfortably sleep a family of five. Plus, a skylight dome roof makes for ideal stargazing.
2. Rekindle Your Childhood in a Tree House Outside Lanark
Made with recycled materials (and love) by the Kafrissen family, this eco-friendly multi-level tree house is right in the forest, about 100 kilometres south of Ottawa and 10 minutes from Lanark. Linens, towels and everything you need to cook dinner (pots, pans, cutlery) are provided, but bring your own food—unless, of course, you want to order a pizza from Lanark Pizzeria, who will deliver the pie right to your wooden tree-house door.
3. Overnight in a Modern Teepee on Manitoulin Island
Teepees were originally made with lodgepole pines and covered with woven rushes, birch bark or animal skins. They were heated with a small fire inside and designed so the smoke vented out a hole at the top. For a unique teepee experience, visit Gordon’s Park on historic Manitoulin Island. These modern teepees come with a raised wooden floor, rain caps, foam sleeping pad, plus your own private campfire pit, table and cook stand. Within the park, take advantage of the solar-heated swimming pool, tons of nature hikes and even a mini-putt course.
4. Shack Up in a Rustic Cabin in Bloomfield
Originally a log cabin dating back to the 1860s, Angeline’s Inn’s famous Babylon log house was moved and rebuilt for the traveller that wants to be immersed in nature, but with the comforts of home. The nearly 400-square-metre cabin has a loft bedroom with both a king- and a queen-size bed on the main floor, plus a living room, dining room, bathroom and adorable kitchen decorated with artwork and trinkets. Bonus: you’ll have a stunning panoramic view that overlooks the surrounding field.
5. Splurge on an Eco-Lodge in Algonquin Park
Located three hours north of Toronto, the Algonquin Eco-Lodge is surrounded by 40 kilometres of natural trails and a gorgeous private lake. This 17-bedroom lodge is totally off grid, so power down—your cellphone won’t work here. Recognized for its sustainable tourism, and without hydro lines or telephone poles, it uses an alternative energy system powered by a nearby waterfall. There are, however, indoor plumbing and hot showers, and you can even take a dip in their carbon-neutral hot tub, the only one of its kind in Southern Ontario.
6. Sleep in a Historical Lighthouse in Bruce Mines
Be the keeper of the light at McKay Island Lighthouse, a Northern Ontario landmark dating back to 1907. Wake up to the glorious sunrise over Lake Huron and watch the wildlife play below. During the day, explore the islands, bike, hike, canoe or kayak. Suitable for up to six travellers, the lighthouse is equipped with three bedrooms, dining room, living room, kitchen, bathrooms and oil furnace. For nighttime reading, browse the library’s books on the history of lighthouses and check out original lighthouse documents.
Have any photos from your own epic camping adventures? Remember to share them on our Celebrate Canada Photomap!
Image credit: Bruce Peninsula Tourism, Erik Kfrissen, Gordon's Park, Johnny Lam, Algonquin Eco-Lodge and Bruce Bay Cottages & Lighthouse