Travel Guide to Canada
ONTARIO'S RESORTS: YOU WORK HARD. PLAY HARDER.
It’s easy to understand why the resorts of Ontario are magnets for those seeking an experience-driven getaway, no matter the season. Nature is often a central theme— Ontario is blessed with lakes, forests and wildlife—but there’s no limit to the ways a visitor can weave their own experience into the gorgeous surroundings.
For families it can be an old fashioned, cottage-style vacation, while couples may search for the romance of a quiet walk or a crackling fireplace. No two resorts are the same—and every single one is worth a visit. Experiences are waiting, so go play!
FAMILIES ARE AT THE HEART OF IT ALL
YOU ARE ... in search of a single destination to satisfy a range of multi-generational needs, from toddlers to grandparents. BECAUSE ... busy families need a break— to spend a relaxing vacation together, building memories. DO IT TOGETHER ... Bayview Wildwood Resort, 90 minutes north of Toronto in Muskoka, checks all the boxes—cottages with enough space for a multi-generational getaway, all-inclusive or flexible selfcatering plans, supervised Kids Camps and activities such as fishing, paddleboarding and magic shows that parents and kids can enjoy together (www.bayviewwildwood.com). At Fern Resort, the focus is on helping families to reconnect and have fun. The year-round, all-inclusive resort boasts full programs of kid’s activities and a dedicated Children’s Playvillage. Older kids can tackle the rock climbing wall, bounce on the bungee trampoline, sharpen their archery skills or do a little wakeboarding (www.fernresort.com). In summertime, Port Cunnington Lodge & Resort pulls out all the stops for a traditional Muskoka family vacation. Cottage stays can come with meal plans or be self-catering. The focus is on parents and their offspring spending time together through shared activities like canoeing and kayaking, beach fun, games and puzzles, swimming and evening campfires (www.portcunnington.com). Severn Lodge offers award-winning supervised activities for children, for instance, crafts, water sports, competitions and beach bonfires throughout the summer season
(www.severnlodge.com). The private cottages at Blue Water Acres Resort mean everyone has just enough space; but the activities at the resort’s playground and beach, or at nearby Algonquin Park, guarantee shared reminiscences (www.bwacres.com).
CLOSE BY, BUT A WORLD AWAY
YOU LOVE ... the purity of Ontario’s wilderness—from the craggy granite Canadian Shield to shimmering lakes and streams—it creates the perfect backdrop for new memories.
BECAUSE ... spending time in Ontario’s backcountry is a way to connect with a past that is timeless and uncomplicated. It’s a way to unwind and recharge, away from the chaos of daily life.
TIME TO TRY ... Westwind Inn, in the Kawartha Lakes district, is a stone’s throw from the breathtaking nature of Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park, where thousands of acres spell peace and quiet in an unhurried, natural manner. Located on Lower Buckhorn Lake, the vacation resort/country inn makes a perfect home base for paddling, bird watching, stargazing or photography, with complimentary equipment like canoes, kayaks, row boats, pedal boats, hydro bikes and windsurfers (www.westwindinn.net). Algonquin Park Cottage Eco Adventure offers customized, guided tours that can include canoe outings, wildlife watching, hiking and picnics (www.voyageurquest.com). Killarney Lodge is a quiet refuge of private, lakeside log cabins (each with its own canoe) surrounded by dramatic Canadian Shield landscape (www.killarneylodge.com).
GET ACTIVE AND FIND A CHALLENGE
YOU ... like the thrill of trying a new sport or activity.
BECAUSE ... it forces you to be present in
the moment and to focus on the surroundings. GIVE THIS A TRY ... There’s no shortage of choices at Deerhurst Resort near Huntsville, with a busy, year-round menu of activities such as golfing, boating, Treetop Trekking, horseback riding, skiing, snowmobiling, skating and sleigh rides (www.deerhurst resort.com). If winter doesn’t slow you down, Bayview Wildwood Resort may have what you need. In the snowy season, there is ice skating, tobogganing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on groomed trails. Come warm weather, there is canoeing and kayaking on Sparrow Lake or exploring the trails through the Canadian Shield. Horseshoe Resort has the latest and greatest in snowmaking technology, creating a snow tubing hill and skiing and snowboarding runs like no other (www.horseshoeresort.com).
In winter, snow lovers can explore 251 acres of ski terrain at Blue Mountain Resort.
The resort is nirvana for active travellers— including Mountaintop Segway Tours, a rock climbing wall, technical mountain bike trails, rope courses and a wintertime terrain park for freestyle skiers (www. bluemountain.ca). Energetic families will find their groove at Fern Resort with activities such as broomball, hockey and dog sledding in winter to paintball and hiking and biking trails in summer.
YOU ARE ... in search of some quality
“us time,” without unnecessary distractions or demands.
BECAUSE ... taking time for the little things and paying attention to the small details are fantastic ways to maintain a spark in a relationship. GETAWAY TO ... Amid the beauty of Algonquin Park, the boutique, five-star Couples Resort is adults-only, with romantic candlelit dinners, in-room fireplaces and extra-large Jacuzzis (www.couplesresort.ca). The family-operated Westwind Inn is the ultimate, year-round adult hideaway—for couples, singles or seniors—with hammocks for two, in-room fireplaces, evening bonfires and outdoor whirlpool. The inn, built of western red cedar, has been recently renovated and is suited for those looking for a quiet, romantic retreat in a wilderness setting of towering pines to the call of the loon. The Briars Resort on Lake Simcoe offers a Mid-week Romance Escape package with luxury accommodation, gourmet meals and a couple’s aromatherapy massage (www.briars.ca). The wedding coordinators at The Waring House custom design every detail, from themes and menus, to indoor and outdoor settings. The country inn is close to the wineries and craft breweries of Prince Edward County, artisan shops in Bloomfield and Picton, farm stands groaning with fresh produce and the beaches at Sandbanks Provincial Park (www.waring house.com). In the peace of a cottage country setting, Port Cunnington Lodge & Resort makes for a perfect wedding or romantic getaway venue—especially popular outside of the summer months when the resort is busy with family travel. Open seasonally only—from May to October—most of the resort’s well-appointed cottages come with fireplaces and a million dollar view over Lake of Bays.
The focus is on a low-key, relaxed experience with no TVs or distractions; just time and space to reconnect and rekindle the romantic flame. Footprints Resort near Bancroft is a lakeside, romantic boutique property for adults only with a full range of accommodation choices, from rooms, villas and cabins to deluxe camping sites (www.footprintsresort.com). “Country inn chic” describes the heritage, four-diamond setting of the Millcroft Inn & Spa. The inn’s R&R Rekindle the Romance twonight package includes accommodation, a romantic dinner and couples massage (www.vintage-hotels.com).
Resorts of Ontario members include more than 100 resort hotels, resort lodges, cottage resorts and intimate country inns. Check the Resorts of Ontario website for information and an on-line reservations service (www.resortsofontario.com).