Canada - a country of climate extremes - bestows its citizens the grace and beauty of nature's changing seasons while testing our collective fortitude. Which is especially the case now that Autumn has arrived as we're embarking on cooler climes. Much like the Toronto Raptor's NBA team's new campaign slogan #WeTheNorth, embracing our cold-weather toughness is a part of our Canadian identity.
And if it means camping in the middle of winter, we do it. Or, errr, well... we find ways to do it that still offer some creature comforts.
Thank goodness for glamping!
Canadian glamping is an activity that shares equal affinity for the outdoors as it does for comfortable design. Here's some insights and examples of where to go to enjoy the best of Canadian glamping as we explore Central Canada.
Image courtesy of Brent Eades
a form of camping in which participants enjoy physical comforts associated with more luxurious types of holiday
word origin: blend of glamorous + camping
Definition courtesy of Dictionary.com
History of Glamping
Glamping's origins as far back to the Turkish Ottoman's mobile palaces for the sultan. Silk tents, elaborate furnishings, and ornate rugs dressed the tent cities that exceeds what glamping entails today. Canvas safari tents used in the early 1900's when the Western world was navigating interactions with Africa were lavish and mannered with Persian rugs and luxurious bedding.
Today, glamping is significantly different than the 'safari experience' 100 years ago - thankfully. But it remains defined by its access to some of the comforts of domestic bliss. Frequently glamping includes a space with a kitchenette, wooden floors, a bed, comfortable bedding, electricity, heat, and a beautiful view (which we consider the most important part).
Some Places to Glamp In Central Canada
The Chalet EXP is located in several different Quebec wilderness parks. The national parks of Mont-Tremblant, the Jacques-Cartier (Gatineau, QC), Monts-Valin (Saint-Fulgence, QC) and Mont Mégantic (Notre-Dame-des-Bois, QC) are the first areas to receive these constructions. Each Chalet EXP is designed specific to its location for a unique experience in each environment.
Despite the Chalets' 320 square foot sizes, these spaces feel expansive and open to the wilderness with its open-concept layout and large windows. They're complete with wood stoves for the cooler seasons and a hammock to lounge on in the summer.
They are designed to accommodate 2 persons with two single beds, hot water, heating, full kitchen, bathroom and a 2-round stove. Available year long for bookings, the Chalet EXP offers a comfortable and stylish experience of Quebec's stunning landscapes at reasonable rates.
Explore and book Chalet EXP here.
Images courtesy of project consultants Douglas Consultants Inc.
Long Point, Ontario
Long Point Eco-Adventures, located in Norfolk County, offers a fun adventurous getaway packed with activities. Zip lining, kayaking, zodiac boat tours, kayak fishing, and mountain biking are just some of the excursions offered at this Ontario glamping site. Their wilderness suites are the perfect accommodations to enjoy Canada's 'rough outdoors.'
The eight Wilderness Suites offered at Eco-Adventures are designed for Canadian outdoor lifestyle with inspiration taken from one of Long Point Eco-Adventures owners' experience in Tanzania, Africa climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Amenities include hot and cold running water, hardwood floors, a private deck, electrical outlets, private flush toilet and outdoor shower, and a sliding glass door to take in the stunning view of Long Point Bay.
Image courtesy of Eco-Adventures
Or, further north, Algonquin Park is a hot spot for camping of all kinds. In fact there's a great glamping accomodation in nearby Mattawa. Guests stay in a yurts - a circular tent inspired by the dwellings of nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. Precisely for the love of Canada's snowy weather, the yurt is only available for winter glamping (open December through April).
Don't let the colder temperatures and rustic dwelling deter you - it is still "glamping" afterall! The best aspect of this quaint experience is the "Maitre d’au grand air". In other words, a "forest butler" service! Guests are whisked away to their winter retreat via snow sled driven by staff member. Comfort literally arrives at the doorstep with mornings including the service of fresh coffee! Just a quick ski (or snowshoe) trip away is the cook house where guests enjoy chef prepared multi-course dinners produced with locally raised bison, beef, and chicken from the nearby farms. After dinner, guests can relax in the heated sauna or enjoy a night time ski visiting the beautiful sites on the peninsula. Spend the day exploring the region's caves, winter trails, or fireside enjoying the cabin's toasty wood stove. Talk about luxury!
Learn more about this Mattawa yurt on Glamping Hub.
Image courtesty of Glampinghub.com
Located at the foot of Mount Chagnon, Entre Cimes et Racines offers a diverse range of chalets like this Hobbit-esque dwelling! Open year-round, lodgers can experience the beauty of every season at Entre Cimes et Racines. Activites include hiking, golfing, swimming, wildlife observation, downhill skiing and snowboarding. With all the amenities of glamping including a kitchenette, microwave oven, mini-fridge and daily housekeeping- Entre Cimes et Racines is sure to be an outdoor experience of luxury and comfort. Ready to book your stay? We are!
Image courtesy of Entre Cimes et Racines
Glamping accommodations in Canada are as diverse as the regions they are situated in. Regardless of the weather and time of year, there are accommodations to make the most of the Canadian outdoors in style and comfort. Chalet EXP, Eco-Adventures' Wilderness Suites, Bruce Penninsula Glamping, and Entre Cimes et Racines are just a few examples of the innovative and design conscious glamping options in Canada.
As long as we're prepared to navigate an ever-changing environment, we Canucks get the privilege of front row seats to nature's glory! Stay tuned as we travel to the best of Eastern and Western Canada glamping sites in upcoming posts!
Do you have a favorite place to glamp? Share your experience with Houseporn!
Researched and Written by Sara Nicole England, undergraduate of OCAD University in the Criticism and Curatorial Practice Program