A look inside Elements, a safari-style glamping destination in a former theme park

A look inside Elements, a safari-style glamping destination in a former theme park

The great outdoors is even greater when you’re bunking at one of Ontario’s plushest glamping getaways

Photographs by Valerie Keeler

How much: From $405 per night for a tent; $250 per night for a cabin
Where: 793 Storyland Rd., Renfrew, outdoorhotel.ca
Travel time from Toronto: Four hours, 30 minutes

In its former life, Elements was a theme park called Storyland, filled with whimsical rides and fairy tale attractions. After the park closed in 2011, Nicole Laframboise, a developer from Ottawa, snapped up the land and built a fancified safari-style campground. She repurposed a few Storyland structures—the roller skating rink is now a candy-coloured yoga studio—tore down the kitschy rides and shelled out $25,000 apiece for eight tents with indoor plumbing, pine floors and granite sinks perched on wooden barrels. This summer, for the first time, there will be several tiny wooden cabins available for rent—Laframboise commissioned them from a nearby Amish family. Activities include art classes and reiki sessions, and a troupe of “wilderness butlers” glide the grounds on bicycles, delivering wine and prepped meals, which guests can cook over an open fire.

Every tent has a propane fireplace, washroom and outdoor dining area:

The so-called tiny homes—made by Elements’ Amish neighbours—range from 100 to 120 square feet:

Some of them are equipped with paints, inks and canvas for when guests are feeling arty:

The property overlooks the Ottawa River:

Guests get locally made toiletries, including vegan scrubs, essential oil blends, soap, moisturizer and all-natural mouthwash:

In the roller skating rink–turned–yoga studio, guests can practise their downward dog or dangle from aerial silks:

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