Three glamping destinations to maximize your precious summer weekends

Three glamping destinations to maximize your precious summer weekends

Urbanites who want their nature fix without sacrificing creature comforts should check these out

Photograph Maria Kwok
Hilltop Glamorous Camping

How much: $300 for two nights with four guests
Where: South Frontenac, 280 km from Toronto
Nearby attractions: The site is close to both Frontenac and Puzzle Lake provincial parks

Sibo Khumalo-Mahachi and her husband, Gamaliel Mahachi, purchased this $489,000 property as a family home in August 2019 and were inspired to create an authentic but not entirely off-grid woodsy experience on the site for extra cash. “I love camping, but I don’t enjoy the no facilities, no shower, no comfortable bed,” says Khumalo-Mahachi. “I wanted to build something that would allow people to experience nature without sacrificing the luxuries of a hotel stay.” The lush secluded space opened in June 2021 and features a single canvas bell tent with a pair of double beds (pets are welcome too). It sits on 19 acres of private land and includes camp seating, a kitchenette, a firepit and a heated outdoor shower.

Photograph by Katherine Palumbo and Vanessa Buonaguro
Riverside Oasis Farm

How much: Starting at $250 per night for three to four guests
Where: Wellandport, about 110 km from Toronto
Nearby attractions: Beamsville wineries are next door, and Lake Erie is a 20-minute drive away

An overnight stay in these Mongolian yurts is part glamping experience, part farming simulator.

Owners Assyl and Michael Carlton, who met while working in the oil-and-gas industry in Kazakhstan, bought the property in 2019 and put up two yurts for year-round stays in November 2020. Each comes equipped with an indoor stove for the colder months, a queen bed, a wooden deck and an outdoor firepit.

Visitors looking for a taste of farm life can roam the property at their leisure and feed the Carlton’s animals, which include nine alpacas, 10 goats, four sheep, two dogs, 20 chickens and three barn cats.  At lunchtime, guests can often be found by the creek, picnicking on farm-grown organic produce.

Photograph by Darren Cottrell
Greyridge Glamping

How much: Starting at $187 per night, with a two-night minimum for two guests
Where: Holland Centre, 170 km from Toronto
Nearby attractions: Scenic waterfalls and 250 acres of Crown land are minutes away

During the first pandemic summer, when Torontonians were looking for nearby escapes, semi-retired farm owners Darren and Jane Cottrell launched their first campsite on Airbnb, open from late May to mid-October. The Cottrells built up the site themselves—and have since added two more. Darren, who worked in construction, used his technical know-how to build the tents. Each site features a roomy 14-by-16-foot safari tent framed with cedar that was sustainably harvested on the property and a view of the river from a king-sized bed with a memory-foam mattress. They also include an open-air shower with hot water and a cooking station with a propane barbecue—plus thoughtful extras like ice, firewood, a charging station and a private yoga deck.