Home away from Home: Weekend getaway with Canadian Ecology Centre

As of last year, Eden and I started to venture out more frequently and explore all there is to do in our own backyard here in Ontario. We were lucky enough to spend a few weekends in the Municipality of Port Hope and also spent a long weekend camping at an Ontario Provincial Park. This year, we spent our Family Day Long Weekend at the Canadian Ecology Centre, for a home away from home weekend getaway. I couldn’t tell you the last time I stayed in a cabin, or for that matter, in a winter cabin. However, despite it being one of the coldest weekends this winter, it was the perfect cozy weekend up at the Canadian Ecology Centre .

The Canadian Ecology Centre (CEC) is roughly a 4 hour drive north of Toronto. They are a non profit outdoor and environmental education and conference facility. Although they are not affiliated with the Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park, they share the beautiful natural landscape of the park together. The CEC is open all year round offering hands on educational programs for youths and adults as well as other programs throughout the year.

The Canadian Ecology Centre offers 32 modern and heated cabins. Most of their cabins are equipped with two double beds and a single top bunk. They also have larger cabins that sleep up to six, for bigger groups, and 2 cabins that are wheelchair accessible. All the cabins are lined up side by side on a quiet road with the cabins built as duplexes. The cabins are drive up with ample parking available. If you want to bring a pet, they do have some cabins that are pet friendly.

Cabins are equipped with:

  • Linens (pillows, comforters, sheets)
  • Towels
  • Bar Fridge
  • Bathroom with shower and flush toilet
  • Hot and cold water
  • Radiant heat (nice and cozy on cold winter nights)
  • Outdoor plugs
  • 1 small table and 2 chairs

The cabin we stayed at was spotless. We weren’t expecting the cabins to come equipped with hangers or shampoo & soap (we brought our own). There were also quite a few electrical plugs around the room.

It was the perfect weekend to cozy up in the corner and read a book or take a nap.

Things to bring:

  • Flashlights (it gets pretty dark outside)
  • Nightlights (if you are bringing kids)
  • Slippers/ Indoor Shoes
  • Travel Mug
  • Meals/Food (If you are not part of a program with meals included, there are no meals available on site)
  • Cooking Equipment (if you require something specific)
  • Extension cord (in the winter if you would like to plug in your vehicle)

CEC had a special family day weekend cabin promotion that featured a multiple night stay deal:

  • Stay 1 night for $140/night + tax
  • Stay 2 nights for $105/night + tax
  • Stay 3 nights for $99/night + tax

The CEC offers a shared-use dining cabin available to all guests during their stay. A fridge, stove and microwave along with some cooking supplies are available. There is a BBQ on the deck outside. A couch and TV are also available in this cabin.

CEC offered a meal package for the family day long weekend. Breakfast included hot options Pancakes and Sausages (Sunday) and Eggs and Fried Ham (Monday) along with all of these items: toast, cereals, hot oatmeal, fruit, yoghurt, coffee/tea and juices. Additional cost of $12/person for adult, $10/ person for kids, and free for kids under 5.

Dinner options included Lasagna and Spaghetti Meatballs (Saturday) and Turkey dinner with all the fixings (Sunday) along with variety of salads, soup, garlic bread or buns, coffee/tea and juices. Additional cost of $16/person for adult and kids, and free for kids under 5.

Unfortunately, due to some last minute cancellations, CEC had to cancel the meal packages so we prepared our own chilli and burgers at home and brought our own meals up with us to the dining cabin to reheat.

There are many winter programs offered at the Canadian Ecology Centre and some relaxing facilities guests could use, such as the lounge below by the fire place. There is free WIFI available in this building as well.

Snowshoes are available and free for guests to enjoy. One of their evening programs included a candle lit snow shoe trek followed by wolf howling, which was something both Eden and I had never tried before!

The provincial park has many trails available during the winter. They have a wide array of trail lengths suitable for different levels of hikers.

In the evening, after the wolf howling, some of us went down to the shared fire pit. The CEC provided the fire wood and a staff member helped set up the fire. Remember to bring your marshmallow kit!

Other Activities in the area:

Antoine Mountain is a recently renovated ski hill that is 20 mins away from the Canadian Ecology Centre. Eden loves to snowboard and I love to ski so we spent half the day here before heading back.

Nature’s Harmony was the last stop we made before heading back to Toronto. Eden and I spent a good 2 hours tubing and feeling like kids again. The tube park was small but somehow a lot more fun then the straight lanes we’re used to at larger tubing parks. Half the lanes here had swerving paths which made the runs exhilarating (and terrifying for some), especially when we were racing down at fast speeds. One of the lanes even had a drop jump!

I had an amazing Family Day weekend at the Canadian Ecology Centre. It was the perfect home away from home with a fair share of exciting outdoor winter activities while also providing you with the opportunity to relax and cozy up in the cabin.

We’ll definitely be back next year to enjoy this hidden gem again!

That’s it from me! I would love to know what you guys think about The Canadian Ecology Centre and if you’ve ever been! Feel free to also follow along my Instagram page where I update daily with what I’m up to!

Written by Grace Yeung
Edited by Eden Yeung

This post was done in collaboration with The Canadian Ecology Centre but gracelisamay.com remains unbiased in our content.


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