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Ontario's cottage country: lakeside serenity just hours from the city


Ontario Cottage Country has many luxurious resorts and vacation rental properties and is perhaps the best place to spend a week in the summer months.


This is all about family time and nature. Relaxing with a book on a porch overlooking the lake, sailing, canoeing and swimming in one of the literally hundreds of thousands of lakes which cover northern Ontario.


There are three main regions to Cottage Country - the Kawartha Lakes, the Muskokas, and Georgian Bay. There is also another Cottage Country area less well know north of Kingston, generally called the Land O’Lakes. 


Muskoka is the most famous, with many celebrities such as Goldie Hawn and Tom Hanks owning cottages and frequenting the many resorts. There are more than 1,600 lakes in the Muskokas, most rimmed with resorts and cottages. The Muskokas' focal point is the town of Huntsville - just an hour and a half north of Toronto – which is also the gateway to Algonquin Park. There are three resorts in Algonquin Park: Killarney Lodge, Bartlett Lodge and Arowhon Pines Resort, where you are likely to see moose wander by whilst you eat a gourmet dinner.


The Kawartha Lakes, “the land of shining waters”, is home to the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, which is also the regional city for the Kawarthas. There is nothing quintessentially more Canadian than the canoe. The over 250 lakes in the Kawarthas are tied together by the Trent –Severn Waterway, which runs from lake Ontario to Georgian Bay. 


Georgian Bay is often called the Sixth Great Lake or the Sweetwater Sea. It is officially part of Lake Huron, but few locals will agree to that distinction. Home to the world’s longest freshwater beach at Wasaga Beach and the beautiful 30,000 Islands, Georgian Bay has something for everyone – from great beaches, crystal clear water for diving, remote wilderness and sublime sea kayaking to thousands of cottages scattered amongst tens of thousands of islands.