resports in ontario

The top 10 cottage country resorts in Ontario

Cottage country resorts near Toronto are the way that many of us enjoy the rugged beauty of this province. Just because you don't own a vacation property doesn't mean you can't soak up the charm of places like Muskoka and the Kawarthas. Lakeside resorts have a long history of offering crucial r & r for Toronto folks looking to escape the city.

Here are my picks for the top cottage country resorts near Toronto.

Viamede Resort

What's sets Viamede apart from other resorts is its incredible, locally focused food offerings. It's a laid back place on a great perch above Stoney Lake with a variety of amenities and activities in store, but the food experience is what you'll really remember. Be sure to try the tasting menu at Mount Julian.

Clevelands House

I made many trips here as a kid in the 1990s when it was the pride of Lake Rosseau. There were a few years of struggle when corporate competition arose in the area, but the resort is back on track. This is an activity-heavy place with an excellent tennis program, on-site golf, and lots of ways to enjoy the lake.

Oakwood Resort

Grand Bend is one of the premiere beach destinations in Ontario, but one of the things that's so nice about this resort is how lush and shaded it is. You can hit the private beach, play a round of golf on site, and lounge at the salt water pool before making sure to take in a famous Lake Huron sunset.

The scenic Taboo Resort on Lake Muskoka. Photo courtesy of Taboo.

taboo resort muskoka

This resort on Lake Muskoka is surely best known for its eponymous golf course, but there's a lot more to the place than just the links. The accommodations are more modern than many older resorts, and the dining options are top notch.

Deerhurst Resort

Not many people know that Deerhurst is one of the oldest resort in Muskoka mostly thanks to its popularity over the last 25 years. This is a full service resort that boasts two championship golf courses, a full conference centre, spa, sports facilities, and numerous dining options.

The Briars

Another resort with extensive history, the Briars grew with the rise of cottage culture around Lake Simcoe. Now it's a major luxury resort that's know for its attentive service and picturesque grounds beside the lake. The age demographic skews a bit older here, but there's a ton for just about anybody to do.

Bayview Wildwood

This isn't the most polished resort in the province, but that adds to its laid back charm. The focus is squarely on South Sparrow Lake, though Lake St. George Golf Club is just a short drive away. The newer cottages have all the modern amenities, while accommodations in the older buildings are rustic but charming.

jw marriott muskoka

The JW Marriott resort makes a big impression from the water. Photo courtesy of Marriott Hotels Group.

JW Marriott Resort

A monster of a chateau-style resort on Lake Rosseau, it's all about the luxury experience here. From a steakhouse to full treatment spa, the philosophy here is to create the ultimate Muskoka getaway destination. It mostly succeeds, but is definitely a place for those who believe bigger is better.

Windemere Resort

This resort embodies old school Muskoka with roots that go back to 1870. It looked like Windemere might be finished after a huge fire in 1996, but it was eventually rebuilt with some historical elements salvaged including the popular on-site pub.


Nestled on the shores of Rice Like, this picturesque resort is another one that'll appeal to food and wine lovers. There are two restaurants on site plus an impressive wine cellar where you can do tutored tastings. The area is less rugged than Muskoka, but Rice Lake is great for swimming and water activities.

Lead photo by

Viamede Resort

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