inner joy getaways

You can stay in a shipping container with a private hot tub just outside Toronto

While a shipping container may not conjure up notions of a romantic getaway, the private suites at a property on the Grand River are just that.

Inner Joy Getaways, just a little over an hour’s drive from Toronto, transformed four shipping containers into small self-catering suites with views of the stunning countryside.

Situated in the Grand River Conservation Area, the region has beautiful hiking trails, fishing and birding opportunities along with quaint towns such as St. Jacob’s and Elora.

Each re-furbished shipping container suite at Inner Joy comes with its own outdoor hot tub meant for relaxing and reconnection to nature.

The business was built on faith and a desire to help others. Laura Feenstra told blogTO she and her husband Will Feenstra fell in love with the 7.5 acre property and saw it as a place to base Will’s work as a counselor.

Will helps youth who struggle with anxiety and depression with counselling sessions held on the property so the youth can decompress at the riverside if they choose. The counselling is done by donation.

“That was the heart behind it,” said Laura. “So we just wanted a unique business to help pay for the property.”

inner joy getaways

Each suite has large windows with a view of the countryside. Marx Media photo

There are two waterways on the property — the Grand River and the Swan Creek. The idea to transform shipping containers came through Laura’s faith.

“God told me to look up shipping containers, so I did,” she said.

That was back in 2017 and it wasn’t simple getting permission to build their dream getaway. Although shipping containers are used in many construction projects, it was the first such project in their township.

“We were the guinea pigs,” she said.

Will has a background in construction and Laura has a diploma in interior design — so they worked on the project together.

inner joy getaways

Laura Feenstra did the interior design of the suites. Andrew Musselman photo

They opened in June 2019 and were doing well until COVID-19 hit, said Laura. Business has since picked up recently as people are looking for a weekend getaway that is private and booked online.

“It is a social distance getaway,” she said. “You don’t have to see us because it is all contactless.”

Laura and Will have four children and designed the bed and breakfast with couples in mind.

inner joy getaways

The shipping container units are on a beautiful propety along on the Grand River.  Marx Media photo

“We just thought if we were to go away what would we want,” she said.

Laura hopes people find calm and relaxation during their stay.

“We are religious and faith is a big aspect of who we are but we don’t push that on any of our guests — but it is about the inner peace,” Laura said.

Lead photo by

Marx Media


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You can stay in a shipping container with a private hot tub just outside Toronto