camping in ontario

10 camping sites near Toronto you need to experience at least once

Camping in Ontario is a must every summer and the incredible places to set up camp around Toronto are numerous, each proof that you really don't have to travel far for an unreal city escape. 

Here are the spots near Toronto for camping you should get to at least once.

Sand Hill Park

Situated on the north shore of Lake Erie only a two-hour drive from Toronto, Sand Hill Park is home to massive sand hills that tower more than 100 metres above the beach. Plenty of campgrounds encircle the beach and dunes that rank as some of the tallest in the province. 

Balsam Lake Provincial Park

About two hours away in the Kawarthas, you'll find shady campsites and a sandy beach at Balsam Lake. Activities like swimming, boating, and paddling abound at this well-maintained park at the summit of the Trent-Severn Waterway. 

camping in ontario

Balsam Lake offers shady campsites in the Kawarthas. Photo courtesy of RichardBH/flickr. 

Sibbald Point Provincial Park

The 10 different campgrounds at Sibbald Point all offer easy access to a quiet sunny beach on the southern shores of Lake Simcoe. It's the perfect summer getaway for low-key beach bums and you won't have to travel more than an hour from Toronto. 

Algonquin Provincial Park

Algonquin might just be one of Ontario's favourite provincial parks – it was beautiful enough to inspire the Group of Seven, after all. Take your pick between developed campgrounds with amenities or rough it in the backcountry. 

Georgian Bay Islands National Park

The world's largest freshwater archipelago exists just two hours from the big city and its got secluded campsites. Made up of over 60 small islands in Georgian Bay, this national park is only accessible by boat. Once there, you're far removed from society and immersed in nature. 

camping in ontario

The largest freshwater archipelago in the world can be found in the Georgian Bay. Photo courtesy of Georgian Bay Islands National Park

Elora Gorge Conservation Area

A full range of activities keeps overnight campers busy at Elora Gorge. From braving it down the rapids of the gorge in a tube or kayak and swimming at a limestone quarry to conquering the trails that come with plenty of impressive lookouts, it'll definitely not be boring. 

Pinery Provincial Park 

The Pinery is easily one of the most scenic spots along Lake Huron on account of its beautiful beach, kilometres of rare forests and rolling dunes. Staying overnight gives you more time to explore one of the largest freshwater coastal dune ecosystems in the province. 

camping in ontario

Ontario's largest freshwater coastal dunes are at Pinery Provincial Park along the shores of Lake Huron. Photo courtesy of Amy G/flickr. 

Darlington Provincial Park

This quiet park along Lake Ontario has three different campgrounds to choose from. The area boasting undeniable natural beauty and tranquillity to match is only an hour from the city but will make you feel much more far removed than that. 

Rockwood Conservation Area

Spend the weekend at one of the 120 campsites at Rockwood and spend your days exploring hiking trails, beaches, an extensive cave system, and epic ruins of an old mill. 

Glen Rouge Campground

You don't have to even leave the city for a first-rate camping experience with the Rouge Valley right in our backyard. Rouge National Urban Park boasts rare Carolinian forests, beaches, some of the largest marshes in the area, a whole range of hiking trails, and the city's only campsites. Note: it's currently closed for infrastructure upgrades.

Lead photo by

dconvertini/flickr


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