Jessica Boston, took her 3 year old toddler and 9 month old baby on holiday to Canada, to stay in a private, lakeside holiday cottage (a Summer Cottage) in Muskoka, Ontario. They spent fun filled days swimming, canoeing and looking for frogs! Jessica was so inspired by this holiday, that she set up Triptoes a travel company specialising in providing family friendly holidays to Canada.
Holiday in Canada with a Baby / Toddler : Staying on a lake in Muskoka, Ontario
When my children were 3 years old and 9 months old, I lived in Toronto on a 6 month sabbatical. As a family we had a fantastic time exploring this very child friendly city and my red Phil & Ted’s got plenty of use pounding the streets of Toronto – sightseeing and generally exploring. Having holidayed and visited family in Canada as a child, and having lived there and worked for several years in the Canadian travel industry pre-children, I was keen to discover Toronto afresh from the perspective of a parent and to introduce my children to my favourite place.
I grew up visiting Canada regularly, and one of my fondest memories as a child was spending time at my uncle’s ‘cottage’ on Lake Nippissing in Ontario. I loved the long hot summer days ‘at the cottage’ and the freedom I felt as a child swimming in the lake and playing in the pine scented woods. I still remember how excited I was to see my first chipmunk and to hear the eerie sound of a Canadian Loon (sounds like a wolf howl coming across the lake!). Washing our hair in the lake was a real novelty and discovering, for the first time, a light pollution free, starlight night was amazing.
Canadian Summer Cottage Holiday
All these fond memories made it inevitable to want my own children to experience a traditional Canadian summer cottage holiday and so at the end of our sabbatical, and with a little trepidation, we set off on the two hour car journey from Toronto to the heart of Muskoka for a week at a cottage with our 9 month old baby daughter and 3 year old toddler.
With literally thousands of lakes (Ontario alone has around 250,000), small islands, an abundance of pristine shoreline and an array of comfortable, private, lakeside holiday homes – a ‘Summer Cottage’ holiday is a truly wonderful idea for a holiday with a baby or toddler.
The drive up was beautiful and as we were travelling in June, out of peak holiday season , we felt we had this special corner of Ontario all to ourselves. We stopped for pancakes (my toddler’s favourite!) at a very Canadian roadside diner and did a bit of browsing in a local farmer’s market for fishing nets, maple syrup and sun hats.
On arrival at the cottage we were not disappointed! The lake was absolutely stunning and the cottage we had booked was fantastic. It had all of the mod cons that make a holiday with babies and toddlers just that bit easier and we loved the views over the lake. The best way to describe the cottage and the location was that it was a little bit of luxury and comfort with a taste of Canadian wilderness.
Before we left, one of my concerns was how we would manage so near the water with young children. In fact it turned out to be a very relaxing holiday, one of the most relaxing I have ever had (well maybe my honeymoon in Sri Lanka, pre-kids was more relaxing!)
Our toddler wore his life jacket (we bought one in Toronto although some cottages supply them) the whole time and that was a rule we stuck to rigidly. He loved jumping off the dock into the lake and also enjoyed canoeing and being in the paddleboat. He also spent time looking for frogs and spotting the enumerable dragonflies that darted about the shore. His favourite activity was feeding chipmunks from the patio and it felt wonderful to have him experience some proper outdoors and give him a taste of the freedom I remembered as a child. Our baby daughter enjoyed herself too and all the fresh air made her sleep even better and more than normal!
Evenings for adults, post kiddie-watershed, were spent watching the sun go down over the lake, listening to the loons, reading books and toasting marshmallows on a bonfire. It was truly idyllic.
Triptoes – Family Holidays in Canada
As a result of this holiday I decided to start Triptoes, a travel company that specialises in providing inspiring family holidays in Canada with hand-picked accommodation and adventurous activities. This was a long held dream of mine, and it has become the perfect opportunity to combine my passion for Canada, knowledge of the Canadian travel industry, and my experience as a mum of two young children.
So at Triptoes, we scour Ontario to find the best cottages available and we work closely with our local suppliers to ensure the quality of our cottage homes in order to offer a truly memorable holiday in Canada with families. All our cottages have been hand-picked to be suitable and safe for holidays with babies and toddlers, and each cottage portfolio has a clear description of where the cottage is located and what facilities it has.
Best time to visit Toronto & Muskoka: June to September
Nearest Airport: Toronto Pearson International Airport
Near by: Niagara Falls & Niagara-on-the-Lake
Tel: 01225 471 893