As we got back to camping, I wanna take you to 4 of the campsites me and my family tested in Quebec and Ontario during the past 14 months, while discovering our new & current surroundings.
I struggled a bit with myself how to do it, without getting to much influence on you. I would like you to get your own experiences and impressions without being biased to much. That’s why I decided simply to gather general facts, the Canadians & Canada experts among you might know them, and just give you a few pictures of each place we stayed, with a few comments.
Let’s get started!
- Lots of campsites are located in national & provincial parks, even there are as much outside them. If you prefer to camp there, I highly recommend to buy an annual park pass, not get charged the entrance fee on top (if you go frequently). You can either get the pass at the entrance or online. Check it out here: http://www.sepaq.com/ for Quebec or http://ontarioparks.com/ for Ontario!
- They all have parcels for tents and trailers. You can choose different options and most of them also offer to rent a cabin or so called ready to camp sites.
- Generally, each parcel will be equipped with its own bench and table as well as its private fire place, which mostly works as a grill, too.
- Shower – be aware to take 25Cent coins with you! Often you have to pay $1 in coins for a 4 minutes’ shower. While choosing your site, check the map out if facilities are close enough for you .
- During camping season there will be a lot of activities offered. Some for free some, will be charged. Check their websites out!
- For the weekend of Saint-Jean- Baptiste-Day/La fête nationale (24th of June) in Quebec and the weekend of Canada Day (1st of July) be aware of booking a place up to 5 Months in advance! To save a nice spot or even to get one at that weekends. (We didn’t know that and had to call about 20 campsites in the surroundings of 2h from Montreal either Quebec and Ontario to find something)
- Read cancellation policies carefully. Most times a cancelation has to be done at least 7 days in advance not to get charged 100%!
- Prices for simple tent camping are moderate, they will be between $30-42 CAD per night for one tent, sleeps up to 3 persons and a car.
My personal impressions:
I am settled in Montreal so I will start with the Quebecois campsites, which isn’t a ranking! One more HINT for Quebec: Prepare some travel/ camping related vocabulary in French – French is the official language and don’t expect every receptionist to speak English well. Also it’s polite to have some general French phrases prepared J.
Camping at Parc national d’Oka
We have been there twice. It is perfect for spontaneous trips as it is only a 45-60min drive from Montreal. You are in the forest and the beach is close by. There are two beaches – the main one where you will find everything like playgrounds, rental station, snack point, barbecue areas etc. and a smaller one where you will find tranquility. Each area of the campsite has a bus stop, where you can get picked up every 30min by bus to the main beach, instead of walking or getting charged for parking at the beach. (this mainly happens on busy weekends, even if you are guests at the camping)
Camping at Camping Bon-Désir (Les Bergeronnes)
It is located about 500km North-East of Montreal at the St. Lorenz and it is worth the trip. You will be right in a well-known whale watching area and have many choices how and where to do it (I will have a post about whale watching soon). Also it is close to the first nation City Les Escoumins and Tadoussac. The campsite is directly at the shore of the river. Most parcels have a great panoramic view- I have never seen ebb and flow that clearly at a river. Impressive! Also you have the sunrise at the riverside. Every evening the “wood express” is crossing the campsite couple of times so you can get your fire wood directly at your parcel. Be aware of fast changing weather conditions, so even in summer bring warm and rain clothes. The only little disadvantage is, that the way to the washrooms might be “far” and uphill. So check the map of the campsite before booking to get a spot for your needs – also the staff is very friendly and will help you out!
Camping at Voyageur Provincial Park
Right behind the frontier of Quebec, about 45-60min away from Montreal you will find this park and campsite. It has a very nice beach, with all amenities such as a shop, rental station, barbecue areas etc. but it is quiet at the same time with nice fews. You have free parking at the beach. We stayed at the last free place at the group campsite, because it was Saint-Jean-Baptiste- weekend J! So it was not that cozy like a private parcel, but we had the blue sky above. It is perfect for groups, because the staff take care not to put groups to close together, so everybody has a little bit of privacy.
Camping at Sandbanks Provincial Park
Located at the shore of Ontario Lake, I felt like being at the sea. I could not see the other side and the waves are great. I loved it – by the way you will find world’s largest baymouth barrier dune formation here at sandbanks. And of course they have all you need, like the other campsites do, too.
To recap: We would go back to each of them and they are all FAMILY FRIENDLY and also nice Places to have some fun with friends and drinks ;-)!