The idea of camping in such a large metropolis as Toronto might not seem like it’s a possibility. But it actually is! You don’t have to drive all the way to the Muskokas or Algonquin to escape for a weekend with the kids. So pitch a tent and camp out in our Guide to Camping in and around the Greater Toronto Area to find a bunch of our favourite spots to camp within a two-hour drive of downtown (heavily dependent on traffic, of course!).

(Click on the title links for more information)

National Parks

Glen Rouge Campground (Currently closed for renovations)
Where: 7450 Kingston Road, Scarborough
The only national park campground within the city limits as part of Rouge National Urban Park, this campground has it all, including five of those oh-so-cool Parks Canada oTENTik sites.

Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site
Where: 2155 Ashburnham Drive, Peterborough
In Peterborough at the historic Trent-Severn Waterway locks, be sure to book one of the adorable Ôasis cabins that look like a big egg!

Ontario Provincial Parks — North of Toronto

Bass Lake
Where: 2540 Bass Lake Sideroad East, Oro-Medonte Township
Just a 10-minute drive west of Orillia, Bass Lake has a sandy beach for summer swimming, a 2.8 km hiking trail, various camping options plus picnic shelters and a day-use area.

Earl Rowe
Where: 4998 Concession Road 7, Alliston
Get there in spring if you can to see salmon spawning up the fish ladder! Earl Rowe also has great hiking trails, including one paved trail for accessibility, as well as canoeing, swimming and fishing.

Sibbald Point
Where: 26071 York Rd 18 (Park Road), Sutton West
At the southern shore of Lake Simcoe, Sibbald Point has a large beach with boating launch, spacious electrical and non-electrical campsites with pull-through trailer sites, grassy picnic areas and a forested hiking trail.

Provincial Parks — East of Toronto

Balsam Lake
Where: 2238 County Road 48, Kirkfield
This park gives you the full Kawartha Lakes experience: sandy beach, canoe/kayak/paddleboat rentals, easy hiking trails, and fishing for walleye, muskellunge and bass.

Darlington
Where: 1600 Darlington Park Road, Bowmanville
On the banks of Lake Ontario, Darlington is known for its sandy beach, nature trails and picnic facilities.

Emily
Where: 797 Emily Park Road, Omemee
Near Peterborough in the Kawartha Lakes, Emily PP offers a relaxed family camping experience featuring boating on the Trent-Severn Waterway and excellent fishing opportunities.

Provincial Parks — South of Toronto

Bronte Creek
Where: 1219 Burloak Drive, Oakville
There’s so much to do at Bronte Creek. This campground has the typical sites available for booking, plus a huge outdoor pool, hiking trails, a children’s farm, disc golf and more.

Rock Point
Where: 215 Niece Road, Dunnville
Located on Lake Erie, this park features a kilometre-long sandy beach, and embedded in limestone shelf along the beach are exposed fossils of a coral reef dating back to over 350 million years!

Turkey Point
Where: 194 Turkey Point Road, Turkey Point
Just a bit further west from Rock Point on the northern shore of Lake Erie in the village of Turkey Point, this park has a shallow and buoyed swimming beach perfect for kids. A marina, restaurants, zip lining and a winery are all within two kilometres.

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

Albion Hills
Where: 16500 Regional Road 50, Caledon
Set in the hills of Caledon on the banks of the Humber River, Albion Hills Campground offers dramatic scenery, exciting activities and excellent facilities, just 40 minutes from Toronto! After a day of hiking or mountain biking, fall asleep beneath the stars at Albion Hills.

Indian Line Campground
Where: 7625 Finch Ave. West, Brampton
The closest campground to downtown Toronto, Indian Line is the perfect spot for your urban camping adventure. Here you can tent, trailer or RV at this lakeside campground near Black Creek Pioneer Village.

Conservation Hamilton

Fifty Point
Where: 1479 Baseline Road, Winona
Around the bend from the GTA on the shores of Lake Ontario, Fifty Point has 70 fully serviced sites (sewer, hydro and water) plus a comfort station that is equipped with individual showers, accessible shower, washrooms and laundry facilities.

Valens Lake Conservation Area
Where: 1691 Regional Road 97, Flamborough
Valens Lake is a popular family campground between Hamilton and Cambridge, with 225 campsites, including 125 sites with electrical and water hookups, 6 group areas and walk-in sites.

Private

Cedar Beach Resort
Where: 15014 9th Line, Whitchurch-Stouffville
Less than an hour drive from Toronto, this beachside campground is primarily for seasonal campers, but they do offer short stay camping. With two swimming pools, a hot tub, splash pad, multiple playgrounds, tennis courts, a basketball court and more, there’s no end to the fun at Cedar Beach Resort.

Toronto West KOA Holiday
Where: 301 Nassagaweya 2nd Line, RR #1, Campbellville
At this campground, you can choose to tent, RV or even book a fully equipped deluxe cabin. Onsite amenities include a heated pool, playgrounds, mining adventure, theme weeks and more.

Family Hiking, Arrowhead, Fall 2015. Photographer: Evan Holt

Family Hiking, Arrowhead. Photographer: Evan Holt. Photo Courtesy of Ontario Parks

Looking for Hiking opportunities in and around the GTA? Click here for more!