Being a life-long Torontonian, I have a very fortunate relationship with a region that’s not too far east of me – the Kawartha Lakes area of Ontario.
Not only am I more familiar with hitting the 401 East (as opposed to the 400 North) when
escaping heading out of the city, there are two areas that hold very special memories for me – Fenelon Falls, and Marmora, Ontario. Those two towns may not exactly be top of mind when thinking about escaping to an Ontario Resort, (although one of our faves, The Irwin Inn, is located on Stoney Lake in the Kawartha Lakes region), but I had family and extended family with cottages and homes in those areas, and they will always feel like my cottagey home-away-from-home whenever I think of cottage country.
Kawartha Lakes: Fenelon Falls
My mom’s “Canadian Mom” had a cottage on Cameron Lake, just outside of Fenelon Falls. I loved it there and have such wonderfully fond memories of my time there as a child. Cameron Lake is clean and clear, and quite rocky – swimming shoes were sometimes required, but there was never the fear of weeds! It’s less than two hours to Fenelon Falls from Toronto. As a kid it always felt like an eternity, but now as a grown up I can tell the kids it’s around four My Little Pony episodes long – thank goodness for the iPad!
In between swimming, and boating, and badminton on the lawn, a highlight for me was always a trip into town for ice cream and watching the boats go through the locks that are smack dab in the centre of town. Lock 34 connects the systems in the Trent Severn Waterway, and now as a grown up I would one day love to go through the locks on a boat, not merely as a spectator! While my kids have not yet been to Fenelon Falls, they are well-versed in most flavours of Kawartha Dairy ice cream – another jewel of the Kawartha Lakes region.
Kawartha Lakes: Marmora
At pretty much the easternmost border of the Kawartha Lakes area is Marmora, Ontario – my country home, if you will.
My Marmora story begins at an old farmhouse on Highway 7 – my dad and his fishing buddies bought it to have a base to flop at after days of fishing the Trent-Severn Waterway. When my dad got married, my “uncles” bought him out – that farmhouse was not intended to be a romantic retreat or a family cottage! Nonetheless, we went for frequent weekends and I became my dad’s fishing buddy for a while – one who never quite mastered hooking the worm, but I did catch my fair share of Largemouth Bass!
Then, my uncle and aunt bought a cottage just down the road on the Crowe River. And many summer weekends and most March Breaks were spent romping around my family’s property. That cottage became their permanent home, and Marmora became the place that offered this city girl a chance to explore nature, and roast marshmallows over a bonfire.
But we would get out and explore the surrounding areas as well. Highlights for us were climbing on the giant tires at the abandoned Iron Ore Mine in Marmora, swimming in the sandbar in Crowe Lake, and exploring at the Petroglyphs Provincial Park.
We’re heading up soon to spend the better part of a week there, I can’t wait!
This post is supported by Kawarthas/Northumberland Tourism, please visit their website for more information on travel to this wonderful region of Ontario.