1. Mont Tremblant, Quebec
Suitable for: Families, young children, peace and quiet
Outside the main town, you can rent beautiful wooden chalets perfect for summer or winter. Small lakes are great for outdoor activities, whether it be kayaking or ice skating. In the winter, one of the ten best ski resorts in the world is only ten minutes away. With the variety of chalets to choose from – from rustic to 5* – there is something for everyone. Many chalets come with saltwater hot tubs and wood-burning fires. Perhaps not a place for party animals.
2. Temagami, Ontario
Suitable for: Hiking groups, solitude
If you like the idea of a cottage on your own private island, this is a good place to look. This area – home to the Anishnabai tribe for over 6,000 years ̶ features some of the best hiking trails around. Canoeing is a great way to explore this semi-remote part of Lake Temagami and there are also house boats available to rent. For a small fee, you can climb the Fire Tower on Caribu Mountain. It’s 100ft tall and offers views of the whole area.
3. Texada Island, B.C.
Image source: Paul Hamilton
Suitable for: Romantic getaways
On Texada you can be swimming in fresh water quarries or relaxing on beaches with sea views. You will feel remote with the Vancouver Island Mountains peering over you to the West. Bicycles are the best way to see the island and a ferry ride can take you along BC’s famous coastline. There are bald eagles, deer and herons. Grey whales can be seen migrating from California to Alaska. There are also restaurants if needed.
4. Kelowna, B.C.
Suitable for: People who don’t want to be too far from a supermarket
Kelowna straddles the snakelike Okanagan Lake and is a good place for young people to rent, given that the town is best known for the Wakefest festival in the summer months. Although an arts festival, Wakefest has a reputation for being alcohol-fuelled. The Ogopogo monster is rumoured to lurk in the lake and was a legend before the arrival of European settlers to the area. Perhaps the festival and the pursuit of Kelowna’s own Loch Ness Monster is reason enough to visit, but there are also many watersports available along with fine dining. If you plan on attending Wakefest and heading out into the surrounding area for a quiet rental afterwards, there are plenty of hotels in Kelowna to utilize before taking the plunge into rural bliss and tranquil vinyards.
5. Pugwash, Nova Scotia
Suitable for: Fans of fishing, the sea, intellectuals
This part of the world is steeped in whaling lore but has also played host to scholars as it’s where Bertrand Russell hosted a “Great Thinkers” conference in 1957. There is both saltwater and freshwater fishing available – mackerel fishing is especially good. Due to Highlanders from Scotland populating the area in the 19th Century, most street signs are in both English and Gaelic. The cartoon character Captain Pugwash is reportedly named after the town!