Ontario is a beautiful and diverse Canadian province just waiting to be explored. Whether you are planning a relaxing getaway in Muskoka or an action-packed adventure in bustling cities, Ontario has the perfect vacation rentals to suit your needs. 

Cottage country in Ontario gives you the perfect opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and explore the beautiful, serene landscapes peppered with sparkling lakes and lush forests. Hike among the awe-inspiring natural wonders or enjoy recreational activities such as fishing, boating, and bird-watching. 

If you prefer the vibrancy of city life, Ontario’s big cities like Toronto and Ottawa offer a rich cultural scene with world-class museums, art galleries, and theaters.

The Highlights

  • Ontario offers versatile vacation rental options for a diverse range of experiences.
  • Escape to cottage country for tranquillity and outdoor activities, or explore Ontario’s bustling cities for cultural adventures.
  • Booking through Lake.com ensures a secure and worry-free experience.

Overview of Ontario Vacation Rentals

Rental Types

Ontario vacation rentals include various accommodations, such as cottages, boathouses, and condos in downtown Toronto right on Lake Ontario. 

You can find rental properties in different sizes, styles, and budgets to suit your needs. If you’re a solo traveler or a couple, a cozy condo in the city might be just what you need. On the other hand, if you’re traveling with a family or a group of friends, a spacious cottage or house could offer more room and privacy.

Some vacation rentals in Ontario also come with convenient amenities like air conditioning, bedding/linens, child-friendly spaces, and even pet-friendly options.

Top Rated Rentals

When choosing a vacation rental, it’s always a good idea to go with one highly rated by previous guests. Here are a couple of top-rated rentals to consider for your Ontario vacation:

  • A 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom bungalow in Niagara Falls with a 5.0-star rating (based on 2 reviews). This rental offers air conditioning and child-friendly spaces. It’s available from $342 per night.
  • A stylish Toronto condo with a 4.0-star rating (based on 4 reviews). This vacation rental provides air conditioning, parking, and pet-friendly options. The price starts at $247 per night.

When searching for the perfect vacation rental, consider your preferences and budget, and always check reviews to ensure a quality stay. 

Experiences in Cottage Country

Waterfront Cottages

Imagine waking up to a picturesque view of the lake just beyond your window. You’ll experience that when staying in a waterfront cottage in Ontario’s cottage country. These cottages offer direct access to the lake to enjoy swimming, fishing, or paddling your kayak. Book a cottage with a boathouse where you can sleep over the water. With numerous waterfront cottages available, such as in Muskoka that includes the Big Three lakes, Lake Muskoka, Lake Joeseph, and Lake Rosseau, the Kawarthas region, and Lake Simcoe, you’ll have thousands of cottages to choose from.

Cabins in the Woods

Surrounded by lush forests and serenity, these reclusive cabins are the perfect place to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of nature. Whether exploring the popular Muskoka region or the vast Haliburton Highlands, you’ll find cozy cabins in the verdant landscape. Take morning hikes, watch for local wildlife, and warm up by the fireplace in the evening—your wooded retreat awaits!

Condos with Scenic Views

For a more modern experience, consider renting a condo overlooking Toronto’s beautiful Lake Ontario. Toronto’s skyline is made up almost entirely of glass high rises, with nearly all apartments facing the water.  By booking a place in Toronto, you get the best of both worlds by experiencing the attractions and vibrant nightlife of a global city, you could make a day trip up to Muskoka and tour Lake Muskoka by taking a ride on the oldest operating steamship in the world.  There’s even a dinner cruise that departs at 6:00 pm that’s best for capturing the sunset in Muskoka.

Outdoor Activities

Ontario is a fantastic vacation spot, offering numerous outdoor adventures for you to enjoy. With so many activities, finding something that will suit your interests is easy. This section will explore some exciting water sports and mountain biking opportunities.

Water Sports

Ontario’s waterways offer fantastic opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping thrills or prefer a leisurely paddle in beautiful surroundings.

Kayaking and Canoeing: Ontario is a paradise for kayakers and canoeists with thousands of lakes and over 1,600 km of mapped canoeing routes. Rent a kayak or canoe and explore winding rivers, picturesque waterfalls, or breathtaking riverfront views. If you’re new to the sport, plenty of guided tours are available to help you get started. Remember to visit Ahoy Rentals at 21 Ontario Street for equipment rentals.

Other water sports: Ontario has you covered if you want more than just paddling. Try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding, white-water rafting, or even windsurfing. With so many options available, you will surely find the perfect water sport to suit your interests.

Mountain Biking

If you prefer exploring on two wheels, Ontario’s mountain biking trails offer a thrilling mix of challenges and spectacular scenery. Each lake has its own trails, but let’s head far north for some recommendations that you should check out:

  • Kivi Park: Located in Sudbury, this 480-acre greenspace offers incredible mountain biking trails for all skill levels and on-site equipment rentals. In addition to mountain biking, Kivi Park features SUP, kayak, and canoe rentals for a well-rounded outdoor adventure.
  • Long Lake: Conveniently situated near the city center of Sudbury, Long Lake offers a great combination of hiking and mountain biking trails. The picturesque lake is also an excellent spot to rest and recharge after an exhilarating ride.


Hiking in Ontario offers some of the most breathtaking trails to explore. Let’s dive into a few popular spots you will want to take advantage of on your trip.

The Bruce Peninsula

The Bruce Peninsula is an absolute must-visit location. This stunning area boasts pristine forests, crystal-clear waters, and unique rock formations. The hiking trails here range from easy to challenging, so there’s something for everyone. You’ll enjoy panoramic views of Georgian Bay from the cliff-top trails and discover serene inlets and beaches along the shoreline paths.

One incredible trail in the Bruce Peninsula is the iconic Bruce Trail – Canada’s oldest and longest marked footpath. The trail spans over 890 kilometers and takes you through diverse landscapes, including forests, wetlands, and rocky cliffs. As you hike this scenic trail, keep an eye out for rare flora and fauna that make the region so unique.


In addition to the Bruce Trail, Tobermory is a quaint town located at the northern tip of the peninsula that offers picturesque scenery and access to various hikes. With its charming harbor, crystal-clear waters, and dramatic cliffs, Tobermory is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. A few local trails are:

  • The Flowerpot Island Trail: Accessible by boat, this rugged trail allows you to explore the island’s famous “flowerpot” rock formations.
  • The Burnt Point Loop Trail: Enjoy a leisurely stroll or bike ride along this 4-km circular trail with picturesque lake views.

With its captivating landscapes, diverse trails, and charming accommodations, you’re guaranteed to have an epic outdoor experience.

Where to Stay in Cottage Country


Get ready to experience the heart of Ontario’s cottage country with a stay in Muskoka. Nestled among lakes and forests, you’ll find a range of vacation rentals in this picturesque region.

Muskoka is made of several lakes, but the Big Three, as locals know them, include Lake Muskoka, Lake Rosseau, and Lake Joeseph.  Muskoka is a 2-hour drive north of Toronto.

When in the area, Arrowhead Provincial Park, mentioned by National Geographic Traveler, offers quiet tranquility, perfect for a retreat to nature. With two lakes (Mayflower and Arrowhead) awaiting exploration, your Muskoka getaway will be one to remember.

Georgian Bay

Looking for an escape on one of the Great Lakes? Head to beautiful Georgian Bay on Lake Huron, where the clear blue waters are lined with cozy cottages for your vacation rental needs. Enjoy breathtaking scenery as you kayak, hike or just relax by the shore. Georgian Bay is home to several quaint towns, offering a variety of dining and shopping experiences to suit every taste.


Escape the hustle and bustle in the peaceful surroundings of Haliburton. Here, you’ll find a variety of cottage rentals nestled among the rolling hills, forests, and serene lakes. Fill your days with outdoor adventures like fishing, hiking, and biking, or simply unwind on the porch of your vacation rental with a good book. Your stay in Haliburton will be a memorable one.


Just a 90-minute drive from Toronto, the Kawarthas region is the perfect city dweller’s getaway. Featuring a chain of picturesque lakes and charming towns, explore this region’s many vacation rentals for your next cottage country escape. Enjoy activities like kayaking, fishing, or hiking during the day, and retreat to your cozy cottage in the evening for a well-earned rest.

Prince Edward County

Prince Edward County offers an unforgettable cottage retreat for those who appreciate a blend of natural beauty and fine dining. You can enjoy the best of both worlds with a range of vacation rentals available. Rent a bike and explore the numerous wineries dotting the countryside, all while taking in the warm summer sun and stunning views.


Discover the perfect mix of luxury and relaxation in the charming town of Niagara-On-The-Lake. With a variety of accommodations available, including cottages and vacation rentals, this destination has something for everyone. Visit the famous Niagara Falls, the world’s second most popular honeymoon destination, indulge in a wine tour, or explore the historic town center with its shops, restaurants, and theater at the Shaw Festival.

Big Cities on Ontario Lakes


Named the most multicultural city in the world, Toronto has a fantastic waterfront and rental properties along Lake Ontario. From trendy restaurants to world-class museums such as the Royal Ontario Museum or ROM, and the CN Tower, the tallest building in the Western hemisphere, there’s always something to do in this walkable city.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is another fantastic option for a waterfront vacation rental in Ontario. Located along the shores of Lake Erie, you can enjoy the stunning views of the lake and the iconic Niagara Falls.

One great option is the Hideaway, a cozy cottage in wine country that can sleep up to two people. Apart from the beautiful lakefront views, you can also explore the surrounding vineyards and indulge in wine tasting from Jackson Triggs, Pelham Estates, and even Gretzky.

If you’re traveling with a larger group, there are options like the Crystal Bay Getaway, which can accommodate up to eight people and offers total views of Lake Erie. This vacation rental is ideal for families and friends looking to spend quality time together.

So, whether you’re looking for a romantic retreat in Niagara Falls or a family getaway in Toronto, Ontario has plenty of waterfront vacation rentals to cater to your needs.

Ontario’s Cultural Adventures

Ontario offers vacationers a rich array of cultural adventures, including boat shows, film festivals, music festivals, and the cottage life show. You’ll find various events and activities that cater to your interests and provide a memorable experience in a comfortable Ontario vacation rental.

Antique Boat Show: If you’re a fan of classic, vintage watercraft, you’ll love visiting one of Ontario’s antique boat shows at Muskoka Warf in the city of Gravenhurst, the Gateway to Muskoka.  This is the biggest antique boat show in North America, possibly the world.

 On a personal note, my Dad and I enjoy the Antique Boat Show each year and marvel at how well these boats have been maintained. The event showcases beautifully restored wooden boats, each with its own unique history. You can marvel at the craftsmanship, chat with fellow enthusiasts, and even attend workshops to learn more about these nautical treasures.  

And, if you miss the Muskoka Warf event, many boats can be seen at a smaller version of the boat show at Port Carling.

Film Festival: Movie buffs will enjoy attending one of the many film festivals held in Ontario.  The biggest festival is the Toronto International Film Festival, or TIFF, as attendees call it. With a diverse range of genres and themes, there’s something for everyone, from independent movies to thought-provoking documentaries. You can also participate in Q&A sessions with filmmakers and actors, adding an interactive component to your experience.

Music Festival: Ontario plays host to a variety of music festivals throughout the year, covering different genres like jazz, indie rock, and folk. You can groove to the tunes of your favorite bands or discover new artists while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of these outdoor events. 

Cottage Life Show: If you’re interested in exploring the more relaxed side of Ontario, the Cottage Life Show is for you. The Cottage Life show happens twice a year, in spring and fall, and features exhibitors and experts in real estate, design, and outdoor living. You can learn about owning a cottage, get inspiration for your vacation rental’s interiors, or discover the latest trends in outdoor recreation.

Each of these cultural adventures adds a special touch to your Ontario vacation, allowing you to create lasting memories while you immerse yourself in the local culture. 

Renting with TICO

Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) is a regulatory body that ensures consumer protection in the travel industry. By choosing a TICO registered vacation rental provider, you’re adding an extra layer of security and peace of mind to your vacation planning.

How does TICO registration benefit you?

  • Ensures the rental provider is following industry regulations
  • Validates the legitimacy of the provider so you can avoid potential scams
  • Offers additional protection through the TICO Compensation Fund, in case of any issues with the rental provider

Now, you might be wondering where you can find TICO registered vacation rental providers. The good news is that there are various options across Ontario, with properties available to cater to different preferences and budgets. Some examples include:

  • Ontario Cottage Rentals: Offers a diverse range of waterfront cottages, condos, and vacation rentals in popular locations, such as Muskoka, Georgian Bay, and the Orillia/Barrie area.
  • Rent By Owner: Find a wide selection of vacation rentals, from fabulous Toronto condos to charming bed & breakfasts like Echo Woods B&B.

You can always reach out to TICO directly for more information on registered providers. Contact them at 1-888-451-8426.

In summary, renting from a TICO registered vacation rental provider in Ontario offers important benefits and protections.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the average prices for vacation rentals in Ontario?

The average prices for vacation rentals in Ontario can vary depending on the location, time of year, and size of the rental. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $48 to over $600 per night. For example, a 4-bedroom house near Niagara Falls might cost around $342 per night, while a small apartment in Dovercourt Village could be priced at $48 per night.

Are there any pet-friendly rental options?

Yes, there are pet-friendly vacation rentals available in Ontario. Out of the options presented, about 40% of vacation homes in the region are dog-friendly. Before booking, it’s always a good idea to check with the owners or rental agencies for any specific pet policies.

What are some popular locations for vacation rentals in Ontario?

Popular locations for vacation rentals in Ontario include the charming towns of The Blue Mountains and Collingwood, situated along the Georgian Bay. Other sought-after areas include Huntsville and Baysville, with the Lake of Bays region being a top destination for vacationers.

What are the lakes in the Muskoka region?

The Muskoka region, also known as “cottage country,” is home to multiple stunning lakes perfect for vacation rentals. Some of the most famous lakes in this area are Lake Muskoka, Lake Rosseau, and Lake Joseph. Additionally, numerous smaller lakes and waterways throughout the region are ideal for boating, fishing, and watersports.

How far in advance should I book my vacation rental?

To secure your preferred dates and rental, booking your vacation rental as far in advance as possible is best. Booking a few months ahead of your trip will give you a better selection of properties and maximize your chances of finding the perfect rental to suit your needs. This is especially important during peak travel seasons, like summer and major holidays such as Victoria Day, Canada Day and Labour Day, generally viewed as the last weekend of summer.

What amenities are commonly found in vacation rentals?

Standard amenities found in vacation rentals can include air conditioning, bedding and linens, fully-equipped kitchens, and parking spaces. More luxurious rentals offer features like swimming pools, hot tubs, or game rooms. Review the rental listing or consult with rental agencies for a complete overview of the amenities.

How can I ensure a safe and secure rental experience?

To ensure a safe and secure rental experience, perform your due diligence when selecting a rental property. Research reviews, communicate with the property owner or rental agency, and thoroughly read the rental agreement terms and conditions. Using a secure payment method and considering purchasing travel insurance to protect your trip is always recommended.

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