Camping. I love the idea of it. But I am totally out of practice even after childhood summers spent in a camper on the prairies. So we recently took our first step in making camping our new family tradition. And we did it right in Toronto.
The Glen Rouge Campground on the banks of banks of the Rouge River in the soon-to-be Rouge National Urban Park is the city’s only camping spot. It’s a short drive (approximately 35 km from downtown) on the eastern edge of Scarborough along the Rouge Valley.
It’s an escape from the city in the city. The campground is well-kept, sites are spacious and you’re surrounded by nature. (Do expect to hear a slight hum of the 401.)
With serviced and non-serviced sites for backpackers, tents and campers, it’s a perfect spot for campers travelling through the city, first-timers like us and even hard-cores. While you aren’t able to portage in, you can take your packs and get there on the TTC. (Really. See directions below.)
Low-down: It can get busy, so make reservations online early. There are serviced (30 and 50 amp), non-serviced (no electricity or water hookups) and backpacker (no vehicle) campsites. All have a fire pit (no grill) and picnic table. There is one washroom facility in short 5-minute walking distance from all sites. Popular family sites are #94-90 (there is a staircase to the bathroom from these sites) or by the river 44, 42, 40, 38, 36, 8,9, 14 and 15. There is a ‘playground’ (eg. one swing set and some open space) next to the washrooms. There is also a large outdoor sink next to the washrooms where you can do dishes.
Prices per night: Backpacker $22.00 + HST; non-serviced $27.00 +HST; 30 amp serviced $34.50 + HST; 50 amp serviced $37.50 + HST. Weekly and monthly are also available. The rates include admission for 2 adults, 4 children and one vehicle. (Additional campers/visitors/vehicle are subject to additional fees and there is a max of 6 people and 2 vehicles per site; including day visitors.)
- Ice and wood can be purchased at entrance.
- Free wi-fi.
- Easy driving distance in and around Toronto. The Toronto Zoo is just north.
- Access to the Rouge Park trail network from entrance of the campground.
- Free admission to Petticoat Creek Conservation Area with a valid camping permit with membership rate to the pool and splash pad. Petticoat Creek is located on the north shore of Lake Ontario at the mouth of Petticoat Creek (about an 8 minute drive from Glen Rouge).
Glen Rouge Campground
7450 Kingston Road
Toronto, ON M1B 5S3
1-855-811-0111 (toll free)