The Greater Toronto Area is home to over 6 million people. There are five regions in the GTA: Halton, Peel, York, Durham and the City of Toronto. Surprisingly, there is quite a bit of camping in the area.
Halton Conservation Authority operates two campsites, Kelso and Rattlesnake Point. They are both located on the Bruce Trail and offer hiking. Both parks are very popular with rock climbers. Their campsites start at $50 per site and are located on grassy fields with little privacy. In addition, Kelso has a beach, canoe rentals, and mountain biking trails.
Be sure to check out Crawford Lake with your family when you’re in the area. It has a boardwalk around the lake, and a reconstructed Iroquoian village from the 15th century.
Credit Valley Conservation Authority manages the conservation areas in Peel Region. They operate 11 conservation areas which offer activities like hiking and paddling, but none have camping facilities. However, there is camping available on the Bruce Trail near the Terra Cotta Conservation Area. Consult the Bruce Trail Guide for more information.
Toronto and York Region
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority operated Conservation Areas with Toronto and York Region. They have three parks where you can go camping: Albion Hills, Glen Rouge, and Indian Line. There is also camping at Bronte Creek Provincial Park which has campsites and Yurts.
The area east of Toronto has many Conservation Areas, but non of them seem to offer overnight camping. There is overnight group camping at Heber Downs and Greenwood Conservation areas.
Darlington Provincial Park is located on Lake Ontario and is just outside of Oshawa. They offer an excellent Learn to Camp program where they provide all the camping equipment for you, like the tent and stove, and teach you to use it. They take you fishing and give you time to relax and enjoy the park. The only downside to this park is that it’s very noisy which becomes noticeable at night. It’s very close to the highway and the CP Rail line, with trains honking their horns every hour during the night.
Hamilton Conservation Authority runs two parks that have overnight camping. Although Hamilton isn’t part of the GTA it is close enough to be listed here.
Valens Lake Conservation Area is a popular spot for camping and paddling with boat rentals and over 220 campsites — 110 sites with hydro and water.
Fifty Point Conservation Area is located on Lake Ontario. It has a beach for swimming, and a pond that is stocked with rainbow trout and large mouth bass. There are 70 fully serviced campsites, and a marina with docking spaces for 330 boats.
So there you have it. If you’re one of the six million people who live in the Greater Toronto Area, you don’t have to drive far to experience the great outdoors. There are plenty of camping opportunities right in your backyard. Just watch out for those pesky raccoons and loud railroad tracks.