Need a place to stay that’s flexible enough for a family of 4, or a family of 8? An Ontario Resort that’s not hard on the budget and close to several Collingwood ski hills and tourist attractions? Parkbridge Lakes of Wasaga Resorts is perfect for any time of the year, and their ski chalets are absolutely gorgeous. Parkbridge Resorts can be your home away from home for a winter weekend, a summer break, or a longterm commitment.
This February we found ourselves with a long weekend and a few days off of the kid’s rehearsal schedules and extracurriculars (Hallelujah!!) so we decided it was time for a winter getaway. There was no question where we were going to go. The four of us wanted to get some more family ski time in. Collingwood was one spot we hadn’t tackled yet. Ironically, despite being from Ontario, we have rarely skied in this province, unless we are at the local ski hill. We learned how to ski one year ago in Quebec and we have since been to Vermont to practice and boost our skills. The Collingwood area Blue Mountains appealed to me as a relative beginner.
A Great Winter Getaway Idea
We have been to the Wasaga Beach and Collingwood area many times in the summer. It’s rare that we have been there in the winter though. Even so, the mountains and beaches on Georgian Bay, make it a year round travel destination. The mountains can be stunning all year round. This time, we had a choice of staying right at the mountain in Collingwood on a prime winter long weekend, which we knew would be expensive and likely crowded and hard to book. Or we could choose something just a little bit farther away that we knew was available, affordable, spacious, relaxing and awesome! That’s a no brainer for me as a Mom who tries to save money. We plotted our quick weekend getaway to Parkbridge – Lakes of Wasaga, an Ontario Resort. Then we packed our skis, our poles, and helmets and hit the road…to northern Ontario resort country in a snowstorm.
We’ve been to Lakes of Wasaga once before and we stayed at a Parkbridge cabin in the summer of 2014. Lakes of Wasaga is affordable and really convenient. The location itself is ideal for summer and winter holidays. Collingwood and Wasaga Beach are just the right distance from southern Ontario, at about 3 1/2 hours to 4 hours it’s a manageable drive. From Toronto the drive is much shorter. In fact Collingwood is a common ski destination for Torontonians.
We have enjoyed both of our stays now at Lakes of Wasaga. Lakes of Wasaga Ontario Resort has rentals and cabins that you can buy as well. Lakes of Wasaga has several restaurants and some retail within a 5 to 10 minute drive. Wasaga Beach is less than 30 minutes to Collingwood. That makes it perfect for a ski stay in the winter. Plus frankly the immediate Collingwood area was extremely busy – after a winter that failed to deliver much snow, the snowstorm on Family Day weekend meant wall to wall people on the hills. That made it kind of nice to be able to leave the crowded ski village area and stretch out at our warm, and comfortable, well equipped Parkbridge ski chalet.
We arrived on the Saturday and after driving through some seriously slippery, treacherous, road conditions, especially as we tried to get out of London, we took it easy and relaxed inside this lovely chalet. My husband thought to bring a bottle of wine along. I had told him the cabins and chalets at Parkbridge have pretty much everything you could ask for. When I failed to find a corkscrew he puttered around looking and found no less than three corkscrews. Which just goes to show how well equipped this space is. We had a great fireplace where we could warm up our ski boots for the night and Ainsley tucked into some homework right away (WHAT THE WHAT? That girl hates homework…so maybe we need to bring her to Parkbridge more often?) Anyways, I think the kids were both motivated by the promise of a great weekend and fun new ski trails to explore. Whatever the motivation, I will take it.
Inside a Parkbridge Resorts Lakes of Wasaga Ski Chalet
The Parkbridge Resorts Lakes of Wasaga Ontario Resort we stayed in had three spacious bedrooms and two bathrooms with a full kitchen and a nautical theme throughout. There’s a TV with Satellite in many units. There are beautiful vaulted ceilings, ceiling fans and cedar wood throughout. The upstairs bedroom was really private and lovely with a three piece bathroom en suite. We slept well each night, because we were tired after driving and then after skiing. The setup in this chalet would be excellent for a large family with either Mom and Dad upstairs, or even Grandma and Grandpa up in the private room with ensuite. I loved the French doors on the entry to the master bedroom and the solitude.
The first morning we woke up in Lakes of Wasaga we spied this on the weather app. Couldn’t tell it was that cold when you were indoors, because the space is cozy and warm. But outside the van was a bit testy. BRRRR…
The resort itself has several swimming pools, one of which is indoors, so that you can swim all year round. In the summer, there are dozens of scheduled events for your family, from corn roasts to movie nights. In the winter this would be such a cozy romantic getaway for just the two of you, or a full scale extended family weekend, sleeping up to eight people comfortably. That would be perfect for those families who have more than two kids, or if you have older kids they might each ask a friend to come along too. The beauty of this Ontario resort really is that it can be whatever you want it to be. Parkbridge’s unique land lease and RV homes also mean that you can make this lifestyle an affordable longterm commitment.
I enjoy having the option of getting away all year round and Lakes of Wasaga cabins and chalets meet my level of comfort. They are a great option for families any time of the year. The cabins, chalets and winter stay options are heated and they make it possible also to save a bit of money while skiing. Because we had a full kitchen, we were able to bring food and cook it quickly both nights. We avoided restaurant costs that way. In the summer barbecues are great as well. We packed several handy and mostly nutritious snacks too, so there was no racing out every time the kids got hungry. A bit of preparation, plus a stay at Parkbridge Resorts meant we saved some money and felt right at home in this luxurious ski chalet. It’s always hard to leave when you are having fun…but school and work called so we headed home.
The Affordability Factor
Parkbridge Units can also be purchased. You can buy them outright or you can make a down payment of as little as 10 % and pay the rest with financing. (I found one on sale for $110,000.) There are also rentals. So you could stay for a week or even just a weekend, as we did. The cost for our two nights was under $500. If you split that with other family members you would still be more than comfortable because Lakes of Wasaga is so large, and you would have a really affordable stay. There is Wifi on the property, but not in individual units. If you are close to the main office, pool area you can access the Wifi but I wouldn’t rely on that entirely if you need Wifi and are plotting a working vacation.
The owner has use of the Park, Model/RV or cottage from April to November. A seasonal fee is spread out over the year. The owner of the RV or cottage rents the land the cottage sits on. Lot rentals are broken down into three groups: Premium, Premium Plus and Regular.
Lot rates are: $3000 to $4000. All sites pay a tax assessment surcharge of $175 a year and $220 for municipal water and sewer, hydro and gas are individually metered. Fees increase annually. A portion of the fees are for future development of owner’s resort such as new equipment, pools, or gazebos. Owners are responsible for some maintenance of their site. They must cut their grass for instance.
In Ontario Parkbridge operates 21 resort properties. There are 9 in the Kawarthas, 5 in Georgian Bay and 7 in Southern Ontario Region.
I would happily return here with my family. It’s a great option for affordable family travel in Ontario. We were guests of Parkbridge Resorts Lakes of Wasaga for the weekend. My opinion is all my own and it is 100 % truthful.