How To Elope In Ontario
Ontario is an absolutely incredible province filled with thousands of freshwater lakes, thick towering trees, the Canadian shield, and so much more. With such a vast and unique landscape there is so many incredible places when considering where to elope in Ontario and your options are truly endless! You could rent a cabin on the lake or in the forest, go for a sunrise hike amongst the Canadian shield, take a boat out to camp on a private island on one of our many lakes or so many other incredible options. This guide is here to help you get an idea of how to Elope in Ontario and show you what some of the options and locations are available for you on your incredible elopement day!
Information For Your Ontario Elopement
Getting To Ontario
Depending on where you are coming from you may already live in the province or plan to travel to Ontario. If you are flying into Ontario there is 7 international airports, but our largest one is Toronto Pearson International Airport which also offers connecting flights to anywhere else in the province. A great resouce to check out is Destination Ontario's website as it always has the most up to date information on traveling to and from Ontario. Ontario can be access via car as well as train but sometime to keep in mind is that it takes upwards of 25 hours to cross the province by car depending on where you are coming from.
When should you elope in Ontario?
Ontario has four distinct seasons Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. Each are beautiful and unique in their own way and bring very different temperatures with each season. Weather also varies depending on where in the province you are considering so make sure to look at the average weather forecasts for the areas you are looking into to make sure they align with what you are hoping for.
Winter starts to set in in November and stays around until March. Temperatures range from 5C to -20C (sometimes colder!). Across the majority of Ontario you can expect snow, but that brings on a lot of our fun winter activities including snowmobiling, skating, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, dog sledding, hiking and so much more!
Check out this winter elopement in Ontario for some inspiration!
Spring begins April - May this is when our flowers and foliage being to bloom and everything begins to come to life. This is often a rainier time of year in Ontario with temperatures varying from 5C to 18C. With spring comes different activities with the lakes beginning to thaw, hiking is more accessible and so much more!
Summer is definitely one of the most popular times to get married but also comes with the heat and the sun! Summer runs from June to mid September with temperatures in Ontario range from 20C to 35C. There are so many activities you can do in the summer from boating, hiking, back country camping, canoeing, taking a float place to a remote island and so much more!
Check out this summer elopement for inspiration!
Fall is also an equally popular time to elope in Ontario due to the beautiful maple trees that turn vibrant colours of reds, oranges and yellows during late September and October. Fall temperatures range from 10C to 20C. With the leaves changing that definitely makes for one of the most popular activities to go hiking amongst the maple trees or even canoe to a quiet lake where the trees reflect into the water!
When deciding what season you want to elope in Ontario you will want to take a look at what kind of backdrop you want, if you want an adventurous activity - when is it offered (sometimes hikes are not as accessible in the Winter or Spring), etc.
What is required to legally elope in Ontario?
In order to legally get married in Ontario you need a licensed officiant and two witnesses. Here is the link to get your marriage license. You can apply for your marriage liscense anytime 90 days prior to your wedding date.
Your two witnesses can be friends, family members or if you are eloping just the two of you I can be one of your witnesses and will help you find a second one!
Here are the Top Places to Elope in Ontario:
Lake Superior Provincial Park
Lake Superior Provincial Park is one of the largest parks in Ontario covering 1,550 square kilometres along the northeastern shores of Lake Superior. This park calls to the adventurers, hikers, campers and nature lovers with tons of stunning hikes, back country camping, canoeing and makes for a great destination to elope.
Pukaswka National Park
Pukaskwa National Park is Ontario's hidden gem. Sitting on Lake Superior this breathtaking national park offers dramatic cliffs, the views of Lake Superior, incredible back and front country camping, incredible hikes that will take your breath away and is the perfect place to get away for an elopement in Northern Ontario.
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park is located in Northern Ontario close to Thunder Bay. Sitting on the northern shores of Lake Superior with some of the best hiking in Northern Ontario can be found here. My favourite hike is the Top of the Giant Trial that offers one of the most incredible views of both the lake and the rugged cliffs of the park. Although this park is located a 12 hour drive from Toronto it is well worth the drive for those looking for a unique northern Ontario elopement.
Quetico Provincial Park
Quetico Provincial Park is one of the best places to go in Ontario if you want to experience remote beaches, untouched wilderness and some of the best canoeing you will ever experience. Considered the Canoe Capital of Canada offering over 2,000 lakes and 460,000 hectares of remote wilderness. The park is largely accessed by canoe so if back country canoe calls to you for your elopement this is the perfect place for you!
Manitoulin Island, the world's largest fresh water island and an absolutely beautiful place for an elopement in Ontario. Offering so many great spots including Bridal Veil Falls, the Cup and Saucer Hiking Trail, the beautiful turquoise waters of Georgian Bay, a wide variety of lighthouses, Manitoulin Brewing and so much more.
Georgian Bay & Muskoka
On this long strip of a peninsula is the beautiful Tobermory that is home to Bruce Peninsula National Park where you will find the incredibly popular Grotto. Tobermory has so much to offer when it comes to places to elope. You could choose to rent a cottage right on Georgian Bay or Lake Huron, take a boat to Fathom Five Island and get married on Flowerpot Island or the lighthouse in your background, take a trip to an even more remote island on Georgian Bay, save your vows in the Grotto itself. The options are endless. This is one of those places you should visit whether you live in Ontario or are visiting it is well worth the drive.
A Private Island on Georgian Bay
There are 30,000 islands in Georgian Bay and many of them have cottages on them. So many of these cottages can be rented on Airbnb and would be the perfect backdrop for your day. If renting a cottage is not for you there is also Beausoleil Island that is the largest island of Georgian Bay Islands National Park where there are day use areas as well as camping areas for both tents and o-tentiks.
My other favourite option is by far one of my favourites is heading to untouched islands with nothing but the majestic cliffs Canadian Shield, the crooked pine trees that inhabit the island and the serenity of Georgian Bay. These spaces are accessible by boat access only but you are in luck! The incredible rugged beauty of Georgian Bay is sure to take your breath away no matter where you go and make sure you plan for your day to stay out long enough to watch the sunset as the sunsets on Georgian Bay are like nothing else.
Killarney Provincial Park
Killarney is one of those spots many have not had the chance to visit as it feels just too far out of reach for a quick weekend trip, but is one of the reasons it is one of my favourite places in Ontario. Killarney is only home to 386 permanent residents but has so much to offer. From the beautiful Killarney Mountain Lodge, to a remote canoe trip or multi-day backing trip through the La Cloche Silhouette Trail or camping in a tent or yurt in beautiful Killarney Provincial Park. Home to the beautiful white quartzite mountains known as the La Cloche Mountains set the stage for some incredible photos and you don't have to leave the province to get mountains.
Check out this Killarney Elopement here!
Algonquin Provincial Park
Ontario’s oldest and one of the most popular provincial parks, Algonquin Provincial Park has 7,653 acres of pure wildness to explore to fit your adventurous elopement dreams. There are so many options in the park it literally can fit anything you have in mind! From a small intimate wedding at Bartlett Lodge, to saying I do at the incredible Barron Canyon, or even doing a portage trip to one of the many islands that dot the lakes of Algonquin. There is truly no limit when it comes to what you can do in Algonquin Provincial Park. If you love getting outside, hiking, canoeing, camping or so much more Algonquin could definitely be the place for you.
Hardy Lake Provincial Park
Hardy Lake Provincial Park is a non-operating provincial park located in Torrence, Ontario in the heart of Muskoka. Hardy Lake is a great place if you are looking to hike to a quiet spot for your ceremony or just for an adventure. Filled with over 19km of hiking trails offering both short and long trails so you can pick your challenge and go explore. Hardy Lake Provincial Park is an incredible option to elope in Ontario.
Limberlost Forest & Wildlife Reserve
Limberlost Forest is located in Huntsville which is in the Muskoka region. The forest is home to lakes, forests with incredible hikes, snowshoeing trails and more. With both campsites and cabins as a home base for your elopement day Limberlost makes for a perfect place for your elopement in Ontario.
Muskoka is in the heart of Ontario's cottage country that has over 14,000km of amazing shoreline, Canadian Shield, crooked pine trees and some of our favourite spots to host your elopement in Ontario. For all the best places to elope in Muskoka make sure to check out this post!
Bon Echo Provincial Park
Bon Echo Provincial Park, located about 3 hours from Toronto in southeastern Ontario is the perfect place for an elopement. Featuring tons of hiking trails, the beautiful Mazinaw Rock which also has ancient petroglyphs on the side of the rock as well as multiple lakes.
Prince Edward County
If you are looking for white sand beaches to elope on in Ontario then Price Edward Country is one of the best options for you! With rolling sand dunes, Lake Ontario's waves lapping up on shore, driftwood and little inlets filled with warmer, shallow water it is a beach lovers dream.
Some of the best places to elope in Prince Edward Country include Sandbanks Provincial Park, Salmon Point Lighthouse and Little Bluff Conservation Area.
Glen Oro Farm
Glen Oro Farm is a fully operating horse farm that is now offering the most incredible eco-retreat luxury camping. These glamping domes are an incredible place for your adventurous elopement in Ontario. Focusing on the important of the environment, sustainability as well as comfort and is available year round.
Elora Gorge, located just under 2 hours from Toronto situated along the Grand River is the perfect place for an elopement. With Elora Gorge Conservation Area, Victoria Park and the newly renovated and restored Elora Mill are all incredible options for an elopement in Elora.
Getting married in your own backyard is 100% an option and if you love your backyard space (or a family members) consider doing it there! When you get married in your backyard you are already comfortable in the space and will be able to look out everyday and know that was where the next chapter of your love story began! As well, there is no venue rental fee or permits required to have a backyard wedding!
Rent An Airbnb
Dreaming of saying I do on the dock or along the water? Then a cottage could be perfect for you. There are so many great cottages in Georgian Bay, Muskoka, Kawarthas, Haliburton and beyond. The great thing about renting a cottage is you can narrow your search down based on how many loved ones will be joining you for your day or even staying the night! Some cottages can easily accommodate up to 25-30 and some are only meant for 2-4 people. You can totally make the day as relaxed as you want while at a cottage space.
Here are some of our favourite Airbnb's to rent for your Ontario elopement:
The Blue Heron
There are so many incredible places to elope in Ontario this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other options along little quiet lakes, under the pine trees in the forest, along your favourite hiking trail or anywhere that you truly love! Your possibilities truly become endless when you are looking at having a small wedding or elopement and I am here to help you find the perfect spot. If the places above don’t quite fit what you are looking for I have a master list of hundreds of incredible locations all throughout the province that I would love to help you find the perfect spot that really feels like the two of you for your elopement day.
Do you have a favourite place you would love to elope in Ontario? Let me know in the comments or send me an email so I can help you plan your dream day!
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