When it comes to summer vacations, there is perhaps nothing more exciting, adventurous, and once-in-a-lifetime than renting an island. Yes, you heard me right - renting an entire island. Sounds like something only wealthy politicians or Paris Hilton-types could get away with, but I assure you, this is a possibility for you and your crew.
Vacation rental sites like Private Islands Online facilitate the sale and rent of islands throughout the world, from lavish Caribbean destinations, to smaller, rustic islands in Canada and the U.S. Although the prices may appear steep at first, these island locations can accommodate lots of people, so if you get your squad together and split the price, it can become an affordable vacation. The ever-popular Airbnb also has great options for private island accommodations.
With tons of lakes and private destinations, Ontario has some great islands for rent, that aren't too far from Montreal. This is an opportunity to completely disconnect, spend some quality time with your friends, and share an experience that is bound to be unforgettable.
NOTE: Private Islands Online is a U.S.-based site, so the prices listed are in USD. The prices can change depending on the time of rental, so contact the business, or owner, for more up-to-date information. Airbnb prices are in CAD.
1. Shoal Lake Island - close to Kenora, Ontario
Price: Roughly $385 per night
Accommodates: 12 ($32 per person)
This island has a main lodge, and a series of cabins that can fit up to four people, so realistically, you can have more than twelve people accommodated if need be. The rental of this lodge also comes with a local guide, who will help you navigate the land, try some fishing, and learn how to enjoy this rustic nature paradise.
2. "Magical" Private Island - close to Kingston, Ontario
Price: $134 per night
Accommodates: 6 ($22 per person)
Having gone to school in Kingston for my undergrad, I can attest that there are tons of beautiful areas nearby to enjoy. This little island cabin is quite rustic - as in no electricity and little phone service - but really, when you're escaping to an island by boat, do you expect all the amenities? No, because it's about truly disconnecting from city life and enjoying nature the way its supposed to be enjoyed: naturally. Bring your closest friends here for a quiet getaway that will leave you more refreshed than ever.
3. Grasshopper Island - close to Roseneath, Ontario
Price: $289 per night
Accommodates: 8 ($36 per person)
The description of this island sounds like a new-age utopia, honestly. From being able to "pet a newborn lamb or baby pig," and "cook homemade bread or pizza in the 100 year-old bread oven", this island getaway has a range of things to please every guest. The landscape is breathtaking, and you can explore the water from the canoes and kayaks available.
4. Private Island in Georgian Bay - close to Pointe au Baril, Ontario
Prices: $296 per night
Accommodates: 6 ($49 per person)
The Georgian Bay region is incredibly beautiful, and getting to stay on a private island in the area? It's serenity like you've never seen it. The cottage on this island is newly renovated with all the amenities you need. There is also cliff jumping nearby, and the Pointe au Baril lighthouse, where you'll arrive to boat over to the island, is a beautiful landmark to see.
5. Lake Wahwashkesh Island - close to Parry Sound, Ontario
Price: Roughly $750 per night
Accommodates: 16 ($46 per person)
Although this property is quite large, it manages to feel cozy at the same time - there is a main cottage, guest cottage, and small bunkie, each laden with homey, rustic decor to make you feel comfortable and at home. The beautiful, large deck overlooks the water, and there is a swim raft and some boats so you can enjoy the lake. Privacy is top rated at this lodge, so rest assured you and the crew are getting something unique and beautiful all to yourselves.
6. Private Island Cottage - close to Ottawa, Ontario
Price: $173 per night
Accommodates: 8 ($21 per person)
If you're new to the whole cottage experience, and renting a remote island seems a little too rigorous or intense for you, don't worry: this place is a great option for you. This nice cottage is on a small island close to Ottawa, so you're never too far from civilization. That being said, it still has great privacy and a beautiful, quiet lake area to enjoy all to yourself.
7. Deepwater Island
Price: $3,050 - only weekly rentals allowed
Accommodates: 6 ($508 per person for 1 week)
Listen, let's get real here: sometimes you just want to ball out and live the high life. And you know what? That's totally fine. Deepwater Island is somewhere you can experience the luxury of a private island in full; beautiful living quarters, pristine waters, and privacy like you've never experienced. If the photos don't lure you in enough, I don't know what will - this island has 'dream life' written all over it.
8. Private Island in the 1000 Islands - Gananoque, Ontario
Price: $439 per night
Accommodates: 10 ($43 per person)
The 1000 islands are a seriously incredible area, and getting to experience one of them privately to yourself? Nothing better. This property has two separate cottages, so if you have a huge crew of friends, you won't be cramped in one building. With 360-degree views of the water and excellent fishing and boating, you'll have tons of ways to experience this spectacular region.
9. Honey Bee Island - Landsdowne, Ontario
Price: $441 per night
Accommodates: 6 ($73 per person)
Honey Bee Island has been featured many times in cottage lifestyle magazines, and it's easy to see why: it's a truly magical place that combines quaint cottage comforts and decor with a rustic lakeside experience. The island is, of course, private and secluded, but it has all the homey things you could want; like a BBQ, a hammock, and a fireplace to name a few. If you're stuck on which island would be perfect for your getaway, consider Honey Bee as a top choice - its charm is bound to provide lifetime memories.