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Kamping and Glamping meet at the Toronto West KOA

When it comes to experiencing the awesomeness of the Ontario outdoors, we're willing to try just about anything to "get out there". We've backpacked and canoed our way into the backcountry, and three or four times a year we take our tent trailer to front-country/car-camping campgrounds in our fabulous provincial parks.  Most of the time, this kind of camping lifestyle suits us just fine. But let's face it, camping can be hard work, dirty and uncomfortable - even with a pop-up trailer.  So every now and then, when the outdoors calls to us, we want our experience to be really, truly comfortable. Maybe even a little pampered. Sometimes, we want to get away from it all and enjoy our outdoor pursuits, and then come back to a place that has the conveniences of  indoor plumbing, kitchen appliances and a really, really comfy bed. So, when Toronto West KOA invited me and the rest of the Sometimes Eventful crew to spend a weekend in one of their new, deluxe cabins at their Campbellville-area campground, we were really excited to have a chance to have a "glamping" mini-vacation and stay right on the doorstep of some of the best (and our favourite) conservation areas in the province - the Halton Parks. 






I have to admit, I was curious and wasn't sure what to expect from a weekend at the KOA. I've driven past the big, red and yellow sign overlooking Ontario's busiest highway more times than I could count and always wondered what the campground was like. I had always imagined that the KOA was a place for travellers to spend a night or two and then move on to their next destination.  I never really thought of the Toronto West KOA as "the" destination. Especially a campground that was literally beside Highway 401. I discovered almost the moment we drove through the gates that my ideas about this campground were completely wrong. Yes, Toronto West KOA is certainly a great place to stop when you are en route to another destination. But with a swimming pool, activities for kids and families, a general store and a super-friendly atmosphere, I discovered that this KOA is definitely a vacation destination for campers and glampers.

Checking in on Friday evening was a breeze and only took a few minutes in the General Store, which is also the camp office.  We were led to our deluxe cabin by a gator-driving staff person, who also showed us around our weekend home-away-from-home.  The minute I walked through the doors of the cabin, I felt the relaxation surround me.  We were impressed.


The cabin was bright, spotless and cheerful and had everything we needed. We enjoyed a kitchen with a fridge, stove-top, coffee maker and microwave, and all the cooking utensils, glassware (yup - even wine glasses), dishes and cutlery you could need.  The bedrooms and bathroom were well stocked with fresh linens. We had air conditioning. And there was a TV (which didn't get turned on until we were packing to leave on Sunday). All we needed to supply for our weekend was our food, our clothing and a plan to have fun.

Outside the cabin, there was a BBQ, a patio with table and chairs and a huge fire pit.  I'd like to tell you how well the bbq worked, but I don't really know. We may have been glamping, but Alex still embraced his inner survivorman and cooked our dinner over the campfire.



The campground is a little different than any we had experienced at a provincial park. You can hear the highway. But, that is to be expected given the location. It really didn't take us long to get used to it and fairly quickly the sounds from the road simply became background noise. There are no forest trails at this KOA and you don't get the same "green" feeling as you do from the provincial and national park campgrounds. But with the Halton Parks so close, getting a good dose of nature through hiking and fishing is only minutes away.  

The Toronto West KOA was full the weekend we stayed, with RV, tent and cabin campers. We noticed the family vibe right away and loved seeing kids playing in two different playground areas. This is a place that embraces family camping and fun.  We happened to arrive at the "Christmas in July" weekend. Friday and Saturday night promised a group campfire and outdoor movie - Christmas themed, of course.  



And on Saturday, the kid's craft was making melting snowmen out of candy. Emma made sure we added the candy-craft activity into our plans for the day.



One of the biggest advantages of staying at the Toronto West KOA for us, was how close the campground is to the Halton Conservation Area Parks.  On Saturday, we took advantage of being just minutes away from  a little gem of a fishing spot at the Robert Edmondson Conservation Area and just down the road from Crawford Lake, where we walked the boardwalk around the lake, tried some archery, and visited the new longhouse in the  reconstructed Iroquoian village.

We still had lots of energy after our outdoor pursuits at the Halton parks, so after our firepit-cooked dinner, we headed five minutes along the road from the campground to the Mohawk Raceway. We spent a great evening watching the standardbred horse races and picking our favourites using the very scientific criteria of "prettiest horse", "favourite colours" and "that one looks fast".

We did not have lots of energy once we got back to our cabin at the end of the day, so we were very grateful for the cool air, warm running water and incredibly comfortable beds.  This, my friends, is why glamping can be so awesome, and why glamping at the Toronto West KOA was a success. We completely took advantage of getting outside, doing stuff and exploring while still being very, very comfortable.  

For anyone new to camping, or who wants to experience the awesomeness of getting out there without the hard-work, down-and-dirty camping part, a Toronto West KOA cabin experience will give you a great vacation.

You Should Go! Here's What You Need To Know.....

Toronto West KOA offers RV and tent campsites as well as several sizes of cabins.
Reservations are recommended.
For all the pricing and reservation details you need, check out their website here: http://koa.com/campgrounds/toronto-west/

Disclosure: Toronto West KOA provided the Sometimes Eventful crew with a complimentary two-night stay in a deluxe cabin in exchange for a blog review. All meals and conservation area entrance fees were paid for by Sometimes Eventful. 

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