Policies & Frequently Asked Questions
By participating in a Northern Edge Algonquin experience all guests agree to reading and following the policies outlined in this FAQ as well as the terms of our acknowledgement and release.
We hope your stay at the Edge is like a visit to the home of a friend; a friend who lives on a lake in the forest, tends a great garden, cooks with passion, truly cares about the environment and wants to introduce you to all the things they love about life in this corner of paradise at Kawawaymog Lake, Algonquin Park.
Most Frequently Asked Questions
What safety measures are in place to protect guests from Covid-19?
By their nature, retreats at the Edge are intimate, small-group experiences. Guests coming to the Edge acknowledge that even with precautions there is the possibility of repeated close contact with a cohort of 10 – 24 other guests. Unlike a restaurant or traditional hotel/resort, you’ll only cross paths with our team and other members of your group.
We have learned much from our time in this pandemic, and many of the behind-the-scenes enhancements we made in 2020 are here to stay. We continue to monitor provincial mandates and act as advised by public health authorities.
We encourage all of our guests to be conscious of one another’s personal space. We are slowly re-emerging and everyone has different levels of comfort with personal interactions. We continue to encourage the following among both guests and team:
What is your Deposit & Cancellation Policy?
In short: Spaces are limited. When you book a retreat with us, a non-refundable deposit (50% of your overall balance) reserves your space and allows us to plan accordingly. Remaining balances are due 15 days before arrival.
Deposits protect our group-based experiences by acting as a commitment from our guests. If you need to cancel your visit, the timing of your cancellation will determine the level of flexibility we can offer in rescheduling your visit or holding your deposit as a credit to be used in the future. Please refer to our full deposit and cancellation policy for more information on our policies, timelines, and the commitments we make based on your registration.
What time should I arrive?
Guests should plan on arriving between 1-3 pm on arrival day. During arrival you will have the opportunity to settle into your cabin, enjoy free time, or experience drop-in activities while the remainder of the guests arrive.
Departure time for most experiences is after lunch to allow for travel time back home, though sometimes programming is extended into the afternoon. We encourage our guests to stay and experience the full retreat program.
How can I get to the Edge without a vehicle?
While our remote location is most easily accessed by a vehicle, there are other options available for those who don’t drive. Arrival via bus to South River, or plane to North Bay is possible, and we will be happy to provide an at-cost shuttle service to help get you the rest of the way. As well, we love to encourage carpooling! Learn more about finding your way to the Edge.
Do you host weddings?
While we often host family reunion retreats & similar events, the Edge does not have the resources or capacity to host weddings, which require a different level of service and care from what we offer. We encourage you to find a unique space that takes pride in specializing in weddings, as you deserve the very best care from a more experienced team on your special day.
Can I have Internet Access?
Most of our experiences are 100% unplugged, and that’s one big benefit of joining us! We want our guests to fully enjoy every moment of their experience without the distraction of technology, which is more and more rare these days.
There are no cell phone towers in and around our Algonquin Park location. The Edge team uses secure satellite internet for business and emergency purposes, but we do not make this available to guests.
If you plan to call home on arrival, please do so from South River before your last 20km where cell signals will be reduced. If family members need to reach you during your stay, they can leave a message on our Mainhouse phone: (888) 383-8320 x5. Messages will be delivered as quickly as possible.
Can I Bring My Pet?
There are many types of wildlife that call the Edge home, from loons, ducks, squirrels, chipmunks, and birds of all types, to occasional larger visitors like moose, deer, and even bears. To best keep our forests friendly for these animals, to keep our spaces fresh for other guests who may have allergies, and to keep your own animals safe while allowing you to enjoy your experience to it’s fullest, we ask guests to leave personal pets with a friend, or consider dropping them off for a stay at Happy Tails Pet Resort in Huntsville.
In alignment with our efforts in accessibility, guests may provide applicable service animal documentation from a regulated health professional ahead of their visit to ensure needs are met.
Should I Leave A Gratuity?
Our team at the Edge appreciates gratitude in all it’s forms. If a team member has made your stay especially enjoyable, please let them know! Guests at the Edge often depart with hugs and sometimes leave behind handwritten notes of gratitude, small tokens of appreciation, and occasionally tips (which are welcome but not required.)
If you do plan to tip, know that there’s a brilliant team contributing to clean cabins & spaces, delicious meals, bountiful gardens, and all the other special things that help make your stay magical – and you may or may not encounter all of them during your visit.
Meals & Accommodations
Do You Cater To Special Dietary Needs?
Absolutely! During the registration process you’ll have the opportunity to let us know about your dietary needs, and you’ll be very well taken care of. Over the years we have met the needs of a wide variety of dietary restrictions. It is each visitor’s responsibility to provide information on any pre-existing medical conditions, food allergies/preferences or related issues prior to participation in any program. We always deliver healthy, regional food prepared with care from scratch.
Guest information is shared with your guide/facilitator and dietary needs go straight to our chef, Gregor. None of this information is made public. If it’s a repeat visit we will ask for this information again because your needs may change.
Can I Book Accommodation And Meals Without Participating In A Retreat?
As a retreat centre, Northern Edge Algonquin operates very differently from most hotels & resorts. We specialize in all-inclusive experiences: a variety of different programs are available for different types of travelers, on set dates, all with meals & accommodations included.
Guests can visit us by registering for a scheduled retreat program on our calendar, or by arranging a custom group experience for a group of 10+. At this time we do not offer meals/accommodations outside of scheduled or group programming.
How Does Retreat Pricing Work?
Pricing for most retreats is a combination of our all-inclusive accommodation & meals fee, and a program fee that is decided by us and our partners. Learn more about what you are investing in when you plan a trip to the Edge, and how our prices are decided.
Do I Have To Share My Cabin/Room?
When you register for a retreat at the Edge, you decide if you’d like a shared or private accommodation, which have different pricing rates.
Solo travelers are often paired in shared accommodations with one or two others to foster friendships and create space for more participants to join a program.
When couples or friends book together, you’ll access the shared accommodation rates with no additional roommates.
Is There A Solo Supplement For Single Travelers?
Traveling by yourself doesn’t mean you have to travel alone. Single travelers at the Edge get the same benefits as everyone, and we don’t charge single supplements. We’ll partner you with a same-sex roommate to ensure you receive the same value for your dollar as everyone else.
Private accommodations are available for participants who do not wish to share a room.
What Is Mealtime Like?
In a word – “Amazing”. We take great pride in delivering a culinary experience that will have you asking for recipes. Savour abundant, freshly harvested, global culture buffet dining with chef Gregor’s specialties to thrill your pallet and expand your culinary savvy. Learn more about mealtime. Meals at the Edge are more akin to attending a dinner party with an engaging chef than visiting a buffet at an all-inclusive.
In the spirit of community we invite guests to assist with clearing and washing personal dishes. Remember those days before automatic dishwashers when the best conversations happened at the kitchen sink? It’s that way here all the time.
Which Meals Are Included, And When Are They Served?
Most retreats include all meals from dinner on arrival day to brunch or lunch on departure day.
The bell will ring to signal mealtime, which is typically at 8:30, 12:30, and 6:00, though timings may vary for your retreat. We encourage everyone to be on time for meals as ingredients are often combined at the last minute as guests arrive in the dining room, ensuring fresh tastes are enjoyed at their peak of flavour.
Is The Tap Water Safe To Drink?
Yes – the source of all tap water at the Edge is our deep well. It’s delicious, refreshing, and safe to drink. Water is not drawn from the lake except to water the flowers or put out campfires.
We are visited regularly by our health unit to ensure the highest level of clean water is available for our staff and guests. Read about the Ontario Water regulations and most recent testing directive from our board of health. See the latest water test results of our deep well water here.
Can I Stay & Eat Off-Site And Participate In A Retreat?
Visiting in-between defined program times, sharing meals and community space, sleeping in our dreamy cabins and crossing paths on the way to breakfast are all a part of what creates a rich, intimate atmosphere, helping us to build trust & community within a retreat group – and these elements are part of what sets retreats apart from workshops. For most programs, it is not possible to stay off-site.
For some rare experiences (when we are hosting a unique special guest or a special certification that we feel the local community will appreciate), we may choose to offer a day-use fee of $60/day plus taxes in lieu of accommodation for locals. Day use covers use of spaces plus organic coffee, teas, snacks, fresh fruit and a full lunch.
Can I Stay An Extra Night?
In most cases we do not have the capacity to host guests who wish to extend their stay. We have partnered with Explore South River to provide suggestions for other local accommodations if you plan on extending your time in the area.
Accessibility & Diversity
Who else is Registered? Will I meet Like-Minded Friends?
Our guests are often a diverse mix of solo travelers, friends, and couples, of varying ages from 18 – 80+. While they may not be like-minded in all ways, our guests tend to share a spirit of curiosity – a desire to learn and experience new things, meet new people and reconnect to themselves in new ways.
You might meet a lifelong friend who turns out to live across the world, or just down the street. You may also learn from a diverse range of perspectives and create connections with folks you wouldn’t have expected to encounter. We regularly mix up seating arrangements, and partners/groups when breaking up into activities – and you’ll have the opportunity to move about and have solo time when needed.
Is the Edge Inclusive? LGBTQIA+ friendly?
Absolutely. Retreats at the Edge are hosted by an inclusive team dedicated to creating transformational experiences that bring people together, fostering connection and understanding. We are committed to creating a welcoming and supportive space for all of our guests, regardless of their race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or age.
We understand that fostering a safe, and respectful environment requires ongoing effort, reflection, and active response. We do not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or any other behaviours that might make visitors or team members feel unsafe.
We offer resources and continuing education for our leadership community to be trauma-informed, inclusive, and prepared to respond to harassment.
Do you have Experience & sensitivity in working with different cultures, or marginalized groups? Are BIPOC people welcome?
We acknowledge that retreats and wellness have long been overwhelmingly white spaces, and that this stems (historically and currently) from colonization, racism, white supremacy. The wellness community is imbalanced and we aim to create more accessibility to this type of programming.
We have repeatedly hosted and co-created group retreat programs with organizations including Black Cap, Indigenous Leadership DSBN, Anishinabek Nation WESHKINIIJIG Youth Program, National Aboriginal Council of Midwives, and we hope many more diverse groups to come.
At the moment, our team is not very ethnically diverse – you can meet them here. While we can’t always guarantee a black or indigenous Edge Facilitator, any staff that we do provide for these programs aim to be culturally sensitive & work from a place of connection and understanding. We’ve also taken steps to educate ourselves, our facilitators, and our larger community through workshops on anti-black racism, trans inclusivity, trauma-informed leadership, a KAIROS blanket exercise, and more.
Can The Edge Accommodate Diverse Abilities, Barriers, and Mobility Concerns?
If you have an accessibility need, please touch base with us prior to your booking so that we can help make recommendations and plan ahead for you to have the best possible experience.
While we value accessibility, some programs may or may not be a fit depending on the nature of your needs. (For example, some programs have a heavy focus on activities like stand-up paddleboarding, yoga, and back-country hiking.) With advanced notice and an appropriate choice in program, we will do what we can to accommodate auditory, cognitive, physical, speech, or visual barriers.
For those with mobility concerns: the Edge is in a remote, forested & hilly setting, and we have designed our buildings organically around these features to limit our impact on the land. Because of this, footing is uneven on some trails, and spaces/accommodations were not designed for wheelchair or scooter accessibility. We have accommodated guests with walkers, crutches, and similar mobility aids. We encourage guests with mobility concerns to consider attending with a friend in case of nighttime emergencies and unforeseen barriers.
I Have A Recent or Ongoing Medical Concern – Is it Safe For Me To Participate?
We ask our guests to let us know about physical and medical needs as a part of the registration process – this information is voluntarily provided, and will be made available to your facilitators so that they can be aware and plan ahead. We will do everything possible to create a safe experience for you, and we encourage you to listen to your body and communicate clearly about your needs.
Please note we are located in a remote location and ambulance services are minimum 25 minutes away. If you are on medication, we recommend bringing more than you will expect to need.
Are Experiences Kid-Friendly?
The majority of scheduled retreats at the Edge are social, personal wellness, or workshop oriented, and are designed as adult experiences. Some programs like Up North: Algonquin Explorer have a lowered minimum age of 14, as they are a good fit for families with mature youth.
If your family is joining us for a private Family Reunion or similar group experience, all ages will be welcome and youth pricing is available with a minimum of 10 registered adults.
What To Bring (Or Not Bring)
What Should I Pack For My Visit?
You can find a copy of our recommended packing list here. We’ll also send you this link a few days before your visit.
In additional to your personal items, we encourage bringing a surprise to share with other guests – this might take the form of a game or activity, an instrument/song/poem, or a tasty treat and can be a way for you to co-create the experience with us.
What’s The Dress Code? Will I Want To Dress Up During My Stay?
We’re calling the dress code “retreat casual”. Wear what you want – athleisure and loungewear are pretty common and most guests don’t dress up for meal time unless a themed dinner has been coordinated in advance.
We invite you to dress in a way that will help you to feel comfortable, warm, and dry during the activities you may encounter during your visit. Bring outdoor wear appropriate for the season.
Will Valuables Be Safe In My Room?
While cabin doors can be locked for peace of mind while you are in your room, they do not lock from the outside. We haven’t had issues in the past, but we recommend leaving valuables at home or locked in your vehicle.
Can I Bring My Electronic Device?
The Edge operates on solar power which provides us with energy for pumping and heating water, energy efficient lighting, music, and most of the comforts of home. Blow-dryers, hair-straighteners, and other devices that produce heat when plugged in, cannot be used here. These devices can damage our electrical system so we ask that they are left at home. Since cell phones don’t work here, power off your devices during your stay and to join us in conserving power whenever possible.
We also ask that any devices that may impact the experience of other guests be left at home, as many of our guests are looking forward to unplugging. For example, portable gaming devices, drones, tablets, personal computers, & cell phones should be kept at home or in your vehicle.
What about a camera? We love when guests take photos and share them with us on social media after their visit! Please ensure devices such as cameras are fully-charged before your trip.
Do You Have A Lost & Found?
Northern Edge Algonquin cannot accept responsibility for items lost or left behind when guests depart.
If you believe you have left something behind, please contact our office right away so we know to look for it. Guests are asked to cover the costs of postage for mailing found items. Unclaimed items found are kept in our office for one month before being donated to a local charity thrift shop.
Alcohol & Drug Policies
Is Smoking Permitted?
Following the lead of Walt Disney World and other public resorts, The Edge is now a smoke-free* property.
The designated smoking area for cigarettes and E-cigarettes is off-site: We encourage our guests who are smokers to go for a short 1-minute walk off the property when they desire to smoke.
Please keep doorways, porches, buildings, cabins, open spaces, and the environment smoke-free by smoking only in the designated area off-site. Smoking and use of e-cigarettes is never permitted indoors and will result in a steep cleaning fee.
*Smoke-free in this case applies to the use of cigarettes, E-cigarettes, cannabis, and similar. Smoke from campfires, our wood-fired sauna, wood-stoves in the winter, and activities like burning sage and incense remain possible sources of smoke.
Can I Bring Alcohol, Cannabis, Or Recreational Drugs?
Experiences at the Edge invite us to connect through all of the senses. Alcohol and drugs inhibit the depth of connection possible and can be a distraction from the personal transformation that our guests are seeking. We also respect that some participants who join us at the Edge may have had previous harmful relationships with alcohol or drugs, and we are creating safe space to engage together.
Guests are not permitted to bring their own alcohol onto the property for personal consumption, and the majority of our retreats are alcohol-free. As an experiential accent to some experiences, we may choose to surprise guests with a brewery visit or artisan cocktail workshop when it will not interfere with the safe delivery of programming.
Guests are not permitted to bring drugs (including cannabis) for recreational use. If you have a medical need, please notify us prior to your visit to ensure your needs are met without impacting the safe experience of the group. As a reminder, the Edge is a smoke-free environment.
Do Retreats Involve Hallucinogens? Does The Edge Welcome Plant Medicine Retreats?
Retreats hosted by the Edge and the Way of the Circle Centre are designed to facilitate heart-centered, authentic connections without any intake of hallucinogens. While we understand that some individuals seek the profound experiences offered by plant medicine retreats, we invite you to explore our Heart Wisdom Healing Retreats as an alternative, where you can embark on a transformative journey to answer your heart’s calling. Our program offers support in retreating inward to find answers to questions, restore our connection to ourselves and the earth, and co-create meaningful ceremonies within our daily lives.
For Retreat Planners:
We appreciate the potential depth and transformation that sacred plant medicines and psychedelic medicine can offer when used in ceremony under safe leadership. However, as a centre, our priority is to ensure the absolute safety and well-being of our guests, and we take great care to abide by all provincial and national laws regarding substances.
We appreciate your interest in planning a retreat involving psychedelic assisted therapy or other plant medicines. While we recognize their benefits, our team is not trained in the safe use of these medicines, and we do not have the resources to ensure their safe offering by guest facilitators. As a result, we do not facilitate or condone the use of hallucinogens, psychedelics, or other consciousness-altering substances as a retreat program element.
However, we are dedicated to co-creating engaging and transformative experiences in alignment with our principles. If you are a retreat planner, we invite you to work with our team to design meaningful, healing program elements that can engage our senses and open our minds and hearts naturally – it is our specialty. Together, we can create impactful experiences while ensuring the well-being and safety of all our guests.
Are retreats at the Edge ideal for those dealing with addiction? Is the Edge a rehab centre?
Northern Edge is a Retreat Centre, not a rehab centre – we understand these terms are similar and get confused from time to time.
Addiction counselling and recovery is not our specialty. Rehabilitation is not a focus or goal of any of our programming and our retreats are not an adequate alternative to a dedicated addictions program or service.
That said, if you are sober and you are continuing forward on a path of recovery and change, you may appreciate the following transformational retreats (neither designed specifically for those dealing with addiction, nor run with the supports that dedicated programs offer):
The Habit Reset is all about changing our habits, cravings, and routines in support of our larger goals. Attendees create change in their lives through learning to master their habits.
Heart Foundations are spiritual retreats that encourage deeper connection to self, community, and nature, and introduce transformational tools to help you create the life you are dreaming of.
How is the weather?
Summer time temperatures range from 10 at night to 30 degrees C during the day. Winter temps can reach -30 C in January, but generally are about -10 C during the day. See current Algonquin Park Weather report.
What if it rains?
While we can’t control the weather, we do everything we can to ensure everyone’s comfort and safety. If rain is in the forecast, we provide extra rain gear to keep you warm and dry. We want you to feel comfortable throughout the retreat, regardless of the weather conditions.
After venturing out in the rain, we invite you to warm up with a hot drink once we’re back inside. It’s a cozy way to come together, share stories, and reflect on the memorable moments we experienced despite the rain. We strive to create an environment where you can fully enjoy the visual and sensory delights that the rain brings, appreciating the fog, changes in water flow, wildlife activity, and the soothing sound of droplets dancing on the water.
Your safety, comfort, and enjoyment are our priorities, so we’ll always be prepared to make the necessary arrangements to ensure a positive and unforgettable experience, rain or shine.
Should I worry about bugs?
Black Fly Season typically begins in late May, and is at it’s worst for the first two weeks of June. After this, the black flies mostly go away and the mosquitoes take their place for a few weeks. Once we get into warmer days (usually marked by the Dragonflies hatching) the bugs are not much of a concern.
If you are worried about bugs, the best defense is wear long sleeves, wear light & bright colours, and tuck pants into socks. Avoiding perfumes and aromatic soap & shampoo will also help you to attract less attention. We may have a bug jacket you can borrow, or you can bring your own.
If you choose to bring bug repellent, please ensure it is DEET-Free and not in an aerosol spray as these are toxic to our environment and can impact the experience of others who may be sensitive.
We recommend natural repellents that feature lemon eucalyptus. It works great!
Will I see Algonquin Park wildlife?
You bet. At the Edge you’ll see red squirrels, chipmunks, pileated and downy woodpeckers, osprey, and a variety of birds and waterfowl including loons, mergansers, and geese. Sometimes a fox, deer, moose or bear will come by, but sightings on the property are rare.
In Algonquin Park wildlife including otters, beavers, loons, moose are frequently seen and wolves are occasionally heard, especially in early August. The best time of day to encounter wildlife is in the early morning – before breakfast.
What are the night skies like? Will I see Northern Lights?
The night sky at the Edge is a festival of stars year-round, depending on cloud coverage. You’ll be able to see the milky way, constellations, and even some bright planets! Those of us who live at the Edge have even seen the Northern Lights a time or two, but this is incredibly rare and is never something that we would promise guests.
Will the wildfire smoke affect my retreat experience this summer?
We understand the concerns about potential wildfire smoke impacting your retreat experience. At Northern Edge Algonquin, we prioritize the safety and well-being of our guests. While we hope for smoke-free conditions, we are prepared to adapt and make necessary adjustments to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment.
What adaptations can be expected?
Our facility offers a range of indoor spaces that can be creatively utilized to meet the needs of the group. This allows for flexibility in programming and ensures a comfortable environment even if outdoor activities are affected. We may schedule vigorous activities, such as yoga, to be conducted indoors instead of outdoors. By monitoring air quality throughout the day, we will maximize our outdoor programming when the quality is good, and focus on low-key and restful activities to minimize exposure to smoke when it is poor.
We’d also like to note that wildfire conditions generally align with fire bans – which means we may be unable to hold a campfire – rest assured there are dozens of alternative activities available and both our Sauna and Wood-Fired Pizza Oven are enclosed and able to run as usual.
Special considerations for At Risk Population:
If you fall into an At Risk Population category, we kindly request that you contact us ahead of your retreat. This will enable us to take extra precautions and make personalized arrangements to ensure your safety and well-being during your visit.
Rest assured that we are closely monitoring air quality index and advisories on a daily basis. We are committed to proceeding with caution, making necessary adaptations, and providing a retreat experience that prioritizes the safety and comfort of all our guests. If you have any specific concerns or further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to address your needs and provide you with a memorable and enjoyable retreat experience.
Activities & Experiences
Can I see an itinerary? What will we be doing?
At the Edge we place an emphasis on flexible programs that flow as our facilitators respond to the interest of our guests (both indicated ahead of time and voiced during the program), weather & seasonal conditions, and unplanned opportunities that may arise in the moment to deliver a tailored experience. We don’t have set-in-stone itineraries for our retreats (though we do have flexible plans behind-the-scenes which we keep close-to-the-chest as an element of surprise and wonder).
You can count on and prepare for the activities used to describe the flavour of the program in our advertising – every retreat features healthy doses of dreamtime, adventure, community, creativity, time spent in nature, and a dash of surprise. Every retreat is unique and fluid – so even a program like Quest for Balance will be different from retreat to retreat but will always offer fun in & on the water, time spent in the sun and in the forest, and nourishing yoga practices.
Can I opt out of some activities?
At the Edge, we present opportunities to experience a wide variety of activities – and it is our hope that our guests will be interested in trying something new and stepping a bit outside their comfort zone.
You will always have the choice to participate or not, and there will be the opportunity to take solo or rest time in lieu of planned experiences. That said – you are signing up for a group retreat with programming. If it’s your intention to just enjoy meals, accommodation, and equipment while doing your own thing, a more traditional lodge or resort may be a better fit.
Does the Edge provide outdoor equipment?
Outdoor equipment including canoes, kayaks, SUP boards and bicycles, snowshoes, cross country skis and kick-sleds are provided for our guests’ enjoyment at no additional cost. Instruction is available as a part of most experiences.
Appropriate safety equipment such as Personal Flotation Devices and bicycle helmets are provided and must be used. Guests agree to follow the directions of facilitators re: safety procedures, equipment use, etc.
The Edge is not an outfitter or renter of equipment for the general public. For outdoor equipment rental services contact Swift Canoe (South River), Driftwood Paddle (Kawawaymog Lake), or Voyageur Quest (Kawawaymog Lake).
Are there nearby hiking/biking/skiing trails?
On the Edge of Algonquin Park we have a great trail system called the Forgotten Trails. They are great for hiking, mountain biking, snow shoeing or skiing. We’ll share a map with you and give you directions. Our favourites are One-a-Day (30 minute round trip walking from the Edge), Tower Trail, Moose Mountain and the Loxton Beaver Trail. All are easily accessible within 5 km of the Edge.
Can we have a campfire?
We have two fire circles at the nature retreat which we use for campfires. Our team will help ensure a safe enjoyable fireside experience complete with storytelling, music, games, and “smores” – If you have something you’d like to bring to share around the campfire, please do!
In some dry and hot conditions we may be restricted from lighting fires in order to protect our forests.
Is there a spa on-site? Can I book a massage?
The Edge does not have a spa, however, our wood-fired sauna is a wonderful highlight for many during their visit to the Edge. It’s a proud Canadian tradition to take a dip in the lake or roll in the snow during a sauna experience. The sauna takes a few hours and lots of attention to heat up, so we’ll plan the best time to fit it into the itinerary and your facilitators will let you know when it is ready!
Some retreat programs may feature an add-on option to enjoy a 1:1 session with a massage therapist, reflexologist, or another practitioner. If a therapy add-on is available during your retreat, we will let you know before your visit.
More about the Edge
What’s the rest of the story?
The Edge has an International reputation for our intimate learning environment, unique retreat programs and Algonquin Park adventures. They are all designed around helping build life-changing insights and making connections. In short we designed the Edge to be the change that we wanted to see in the world. Learn more about our green campus, or read the story of the Edge by co-founder, Martha Lucier.
How do you acknowledge the land at the Edge?
The land where the Edge is rooted marks a watershed highlands divide that reveals the traditional borders of the Algonquin First Nations. The water flowing from here downstream to the East into Algonquin Park via the Amable du Fond marks the traditional hunting and fishing territory of the Omàmìwininìwag (Algonquin). 400 metres to the West, waters flow downstream to the South River, marking land recognized by the Chippewas and Mississaugas Williams Treaties. We recognize and respect the ongoing presence, rights, and traditions of these Indigenous nations and communities.
We offer our gratitude to all of the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island, North America, and beyond, who have been and continue to be the stewards and caretakers of this land and its wisdom. We recognize the importance of preserving and valuing the traditional knowledge and practices of Indigenous communities, and we are committed to learning from and supporting these traditions. Thank you for continuing to keep this wisdom sacred, for the wellbeing of the earth and all of life. Thank you for modelling how to live in a healthy, balanced, sustainable ways that safeguard all of our children’s future.
As stewards of the Edge and as guests on this land, we are committed to protecting, conserving, and sustaining these territories in respectful relationship with nature, ourselves, and each other. We pledge to embrace and sustain this land and water, and to support Indigenous-led initiatives that safeguard the wellbeing of the earth and all of life.
What makes the Edge Eco-Friendly? How will my stay be different?
Designed from the ground up to be sustainable and environmentally sound; Northern Edge Algonquin is a natural oasis in this hyper-connected, hyper-speed world. We hope you enjoy unplugging, slowing down and being cared for as you take part in our shared retreat experience.
The sun provides us with the energy necessary for pumping water, energy efficient lighting, music, and most of the comforts of home. 14 solar panels provide 2.8 kW of power (The average home runs on 10 times as much power). Our back-up generator runs from time to time when the sun doesn’t shine or when we use more power than we produce.
Our guests appreciate and contribute to our efforts at being an eco-friendly, responsible provider. Living in respectful harmony with the natural world makes a stay at the Edge a community experience that connects guests with one another, our staff and the natural world. You can contribute by helping us to rotate solar panels, turning off lights when you’re the last to leave a room, conserving water, leaving “no trace”, and by leaving devices that produce heat from electricity (like your hair dryer) at home.
How can I contribute to the dream of the Edge?
One of the most important ways you can help is by sharing the value of your experience with friends, families and co-workers and online via Google Reviews, TripAdvisor, and Social Media.
Another way to help is to come again – with friends!
For some people, it is also possible to make a financial contribution to the scholarship fund. Accessibility to many of our programs and learning experiences can change lives and communities. One of the biggest expenses we have is taking care of our gardens and the forest. Even trees need professional tending in order to prevent and mitigate the effects of damaging weather events. A contribution to the Edge Greening Fund will ensure continued enhancement to our natural campus.
What are the values of the Edge?
Our mission statement, anchored originally in 1995 as Northern Edge Algonquin Retreat & Awareness Centre was born, is “to provide experiences in nature that help us rediscover ourselves, empower one another, and heal our connection to the earth.” This mission remains our core purpose and guiding inspiration through the evolution of the Edge.
As a home for extraordinary living, we live in and inspire greater awareness and responsibility of how our thoughts, words, and actions affect ourselves, others and the world around us. We commit to seeing the potential in others and to act from a place of love and mutual respect, honouring diversity and fostering inclusion.
As stewards of the land at Northern Edge, we seek regenerative solutions that promote a sustainable future in harmony with nature. This means implementing eco-friendly practices and embedding these values in our decision-making. We believe that by embodying these values and taking action, we can make a positive impact on our guests, our community, and the world.
As a centre for transformational leadership, we are committed to our own evolution. We engage in ongoing reflection, continuing to ask “How can it get better than this”, even when these conversations are difficult. As leaders we commit to nourishing ourselves, living in balance, and serving from the overflow.
I’d love to work at the Edge! Are you hiring?
Sometimes we’re hiring! The Edge Team is the heart and soul of this place. As a co-creative and positive work community, we support each-other in our individual & collective growth, leadership, and in pursuing our dreams.