Story Ideas

10 things you need to know about…Canadian houseboat holidays.

Weigh anchor and explore Canada’s myriad waterways, taking in wineries, sandy beaches, great fishing and waterskiing along the way.

15 April 2015

Suggested tweet: Weigh anchor and discover 10 great Canadian vacations via houseboat #explorecanada

Summer’s coming—do vacations get any better than having a luxury waterfront property that changes location daily? Here are 10 idyllic spots where you can putter along scenic lakes, rivers and canals at a snail’s pace in a floating cottage.

1) Cowichan Lake, BC: Towering rainforest, bald eagles and fly-fishing on misty mornings on a hideaway lake in Canada’s warmest corner makes for a perfect Vancouver Island houseboat getaway.

2) Shuswap and Mara lakes, BC: Hit the “Houseboat Capital of Canada" in north Okanagan, cruising to mountain biking and hiking trailheads or docking and sipping at wineries. Tour farms to restock the fridge, locavore-style. Stand-up paddle boarding, hot tubbing, fireplaces or yoga? Bring it on…board. 

3) Lake Koocanusa, BC: Be your own captain for a week out of the East Kootenay town of Cranbrook. Endless sandy beaches, campfires, salmon fishing, cliff-jumping and waterskiing are on the menu along a 150-km (93-mi) long reservoir crossing the US/Canada border.

4) Tobin Lake, SK: Discover 65 km (40 mi) of remote waterways in the province’s wild east, pausing to reel in world-class pike from the deck of your houseboat while the kids work the on-board waterslide.

5) Lake of the Woods, ON: Listen for loons and howling wolves. Watch for moose. Otter and beaver might swim alongside your floating lodge as you explore 105,000 km (65,244 mi) of shoreline and over 14,000 islands in northwestern Ontario.

6) Thousand Islands, ON: Steer a comfy home afloat towards a maze of gorgeous waterscapes: more than 20 national park islands dotting the St. Lawrence River, complete with castles and lavish old-world mansions in southeastern Ontario.

7) Rideau Canal, ON: Houseboat through history, passing heritage locks along a chain of lakes and rivers via the Rideau Canal, built from 1826 to 1832, and winding 202 km (126 mi) from Kingston into downtown Ottawa.

8) Lac Kipawa, QC: Lounge with your family or friends on a bateau-maison in this remote and wildly beautiful corner of southwestern Quebec, exploring a labyrinth-like lake with a reputation for delivering dinner fish for the barbecue.

9) Réservoir Gouin, QC: Why stay in a chalet on land when you can cast your line off a rustic houseboat in the wilderness north of Montréal? At the reservoir, it’s all about reeling in those feisty walleye and pike.

10) Mactaquac, NB: Board a cottage on the water with which to prowl the Saint John River, suntanning and swimming in summer or spectacular leaf-peeping from the hot tub in fall.

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