Manitoulin Hotel & Conference Center is featured in the Great Spirit Circle travel package. Book your trip today to experience teepee glamping, canoeing and culture.
Visit a lively powwow to experience traditional dance and music in a kaleidoscope of colourful craftwork and regalia.
Cycle country roads in search of lighthouses. Bite into an Indian taco made with whitefish and bannock. Hike to the beautiful Bridal Veil Falls. Learn about Indigenous culture at the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation’s museum and exhibition space. Then, finish the day in front of a fireplace in the stylish Manitoulin Hotel lobby.
“When people come to visit, they reconnect with the land. They decompress,” says Corey Stacinski, general manager of the First Nations owned and operated Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre on the Lake Huron waterfront in northeastern Ontario. “They’re on island time now."
The hotel’s contemporary design combines natural elements of wood and stone with décor reflecting Indigenous traditions. Local artwork adorns rooms, lobbies and common areas. North 46 Restaurant puts a traditional spin on modern cuisine with local ingredients such as elk, bison, berries and honey to create popular items like bison chili poutine with cheese curds.
Connect with the Great Spirit Circle Trail for soft adventure, wilderness eco-tours and educational interpretive experiences. (As an aside, given its rich Indigenous offerings, the island has school boards increasingly including visits in their student curriculum to round out mainstream education with relevant First Nations teachings.)
The hotel also opens a public space to local artists for weeks at a time, and many Indigenous artisans’ works can be discovered across the island, including that of well-known painter Duncan Nagonigwane Pheasant. And there are farmers markets, flea markets, shops and eateries to prowl, as well.
The most leisurely and scenic way to reach the world’s biggest freshwater island, located six hours by car north of Toronto, is to take a short cruise aboard the MS Chi-Cheemaun car ferry.
“It’s a leisurely cruise across Georgian Bay and it shaves two hours off your travel time from Toronto. It’s very peaceful and beautiful — an experience itself,” says Stacinski. “Either way, after people have visited, they often tell me ‘I’ve gotta come back!’ There is so much to do and see here.”