If you’re looking for a place to camp near Toronto, we highly recommend the campground at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.
Camping at Bronte Creek is perfect for visiting the Greater Toronto Area. The city is just a short train ride away, eliminating the hassle (and expense) of parking in Toronto. In the other direction, Niagara Falls and the Niagara wine region are less than an hour away.
We have so many great things to say about Bronte that we’re going to split this review into two parts. In this first part, we’ll talk about the Bronte Creek campground. Read on to learn more or jump to our campground summary.
Bronte Creek campground location
Bronte Creek Provincial Park is easy to get to. It’s just north of the QEW highway between Bronte Road and Burloak, on the border of Oakville and Burlington, Ontario. Because it’s in town, the route is paved, so you don’t need to worry about navigating country roads.
The most important thing to know about camping at Bronte Creek is that the park has two separate entrances: one for the day-use side and one for the campground side. To get to Bronte Creek campground, you must use the Upper Middle Road entrance, which is via the Bronte Road exit off the QEW.
If you happen to arrive at the day-use entrance, you’re going to have to exit the park and get back on the highway to get to the campground entrance. It’s about a 10-minute drive. Please don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Bronte Creek campsites
Colin and I grew up in Halton Region, where Bronte Creek is located. The park opened in the 70s and was a popular place for school field trips, but there was no camping at that time. We were surprised to learn about the campground, which opened in 2002.
Our first thought was, “geez, we don’t want to camp in the middle of town!” If you’re thinking the same, let us assure you Bronte Creek campground excellent. It’s a large park, with lots of green spaces and forested areas, so even though you’re in the city, it feels like you’re at camp, not at an urban campground, if you know what I mean?
Bronte Creek has 144 campsites, all with electric hook-ups, and distributed in four camping loops. As with all Ontario Parks (at least all we’ve been to), there’s no water hook-up at your site, so make sure you fill your tank at the park gates before heading to your site. There are also plenty of faucets in the campground for top-ups!
The campsites themselves are quite varied and allow for different types of camping.
The Ravine Loop (400 series)
These sites tend to be smaller and more well-treed. Some sites back on to the ravine, with gorgeous views of Bronte Creek.
The Ravine Loop is excellent for car camping, or for a small trailer, but most sites are not suitable for larger rigs.
The trees make these sites much cooler in the heat of the summer, but also make them more buggy in the early season. It’s worth noting some sections are pretty wet in rainy weather. In fact, we’ve seen some sites closed after, especially heavy rain.
And, if you’re a paranoid mom like me, I personally did not like the sites backing on to the ravine when our daughter was younger. I had visions of her walking through the trees and over the edge! Please, tell me it’s not just me?!
The Woodland Loop (300 series)
These are our favourite sites! You still get a good number of trees on most sites in the loop, but there’s better access and more space for larger trailers like ours.
A few of the sites, like coveted site 329, are very private with trees and tall grasses surrounding the fire pit area. We also really like site 332 as it has a bit of a hill on one side and trees on the other, so you feel entirely alone once you’re in there.
The Woodland and Ravine loops are also closest to the Amphitheatre, where campground staff run excellent evening programs throughout the summer. We’ll talk more about that in our next blog.
The Prairie and Savannah Loops (100 and 200 series)
The sites in these loops are less-treed, especially since the Emerald Ash Borer came to town. They’re great for the largest of RVs and are suitable for young families as there’s lots of space for little ones to run around and still be visible from the campsite.
With fewer trees, you can see some of the houses in the community just outside the park gates. And in early spring/late fall, when leaves are off the trees, the road noise is a bit higher in these sites. Not enough to make us stay away, though!
Out of the two loops, we prefer the 200-series Savannah sites. Site 231, 211, 205 and 207 are all great. Site 224 has some lovely shade.
There are also several Yurts available in the 200-series. We’ve never tried a Yurt, but they look pretty cool!
The Prairie and Savannah loops are also the only ones open for Camper Halloween (we’ll also talk about this in our next blog).
I should also mention there are group camping sites at Bronte, although we have no experience with them.
Bronte Creek park facilities
Bronte Creek campground has flush toilets within each camping loop and two comfort stations. The comfort stations have washrooms, coin-operated laundry, and--in my opinion--the BEST campground showers. Seriously, if you like a hot shower that pummels you with water, you need to check these things out! It’s like a spa experience, except with bugs and dirt and stuff.
There are also several kilometres of trails within the campground, several playgrounds and a small camp store, located at the gatehouse. There’s a larger store on the day-use side.