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3 Days Meditation Retreat in Canada

  • Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre, 5720 Forgets Road Wyebridge, Ontario L0K 2E0, Canada

Overview

Vipassana Meditation Canada

Take time just for you, lose some stress, you can feel more centered and able to deal with whatever life presents. Just being in the Sugar Ridge environment is a peaceful experience. Listen to the birds, the breeze, feel your heartbeat, your breath. Enjoy whole foods and nourish your soul at the same time. Throughout the retreat, you are invited to explore various forms of mindfulness meditations (Vipassana) including sitting, walking, and eating as well as mindful movement through yoga, keeping in mind that everything is optional.

Highlights

  • Sitting and a talk by Liz
  • Daily meditation sessions
  • Group inquiry followed by open exercise period
  • Delicious vegetarian breakfast and lunch
  • 2 nights accommodation
  • Guided forest hike

Skill level

  • Beginner

  • 2 days with instruction
  • English
Hide all

Wilderness cabins near Midland, Ontario are perfect for a natural experience. Each of the ten cabins are nestled in the woods surrounding the retreat center. Cabins can accommodate up to four people with either four twin beds or one double and three twin beds. Don’t be surprised to see a deer walk by your window, or rabbits playing tag. Washroom facilities are located in the main retreat center, a 15 - 40-second walk from each cabin.

When retreating, simplifying is important. Cabins are intentionally simple, yet comfortable. Beds are comfy and duvets are snuggly. Each has lots of natural light, electricity, and are heated for the cooler weather. They are nestled into the lush beauty and quiet of natural surroundings, allowing you to get out of the mindset of your everyday life,

To keep the emphasis on reflection and letting go, the cabins are intentionally simple. You will not find a television or phone but rather a comfortable atmosphere to retreat from your everyday life to nature, to community, to yourself, something that is truly a luxury these days.

The word Vipassana means seeing things as they really are. It is the process of self- purification by self-observation. Basically, you will cultivate the ability to pay attention, while knowing that you’re paying attention. You begin by observing the natural breath to concentrate the mind. With a sharpened awareness, you proceed to observe the changing nature of body and mind and the environment you’re in. Ideally, you will cultivate the ability to pay attention moment to moment without needing to sit still to do it, taking mindfulness into daily living. No experience is necessary and this retreat is perfect if you’re curious about meditation but not sure how to start or what to expect. Everything over the weekend is completely optional. If you need to sleep in, then skip the early morning yoga session. If a massage is the nurturing you need, Sugar Ridge can book that for you. Allow this weekend to be the kindest gift you could ever give yourself and honor your needs.

Daily schedule

Friday

  • 15:00 - 17:00 Arrive and settle into your cabin
  • 17:30 - 18:30 Dinner
  • 19:00 - 21:00 Tea and fruit

Saturday

  • 06:30 - 07:30 Sitting
  • 07:30 - 10:00 Breakfast, work meditation, and break
  • 10:00 - 12:00 Sitting, walking and a talk by Liz
  • 12:00 - 14:00 Lunch and break
  • 14:00 - 16:30 Group inquiry followed by open exercise period
  • 16:30 - 17:00 Sitting and private meetings
  • 17:00 - 19:00 Dinner and break
  • 19:00 - 20:00 Sitting
  • 20:30 - 21:00 Tea and fruit

Sunday

  • 06:30 - 07:30 Sitting
  • 07:30 - 09:30 Breakfast, work meditation, and break
  • 09:30 - 11:00 Silence ends and group discussion
  • 11:00 - 12:00 Forest hike
  • 12:00 - 13:00 Lunch

Liz Frost

She has been the driving force behind the development of Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre. After attending her first retreat many years ago, Liz began to dream of a space in the woods to share experience with others. She’s a rather stubborn individual and was very determined to make this dream a reality despite the incredible number of roadblocks along the way. Liz has committed to herself to embodying mindfulness and emotional intelligence in all that she does. She loves sharing what she have learned and after 25 years of mindfulness training, she still believe she’s scratching the surface and have much to learn. As she says in all the workshops “We’re never done”.

She worked as a chartered accountant in Toronto in what she thinks of as her other life. She became vegetarian at age 25, started meditating and studying holistic health and nutrition for fun, and left the corporate world at age 30, in what she now call her early mid-life crisis. She didn’t know what she wanted to do; she just knew she wasn’t meant to sit in an office. She traveled, backpack style, for a couple years before returning to school. Completing an M.A. Ed. through Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, that resulted in being a psychotherapist. She brings an eclectic mix of training in many different models of therapy which results in therapy being tailored to one’s needs. Liz is also a certified yoga teacher.

Liz teaches yoga as a form of meditation and incorporate mindfulness into daily activities. She does stop and smell the roses in the garden, pause to hear the beating of wings and pour love into cooking, cleaning, and teaching. She continues to study, believing that one’s education never really ends. Liz’s favorite teacher right now is her son Ben, who at a very young age, intuitively named some of the gardens “The gods garden” which had a Buddha statue in it (as opposed to the medicine wheel garden which he calls “The earth’s garden” which is apparently “more important because we have to take care of the earth now”). She loves the work she does and feels blessed to have such incredible teachers constantly coming here to share her vision.

Liz also feels blessed to call Sugar Ridge home. It truly is paradise. She lives here with her husband Kurt, and son, Ben. She wakes to the sound of birds at dawn, appreciates the view which changes every moment. The joy of her life is to play with Ben and go on ‘expeditions’ of the property. Liz is passionate about the organic gardens of Sugar Ridge and love to get dirty. She feels more at home in the forest than in the house and she’s not scared of the dark. A midnight walk with coyotes howling is heaven to Liz.

Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre, near Midland, Ontario, is a new and unique facility which opened in August 2008. The center is a 4200 square foot multi-purpose building which can be used for corporate off-site meetings or conferences, getaways by yourself or with friends, group or individual retreats, half-day receptions or multi-day retreats. The facilities at Sugar Ridge are unique to the area.

Sugar Ridge has a beautiful, 1200 square foot fully equipped meeting / retreat room. Its circular design allows groups to be together in a more intimate fashion and the straw bale construction provides an attractive decor. The dining area seats 40 comfortably with handcrafted oak tables and chairs. The lounge offers comfy seating and a wood fireplace to curl up with a tea or good book. There is a private office available to guests or for individual massage / bodywork treatments. The building is equipped with wireless internet.

Activities
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding/rental nearby
General
  • Café nearby
  • Garden
  • Hammock
  • Meditation garden
  • Restaurant nearby
  • Studio
Services
  • Wi-Fi

Sugar Ridge likes to encourage people to eat as if the future matters. Everything served is plant based, whole food. It’s healthy for your body and awesome for the environment. Most of what is served are vegan and gluten-free with no refined oils, minimal salt, and natural sugar. Sugar Ridge supports organic farmers and buys local as much as possible.

Why vegan?

In keeping with the philosophy of what is known as ahimsa, or non-harming, in yoga, Sugar Ridge tries to minimize the harm done in order to feed people. Farming of animals is contributing to global warming, pollution of water supply and a use of land which does not sustain the human population. Non-harming also applies to not killing animals for use in food. Each meal is prepared with love and compassion for those feed. Sugar Ridge does serve eggs which are bought from an organic farm down the road with happy chickens running all over the place. If cheese is served, it is vegetarian and organic.

Why organic?

There are lots of debate as to whether organic food is better for you or not. Sugar Ridge experience has been a change in physical wellness when eating organic foods. Sugar Ridge also think flavors are richer. It costs much more, but why not err on the side of caution and do less harm to the environment? Sugar Ridge is lucky to have an organic farm literally around the corner from there. You don’t have to be vegetarian to enjoy the food here. Sugar Ridge has surprised many die-hard meat-eaters with how great vegetarian food can be.

Huronia food trail

Create your scenic route, featuring the shores of Georgian Bay and the beautiful countryside that makes you feel miles away from the city. Look for the Huronia Food Trail signs and window decals at participating businesses.

  • 2 nights accommodation
  • All meals included
  • Guided forest hike
  • Meditation sessions

Driving directions from the South (Toronto) Highway 400 north

Take exit 121 (Highway 93) towards Midland / Penetanguishene.

Keep right at the fork, heading north towards Midland, and merge onto Highway 93.

Continue on Highway 93 for 20 kilometers.

After passing through Waverley (don’t blink or you’ll miss it) you will turn right on Ebenezer Side Road. Take the first left on Old Penetanguishene Road.

Turn right on Forgets Road.

The retreat center is at #5720, about two kilometers from the corner on your left. You’ll see a wooden sign that says Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre. If you’re using a %GPS system and it tells you to turn at #5790 please ignore it and continue to the next driveway.

Driving directions from the North (Parry Sound)

Take highway 400 south to Highway 12 west - Midland.

Continue along Highway 12 to Old Fort Road.

Turn left on Old Fort Road (just before the Martyr’s Shrine).

Drive approximately two kilometers to the first road and turn right on Elliot Side Road and travel for 2.6 kilometers until the road ends at a stop sign. This is Wood Road (but no street sign).

Turn right at Wood Road which ends almost immediately at Forgets Road - you can only turn left.

The retreat center is on your right at #5720 and you’ll see a wooden sign that says Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre.

Driving directions from the East (Orillia)

Take Highway 12 west towards Midland.

Continue along Highway 12 to Old Fort Road.

Turn left on Old Fort Road (just before the Martyr’s Shrine).

Drive approximately tow kilometers to the first road and turn right on Elliot Side Road and travel for 2.6 kilometers until the road ends at a stop sign. This is Wood Road (but no street sign).

Turn right at Wood Road which ends almost immediately at Forgets Road - you can only turn left.

The retreat center is on your right at #5720.

-Driving directions from Midland

Take Highway 93 through Wyebridge.

Turn left on Subway Road.

Subway road turns slightly right and becomes Old Penetanguishene Road.

Turn left at Forgets Road.

The retreat center is at #5720 about two kilometers down and on your left.

-Arrival by plane

The closest airport is Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ).

Arrival by bus

Bus travel from Toronto is possible via Greyhound and a transfer in Barrie via Hammond Transportation. Ask for a drop off in Wyebridge or Midland and we will pick you up there.

For information about the booking conditions, please send Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre an inquiry.
  • Review by Matthew from Ontario, Canada
    10 out of 10

    "Hosting our weekend retreat at SugarRidge was an absolute delight! Not only were the surroundings beautiful, welcoming, and vibrating with good energy but I felt very at home immediately. Delicious food, comfortable and cozy cabins, gorgeous communal hub center, and acres and acres of nature surrounding it's impossible not to want to stay as long as humanly possible. As a facilitator, I felt completely looked after yet free to lead and organize the day to suit our groups needs. Liz and company are fun, committed, and warm as hosts and I could not have asked for a better experience. It was truly tops!"After searching and searching for a place to film a passion project, I felt like the luckiest man on earth to find something as surreal, unique, and beautiful as Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre. We used the retreat over the course of a weekend and it was nothing but a positive experience in all ways possible, from facilities to the use of the land. The service was fantastic and the staff made us literally feel like home. Anyone looking to 'get away' or to relax, will not be disappointed and I can only hope to visit Sugar Ridge sooner than later."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Sacha from Ontario, Canada
    9 out of 10

    "I had looked through countless retreat centers on the internet and even went so far as to drive around for weeks visiting various places and checking out the facilities. The moment I stepped into Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre I knew that this was the place to host my weekend. From the welcoming atmosphere and amazing grounds, coupled with the phenomenal hosts and open spaces, this is the best place I could hope for to attend a weekend retreat or host one. The food was well above par and the facilities were perfect. Liz is an absolute delight to work with and her open heart and welcoming energy makes you feel as if you are in her home. I can't wait to go back there to lead my next retreat, in fact I plan to visit it again soon just as a getaway for me and my husband or even for me and a few friends. And with the location from the city and value, this is hands down the place to be."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Ontario, Canada
    8 out of 10

    "It was my first time staying at the retreat center this spring for a weekend retreat and I have to say, it was truly a wonderful time in every way. The center itself is very cozy and comfortable with lots of natural light and a true country feel. The simplicity of the space and design was so airy and light and I immediately felt at home. The people who run the center are such beautiful, humble and heart centered beings and were just plain authentic people and very friendly service. The cabins were clean, simple and warm during the chilly nights and the location of everything seemed perfectly spaced out (the cabins in proximity to the main retreat house). I loved the showers especially as the water filtration seemed to make my skin glow! It was a joy to stay there for the weekend and I highly recommend it for the perfect getaway from the city anytime!"

    July 2015. TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Canada
    8 out of 10

    "I arrived at this beautiful and peaceful oasis created by Liz and Kurt, welcomed by wildflower gardens and birds singing. Our cabins are simple and perfectly comfortable. Windows let in wonderful fresh air. The main lodge is welcoming and friendly. The yoga and meditation always leaves me wanting more. Outdoor patio, hiking trails, and opportunities for plain air painting made for a perfect getaway. The food is wonderful and healthy too! I've been to Sugar Ridge three times now, and will be back! Highly recommended. Thank you, Liz and Kurt."

    July 2015. TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Michael Stone

    "Set amidst the best parts of the Ontario landscape - the Wye Marsh, a sugar bush, open meadows - Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre offers a perfect place for short and long terms retreats. I have taught both short yoga workshops and silent meditation retreats in this peaceful setting. Supported by sensitive staff, a stellar practice hall, and brand-new architectural straw bale cabins, this is a perfect place for retreat."

    Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre website, edited