The Ganaraska Forest Centre has offered exceptional quality, curriculum-linked outdoor education programs to school and youth groups since 1978. Hundreds of thousands of youth have connected with nature through our programs.
Why do so many people choose the GFC?
- All of our instructors are Ontario-certified teachers. Every instructor also has a specialization in Outdoor and Experiential Education. Your program was designed with the best pedagogy and the curriculum in mind. Your program will also be delivered with the best industry safety practices and best classroom management skills.
- We can teach anyone! And everyone! We teach the full public education spectrum K-12, and beyond, frequently working with numerous colleges and universities. We also design programs for the general public, families, organized groups and corporate events. Every program is carefully adapted to its audience to ensure that it is accessible, engaging, and meaningful to your intended goals.
- You design your experience by selecting from 30+ highly popular education programs. Choose a variety of different experiences or create a theme for your visit, it is up to you! Our core program consists of Science and Nature, Geography and Social Studies, Group Dynamics and Leadership, and Outdoor Adventures. But let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see. We frequently alter our delivery to meet the requests of our visiting teachers.
- There are programs here that you won’t find elsewhere. Want to snowshoe or cross-country ski in the winter? We’ve got you covered with the best trail system in southern Ontario. Want to catch creatures in a pond and then build a wind turbine? You can do that once the ice thaws. Complete a geocache adventure using your new GPS skills? Test your mettle on our Low Ropes challenge course? Go zip lining through the trees with our partner Treetop Trekking Ganaraska? You can do all that and more right here.
- We offer day and overnight programs. And more! Visit for the day or stay overnight for even more fun. There are many programs exclusive to our overnight guests. Can’t come to us? We can bring a program to your schoolyard. We can even go virtual now!
- We are so easy to get to! Our wilderness retreat is located adjacent to the GTA with access from Highway 115. If you’ve ever driven north to Peterborough and the Kawarthas from Toronto, or south to Toronto from cottage country, you’ve probably even driven past our location without realizing it! But visit just once, and the Ganaraska Forest will become your destination.
- You visit or stay at the Ganaraska Forest Centre. This modern and environmentally-conscious building boasts a stunning Great Hall, several engaging classrooms, clean dormitory rooms that can accommodate 80 children, and separate teacher’s suites with private bathroom facilities. This is not a camp. It is a multi-use facility that hosts students, youth groups, and corporate groups alike.
- Your program takes place in the expansive Ganaraska Forest. This 11,000 acre forest is the largest contiguous forest in southern Ontario. Perched atop the rolling hills of the Oak Ridges Moraine, the Ganaraska Forest provides a variety of habitats to explore including: shallow headwater streams, beaver ponds, tall grass prairie, pine plantations, and mature mixed hardwood forests.
- You are also connected with fibre internet. While we encourage everyone to unplug while at the GFC, we appreciate that this not always possible for teachers, leaders, chaperones, and corporate groups. Moreover, high quality internet creates opportunities to explore the application of technology to environmental issues. The GFC is now connected to the web with high speed fibre internet.
- You will eat like royalty and leave the dishes to someone else. If you choose to stay overnight, our expert culinary staff provide meals that satisfy the stomach while fulfilling the Canadian Food Guide. We can also accommodate all dietary needs and restrictions.
- We adhere to the highest industry safety standards. All of our staff are CPIC-cleared and certified in CPR, First Aid, AED, and Workplace Health and Safety and Accessibility training. All of our programs and facilities meet or exceed the criteria of the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association’s (OPHEA) Safety Guidelines. We are also in the process of receiving our Ontario Camps Association (OCA) accreditation, which further confirms our commitment to the best safety standards in the industry.
- We will work with your school administration to grant approvals. We know that School Boards frequently make changes to their policies concerning student participation in day or overnight excursions. Let us know how we can help you to get your trip approved. We would be pleased to work with your administrators to ensure that every child has an opportunity to experience quality outdoor education programs. Contact us to advise how we can be of assistance.