• Home
  • Ontario
  • Dimensions Algonquin Highlands Offers Healing and Wellness in a Natural Setting

Dimensions Algonquin Highlands Offers Healing and Wellness in a Natural Setting

Dimensions, Maple Lake, wellness, retreat, Algonquin Highlands, Ontario

A group of visitors take time out to chill out and relax by the campfire. (Photo courtesy Dimensions)

Dimensions is billed as a dog-and-cannabis-friendly luxury lakeside wellness retreat. I don’t have any dogs and I don’t care for cannabis; I was going for the cacao ceremony.  If you like chocolate, music and movement, this will take your wellbeing practice to the next level.

“Would you like 100% cacao, or sweetened with maple syrup?” asks our cacao ceremony instructor, Donald Currie, Clinical Director and one of several registered psychotherapists on staff at the retreat who offer wellness and healing modalities, like sound bath, a meditative session listening to soothing live instruments and vocals.

Our intimate group is sitting cross legged in the dimly lit, tranquil healing dome set amidst the forest and walking trail that leads to Maple Lake.  I sip and savour my hot, pure unsweetened cacao and wonder what’s next. Similar to a yoga practice, our instructor asks us to think about an intention while we’re finishing our silky, rich cacao. After declaring our intentions publicly we’re asked to stand and simply move to the instrumental playlist in whichever way we feel comfortable.

Dimensions, Maple Lake, wellness, retreat, Algonquin Highlands, Ontario

A three hour drive north of Toronto, Maple Lake is a wonderful place to go for a paddle. (Photo courtesy Dimensions)

“Movement when coupled with cacao, allows us to reconnect with our bodies and open our hearts to being in connection with ourselves as well as with others,” explains Currie.

The tunes continued for at-least 45 minutes as we moved to the crescendoing rhythms and beats.  I embraced the challenge of coming up with diverse, creative choreography, but sometimes found myself twirling round and round, looking up at the trees through the dome’s transparent roof, feeling both energized and calm, and couldn’t help but wonder if I was under the influence of the magical cacao bean. Once the last song ended we lay down on our mats to catch our breath, before sharing our thoughts. For some, it was an exercise out of their comfort zone. For me, it was exactly what I needed.

Dimensions, Maple Lake, wellness, retreat, Algonquin Highlands, Ontario

Do you have a lot on your mind? The wellness experts at Dimensions will help you put everything into perspective. (Photo courtesy Dimensions Algonquin Highlands)

Dimensions is located on 45 woodland acres along the sandy shores of Maple Lake, in the Algonquin Highlands near Haliburton, Ontario, a 3-hour drive north of Toronto.  The setting reminds me of my childhood summer camp days, when stress wasn’t a reality, and fresh air and evergreens, glorious views of the lake and dock, and cabins spotting the water’s edge and forest paths abounded.  Upon closer inspection, this adult-only rural refuge is everything good about your childhood camp memories, reimagined and elevated for adults who want to experience luxury in nature.  The indoor vibe is a relaxed, midcentury modern aesthetic with all the desired creature comforts; leaving you wanting for absolutely nothing, except a few extra nights stay.

The summer Wellness retreat program is a two-night minimum all-inclusive stay that includes guided forest bathing walks, a sound bath ceremony, floatation tank therapy and biosound session that will calm your nerves and awaken your senses.  There’s a private dock for yoga and lounging; and floating, boating and swimming in the clearest lake I’ve ever experienced. I couldn’t resist going into the water for a restorative swim. All the while it’s a bonus to have the ear of a caring and attentive staff, and a dedicated team of wellness experts.

The main Maple Lodge is where guests gather at the community harvest table for wholesome and delicious organic, gut-friendly meals, prepared by Mexican born and raised Executive Chef Miriam Echeverria, using produce from local farms and freshly picked mint, green onions and tomatoes from the garden.

Dimensions, Maple Lake, wellness, retreat, Algonquin Highlands, Ontario

Now this is a site to wake up to! Every room at Dimensions has a view filled with natural wonders. (Cherie DeLory photo for Vacay.ca)

At any hour, guests can relax in the lodge where there’s a selection of organic Pluck teas, fancy lattes and cold drinks, and homemade treats to munch on from the grab-and-go mini fridge. I grabbed chocolate brownies and energy bites, and beetroot hummus and crackers should I need any late night food therapy in my cabin.

As for my cabin, let’s just say it’s 5-star boutique hotel calibre and you will see the forest for the trees.  There’s a cozy window seat reading nook with a generous picture window that opens to the lull of the breeze and gentle lapping of the lake.  Pine ceilings and oak cabinetry and floors invite nature indoors. I enjoyed a gorgeous ensuite bathroom, walk-in shower, soaker tub with another view of the lake, and a scrumptious skincare collection provided by Telford, an all-natural plant-based Ontario line. Falling asleep was a dream with my organic pillow and bedding by Obasan.

Dimensions, Maple Lake, wellness, retreat, Algonquin Highlands, Ontario

It may be a cabin but it is a 5-star boutique hotel calibre cabin in the middle of a forest. (Photo courtesy Dimensions)

Apart from the all-inclusive offerings, guests can book more wellness modalities including massage therapy, acupuncture, reiki, mindfulness, and cold-water immersion therapy.   I decided to try reiki, a practice I’ve always found to be a bit of a mystery as to how healing can occur without physically touching the body.  I’m no longer a skeptic. As my reiki practitioner held gemstones over specific energy chakras on my body, I began to feel symptoms. First, I had a paining sensation in the gums around my teeth, which she explained indicates that my sinuses were draining.  My next sensation was physical in a way I didn’t expect.  I began to feel emotional; Tears flowed, and I began to cry.  “Why am I feeling so emotional?” I asked.

“Our body holds onto trauma and emotions that we don’t realize, but when you give your body permission to relax [it’s able to physically release the stress],” my practitioner explained. It’s clear to me now that healing comes in many dimensions.

On my last evening, after the sun had set and the stars were plainly visible, I sat by the campfire holding a cup of tea. With only the mellifluous song of a lone loon calling across Maple Lake, the chirping crickets and the crackling embers, I was able to reflect on my healing journey of self awareness, and the rewarding time I took to heal my body, mind and spirit. Then, a buzzing mosquito brought me back to reality to escape into my luxurious cabin to indulge in spa night.

Dimensions, Maple Lake, wellness, retreat, Algonquin Highlands, Ontario

For the truly adventurous person…a dip in the lake during winter is also possible. (Photo courtesy Dimensions)


Website: dimensionsretreats.com/

Address: 1218 Canopy Lane, Algonquin Highlands, Ontario

Phone: 1-888-884-4222

The next wellness retreat is March 30 to April 1.  Check the website for the complete list of spring and summer Wellness dates.

Dimensions is an all-season adult-only luxury healing retreat, with a comprehensive wellness and clinical team to provide restorative wellbeing.

In addition to the four-season Wellness retreat program, Dimensions currently offers three other healing retreat programs that practice healthy ways to manage trauma and stress:  the four-day Ascend retreat includes a Plant Medicine Ceremony, the 10-day veterans-only Elevate retreat, and Actuate for corporate retreats.

Dimensions Algonquin Highlands, located at 1218 Canopy Lane, is a 3-hour drive north of Toronto, and one hour by private airplane to the nearby Stanhope Municipal Airport in Haliburton, a 5-minute drive from Dimensions.

Winter Wellness Retreat Info: dimensionsretreats.com/winter-wellness/