Viamede is the premier Ontario resort destination for comfort and relaxation. With four season activities, Viamede Resort is the ideal resort to host your wedding venue, spa vacation, romantic escape, business meeting, group event or conference.
Explore the 165 acres of nature that Viamede Resort offers, by hiking its trails or canoeing the islands of beautiful Stoney Lake. Or take part in relaxing spa treatments at the full service health spa. Our Kawartha waterfront resort features over 50 rooms and private rental cottages, three highly acclaimed restaurants and a full service spa - all designed for your ultimate vacation getaway experience.
Only 30 minutes north of Peterborough, Viamede is nestled in the woods on the north shore of Stoney Lake, one of Ontario's most beautiful lakes. Our resort facilities are well suited to both relaxation and adventure. Hike our 6 km of private nature trails before an evening on your private patio with a BBQ, or join us at the Boathouse Pub for live music, great food and cold craft beers for summer time fun. Rent our Sea-Doos or explore the pristine bays by kayak.
In the summer, our resort marina is a popular destination for boaters on the Ontario Trent Severn Waterway, which links Georgian Bay to Lake Ontario. Boaters stop for the comfort of the resort, amazing waterfront views, and fine dining carefully prepared with the freshest ingredients by our amazing chefs.
A main focus of the resort is our culinary program. Viamede's 3 restaurants offer a menu diversity that few resorts can match - a lakefront pub with home made pulled pork & hamburgers, an ever-changing variety of tantalizing entrees in the Dining Room, and the Inn at Mount Julian, Viamede's highly accredited fine dining restaurant featuring a cellar selection of 100 different wines and a 7-course gourmet tasting menu, all complemented by a burgeoning farm-to-table program. Viamede is close to Peterborough and welcomes visitors to come and experience great dining and special events at our restaurants.
Launched in 2011, the Viamede Farm is growing quickly. The farm started with a variety of free range ducks and Tamworth pigs (a heritage breed), fresh herbs and root vegetables that comprise some of the fresh food served in our restaurants. Turkeys, guinea fowl, heritage breed chickens and an expanded vegetable garden are among our next farm projects.
Many guests have been coming to Viamede for generations. Mike Jamieson's grandfather, Henry Jamieson, started the tradition in his family, travelling from Massachusetts with friends for a week of fishing. On his second trip, the story goes, he met a lady travelling with her parents from Toronto, and a few short years later, both a family tradition and Mike's father were born. No one knows the year they first came, but since then, it has been an annual tradition.
Mike's son Chad and daughter Cortney have spent two weeks every summer of their lives at Viamede, and 15 years later still look forward to it. "It's like a cottage, except we never have to do the dishes!"
Chad doesn't remember catching his first fish, but he sure remembers his first musky.
"I was 7, and the weather was rainy. Dad had booked a fishing boat when we came, and we knew that if we cancelled, we wouldn't get another chance. So we took the boat out and instead of bass, Dad thought it would be hilarious for me to fight a really big fish. So we threw all the right lures in all the right bays, but a few hours later, we were soaked, grumpy and without dinner."
"The way Dad tells it, it was the last cast of the day, but it's always the last cast with him. Anyway, I don't remember anything more or less except that one moment I was bored and wet, and the next, it felt like my arms were being torn out. I fought until I couldn't anymore, a few times I thought I was going overboard, and out of the corner of my eye I see Dad, laughing his head off every time the fish took off."
"I have no idea how long it took, but eventually, I saw this monster rising out of the deep. I remember him being as long as the boat, and as big around as me, but the one picture we have shows that he was 'only' about 4 feet long. I wanted to keep him, but Dad reminded me that someone else would want to catch him too. I hope he's still out there!"
Viamede's family traditions also carry over to staff. Bea Ianson, the owner of Viamede until the 80's, partitioned off a portion of Viamede's land for a family home when she sold it. Her granddaughter spent a few summers working at the front desk.
And even with the change in ownership, family traditions pop up in surprising places. Shortly after taking over the resort, owner Ben Sämann was approached by a lady in her 80s. Rather dramatically, she opened the conversation with "I knew your grandfather."
Julius Sämann had lived in the area in the 40s, fleeing Germany during the second world war. Over the years, he built a small company that manufactured pine oil which eventually became Dominion Essential Oils. Julius had several employees & partners, and a few of their children and grandchildren still live in the area.
In moving to the area, Ben has combined the legacy of his grandparents, as his mother's parents, Albert & Ilse Wyss, for many years operated restaurants in Switzerland. Ben grew up with his mother's stories about regular patrons and their outlandish demands, long hours, and her being put to work from a young age, making desserts when the patio was full.
In spite of this, Ben decided he wanted a place of his own. Ben studied hotel management in Zurich, Switzerland, after which he returned to Canada to develop his skills. After several years, he decided he was ready to make it on his own, and after much research, approached the owners of Viamede resort.
In December 2010, Ben took over management of Viamede. His first projects were hiring a top tier management team and improving service, alongside increasing maintenance and renewal budgets. The first year was one of learning, but also one of incredible growth. Efficient systems were implemented to make every department more guest-focused, and renovations were started.
What really drew Ben to Viamede is the location. Nestled amid 165 acres of pristine forest in the Kawarthas, Viamede sits on 2000 feet of prime Stoney Lake waterfront. All three restaurants, most rooms, and all cottages overlook the grounds and lake. The natural beauty of the area is undisturbed, with enough space for guests to play.
All of this is within 2 hours of Toronto, and less than 90 minutes from Oshawa.
Viamede is also famous for its historic buildings. The origins of the main resort are murky, but based on an 1873 survey and development plan, the "Viamede Hotel" existed in some form at the time. The Mount Julian property is better known historically, and was built in the 10 year span from 1865 to 1875, with buildings being added and demolished over the years. Luckily, the oldest two buildings, currently the manager's residence and the Inn at Mount Julian, still remain.
There are also more recent historic finds, such as the Victory Loan flag found in a box in the basement of the Inn at Mount Julian. These flags were used during the second world war to raise money for the war effort. If a region reached its target of Victory Bond sales, it was awarded a flag.
Until last year, the only safe in operation at Viamede had been constructed in 1920. Every former staff member seems to remember both the combination and the odd tricks needed to get it open. "You have to turn it to 32, then jiggle the dial a bit until you hear a click, and then carry on in the same direction to 45." (For would-be thieves, this safe was also on wheels for easier movement.)
The original registration books also shine a light on travel at the turn of the century. Guests would stay for a few weeks at a time, and often, year after year. Most guests would travel from the northern US, although some Toronto travelers would make the stop. Guests would travel by steamer along the Trent Severn from Lake Ontario, or take a coach to Lakefield.
As road networks expanded and trucks grew more powerful, the waterway became more recreational.
Today, the Trent Severn is one of the most popular boating routes, linking Georgian Bay to Lake Ontario. Dotted along the route are marinas, resorts, and parks, making the region one of the most interesting boating routes in the world.
Viamede is well known as a popular destination along the way. On the north shore of Stoney Lake, it offers fantastic views, amazing food, and quite often, a comfortable bed to sleep in for those who need a rest from boat travel. Viamede's activities are available to boaters as well giving them a chance to explore the bays of Stoney Lake.
Boaters come from as far away as Florida or as close as across the lake. The waterfront is abuzz with boaters sharing food and stories, troubleshooting their boats or navigation, or just relaxing for the day.
As the sun sets, many head to the Boathouse Pub, directly on the water, for dinner. The Boathouse features great food, including home made burgers, the best chicken wings, and the Huff & Puff Persuaded Pork Sandwich.
Other boaters choose to have dinner at the Inn at Mount Julian, Viamede's fine dining restaurant. The Inn features a 7-course tasting menu and seasonal dishes, house-cured charcuterie and items foraged directly on site, many of these can be found by guests when they return home.
Viamede's Executive Chef, Ken Van Mackelbergh, lets nature inspire much of his cooking. He lets the seasons dictate the vegetables, and much of our produce is grown locally.
In 2011, the Viamede farm launched with Tamworth pigs, Indian Runner & Muscovy ducks, and a solitary turkey. In 2012, this included more turkeys and ducks, and a small vegetable garden. For 2013, there are plans to add guinea fowl and chickens, once again expanding the farm.
These are used both to work towards sustainability but also to educate the staff at Viamede. Many younger cooks have never seen how pigs are raised, or do not know how many local plants are not only edible, but also delicious.
Viamede's groundskeeper, Jarrod Craig, takes a keen interest in food, and is one of the driving forces behind the farm and foraging. He can often be found with Chef Ken, hiking the trails in search of treats. His love of native plants is inspiring, and he is slowly working to grow a variety of regional plants.
Jarrod was also the main catalyst of the disc golf course being built in the spring of 2012. As an avid player at the Peterborough course, he has rallied the local clubs around a new course, which is open to players of all skill levels. Guests at Viamede will be able to play alongside the local clubs, all while hiking the trails.
Viamede's 6 km of trails are also evolving. Alongside the golf course, there is more seating, inspired by (and materials contributed by) nature. A fallen tree trunk becomes a bench. A spruce, its branches forming a natural shelter, trimmed into a hideaway when the rain starts.
In the winter, these trails become a great place to spot wildlife. Because wildlife leave tracks, many guests take off from the trails, tracking porcupines, deer, and other creatures to their dens. While some may choose to backtrack, others bring along a compass for an impromptu orienteering course (And a snack for when that course goes awry).
But it doesn't have to be all adventures when at Viamede. Our pool, beach, hot tub, sauna, and lounge chairs are all well suited to a more relaxing pace. Many guests take full advantage of poolside smoothies & virgin daiquiris, content to let others do the hard work of playing volleyball or canoeing.
Our activities are also very popular with conferences, which often include free time to take advantage of the location. Teambuilding activities are becoming more popular, as leaders come to better understand the need for working together.
Meeting planners are often surprised by our expertise. Our conference services manager, Leslie Graham, has been instrumental in bringing our conference services into the 21st century. Day-lit, modern meeting rooms, top notch food and service, and the perfect location complement our meeting amenities. "It's simple, really," says Leslie. "All it takes is to really listen to what the client needs, and then make sure we can offer that."
Our two conference rooms, the Kawartha Room and Hilltop, are complemented by 3 restaurants, a non-denominational historic chapel perfect for speaking guests & presentations, and spacious outdoor & indoor areas for breakouts.
Even here, our food shines. Chef Ken often works directly with meeting planners to ensure that their special dinner comes out perfectly, and our service team has the flexibility to adjust to changing schedules. The Inn at Mount Julian is a popular option for planners looking for a very special meal. For individual diners, we offer a 7-course tasting menu, created daily by our chef. In the past, we have used this historic location for cocktail receptions, lunch wine tastings, and even a 13 course menu.
After dinner, our Boathouse Pub is a great option for guests to relax and unwind. The best bosses will have an open bar, but a close second is starting the meeting later in the morning. Alongside this, our Boathouse Plank is a popular option to keep the late eaters from going hungry.
An increasingly popular option is a picnic lunch served on an island. Guests can choose between a pontoon boat shuttle and canoeing to lunch. Most guests opt for the canoe paddle to lunch, and more often than not, we return with a canoe or two towed behind the pontoon boat.
Some conferences choose to have a BBQ on a cottage patio, which is a great way to welcome a small group with an informal event. Viamede can provide everything, including cooks, the food, and the dishes, or the group can bring it themselves.
Weddings often take advantage of this for their rehearsal dinner. The wedding day is often formal, and having a casual BBQ can be a great way to start the weekend off right. Others opt for a fun pub night, which leaves less of a mess and the bartenders stay more sober.
Our wedding coordinator, Taryn Roudny, works with each couple to truly customise their wedding. We rarely sell wedding packages, since we firmly believe that each wedding should be different. Our ceremonies range from a traditional historic chapel to a waterfront courtyard, and we certainly welcome fun ideas. One couple set the wedding courtyard with haybales instead of chairs, and another bride paddled a canoe to the ceremony.
Even for the reception, we encourage creativity. Chef Ken will often sit down with the bride & groom to discuss options, often creating the menu from scratch to suit their needs. Midnight buffets are often the time to have the most fun, with grilled cheese buffets, sliders, or poutine bars.
Our signature canoe bar consists of filling a full size canoe with ice & beer, on a patio overlooking the water, which is a popular choice for wedding couples. We can also offer a build-your-own caesar bar, which includes delights such as 7 different hot sauces, a variety of liquor, and bacon stir sticks. Ultimately, the only limiting factor is your creativity.
Even if you're not getting married, Viamede may still have a special event for you. We host 3 brunches per year - Easter, Mother's Day, and New Year's Day - as well as several charity events.
The Father's Day In-Water Boat Show is a collaboration with local marinas, and is a great opportunity to bring Dad out to drool over some nice boats. We complement this with a delicious BBQ and other activities to make for a great day for Dad.
At Viamede, nature can seem limitless. But too often, coming indoors can end that. The fresh breeze, the chirping of the birds, the sound of the waves lapping up on the rocks, and the smell of freshly cut grass all disappear once the door closes.
That's where art takes over. With an ever-changing selection of local paintings and prints, we have invited Nature inside. Paintings of the rivers and forests around us, historic photographs of the resort and wildlife, and stone sculptures by local artists line the walls. Inspired by the rocks and trees in the shade, Viamede has created a moss garden for behind the front desk. This garden features over 20 species of Ontario moss, most harvested locally.
Above the moss garden hangs a birch bark painting by local artist Ralph Ingleton. These famous drawings use the natural scarring and lines to represent the boulders and lakes of the Kawarthas, and this one was donated by the Kawartha Land Trust as a gift of gratitude for Viamede’s fundraising efforts.
Whether you're in search of a couples romantic getaway or an Ontario weekend escape with lots of adventure, Viamede has a vacation package to suit your needs. Consider our Kawartha Lakes resort for your next group event, business meeting or conference. We pride ourselves in detail, traditional service and quality ensuring your satisfaction. We hope to see you soon at Viamede Resort - the Grand Lady of the Kawarthas.