Explore endless waterways in Ontario's Sunset Country

Renting a houseboat let's you explore our vast freshwater lakes. Photo: Gerry Cariou

A different view of the sunset each day

Houseboats are a unique way to explore our lakes and make for the perfect family vacation!

There's really nothing quite like it: a beautiful warm summer day, a slight breeze, and a few puffy clouds in the sky. As you cruise the placid waters on your houseboat, you take in the scenic views that surround you. Rocky granite outcrops that are a billion years old, white pines that tower 30 meters above the rocks, and a bald eagle soaring the thermals overhead. These kind of views are a daily occurrence when you rent a houseboat, but are only a fraction of the incredible outdoor experience a week on the water offers. 

If you love to fish—and Sunset Country offers a spectacular fishing experience—a Houseboat is another way you can do that. Tow your own boat behind the houseboat, or rent one from the operator so you can fish to your heart's content. Up here the clock isn't really relevant; you ply the waters at your pace and you can decide to cruise the lake, or moor your boat on a sandy wilderness beach. Have a walleye shore lunch, then go for a swim. Some houseboats even have slides—a great feature for kids. 

There's No Time Like Family Time

More than anything, houseboats make for the perfect family vacation. These boats are well equipped and offer the safety and security of a cabin. The difference is these cabins float and you can move them around the lake. Children can play on deck, swim in the lake, or just explore the surrounding beach. Houseboats come equipped with a full kitchen and an outdoor barbecue, so cooking up full-course meals is a cinch. Large dining areas on the inside make it easy to move around and some houseboats have a picnic table on the roof for when you want to eat outside. 

If it rains one day, there's enough room inside the cabin to play games, cards, or watch TV. Yes, most houseboats come with a TV and DVD player. You can also rent the size boat that fits your family size so if grandma and grandpa are along for the trip, you can go to a six or eight person boat and not skip a beat—no crowding! For larger parties, some operators offer double-deck options. Your kids will have a great time and thank you for taking them, that we can assure you of.

Lakes With Houseboat Rentals

Lac Seul 

Lac Seul covers a total area of over 1600 square kilometers and is approximately 241 kilometers long—making it the seventh largest lake in Ontario. The lake offers spectacular walleye fishing—some of the best anywhere—along with bass, pike, muskie, and perch. It offers some great beaches and spectacular shoreline vistas. Houseboat operators are located on both ends of the lake.

Houseboat Operators on Lac Seul

Lac Seul Floating Lodges - Hudson/Sioux Lookout

Sioux Lookout Floating Lodges - Hudson/Sioux Lookout


Lake of the Woods

With a surface area covering 1-million acres and with 14,522 islands, Lake of the Woods is a wonder of nature. It is the second largest inland lake in Ontario; when you count the islands, it has more shoreline than Lake Superior. Lake of the Woods has endless numbers of wilderness, sandy beaches, and is a true multi-species fishery. Catch bass, muskie, walleye, lake trout, pike, whitefish, crappie or perch can all be found.

Houseboat Operators on Lake of the Woods

Tomahawk Resort - Sioux Narrows

Lecuyer's Canada Lodge - Nestor Falls


Cliff Lake 

Located up Highway 105, Cliff Lake is characterized by rugged shorelines and incredible fishing structure. Fish rocks or flats and catch walleye, lake trout bass, pike, perch, and the mighty muskie. At 5,700 acres, there is ample water to cruise on and the lake has numerous creeks flowing in to and out of it. 

Houseboat Operators on Cliff Lake


Tips for Travelers renting a Houseboat

  • Rent a houseboat that is suitable for the size of your party. 
  • Budget for gas on top of the rental cost.
  • Buy additional damage insurance if offered by the operator.
  • Watch young children at all times while underway.
  • Ensure young children are wearing life jackets when on outside decks. 
  • Don't buy too much food—plan meals ahead of time and bring only what is necessary. 
  • Obey and follow all navigation markers on the lake.
  • Don't leave litter anywhere out on the lake. All waste should be bagged and brought back to the landing.
  • Bring rain gear and a warm jacket for all people going on the trip.
  • Don't forget your bathing suit!

The natural beauty of Ontario's Sunset Country is, arguably, best enjoyed from the deck of a houseboat. These floating cabins offer you privacy and the daily adventure of getting to the next overnight mooring location. It's a trip that will provide you with memories for a lifetime and something everyone should try at least once!

And don't forget to bring a camera for taking pictures of the majestic evening sunsets!

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