The Weekly Journal | Sustainability
By Yenia Hernandez Fonseca - May 5, 2022
Eco-Friendly Canadian Hotels
Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
If you’re reading this, chances are you make conscious efforts to reduce your carbon footprint. With climate change getting more intense by the year, you’ve gradually learned that certain life decisions affect the wellbeing of our planet. For instance, you do most of your shopping from local businesses, buy second-hand and vintage fashion when you need to, and have cut out single-use plastics from your life entirely.
We’re certain that such efforts have inspired you to support businesses who also do their part to better the current state of our environment—from the labels you wear to the coffee shop you visit every morning. But tell us, how sustainable will your next traveling adventure be?
From plane flights to boat rides, tourism is responsible for at least 8% of the world's carbon emissions.
Our imbalanced relationship with work is characterized by a familiar repetitive cycle. It starts with energy and optimism. Remember how excited you are whenever you start a new project? You think that working a couple of extra hours for a few weeks won’t affect you that much. You keep telling yourself you just need to meet that deadline and everything will go back to normal.
Today, transportation is tourism’s main source of greenhouse gas emissions. So, for those of us who enjoy spending our time discovering new parts of the world, choosing the place we want to visit is extremely important.
Thankfully, Canada is home to natural beauty and vast biodiversity, from lush forests and pristine waters, to cultural and architectural spectacle—why would you ever want to leave?
Going green on your next vacation calls for a Canadian staycation. We’ve rounded up 3 of our favorite sustainable hotels that our country has to offer.
1. Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa, British Columbia
In the spirit of falling in love with the local scenery, venture out west and take in British Columbia’s natural beauty. Located in the heart of the Saanich Peninsula, just 20 minutes from Downtown Victoria, Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa is an upscale seaside resort that offers laid-back elegance in 33 fully-equipped suites and villas surrounded by gorgeous natural settings.
Victoria’s only five star oceanfront hotel has multiple observation points scattered throughout the entire property: a glass domed vessel, seaside dining, an outdoor heated pool, a 50-slip marina, and an art gallery. Committed in embracing and supporting their community, Brentwood Bay sources their foods and wines directly from the region.
Do: Brentwood Bay is the mecca for eco-adventures. Activities for thrill-seekers include kayaking, sunset cruising, wilderness adventures, and hiking allowing everyone to explore the natural beauty of the Saanich Inlet.
Green Points: Brentwood Bay is sustainable on so many levels. The development team created a tidal marine sanctuary by building leading-edge biofiltration ponds out on the shoreline that filter all run-off water on the surface. Not stopping there, the group also upgraded all storm drain run-off systems for the entire municipality.
2. Algonquin Eco-Lodge, Ontario
Sometimes we don’t have to look any further than in our own backyard to create memorable experiences. Nestled in the southern border of Algonquin Park in Muskoka, Ontario, Algonquin Eco-Lodge aces at giving you the sense of being far removed from the daily hustle and bustle.
The lodge offers 17 private bedrooms to spend quality time in with your companions—and by quality time, we mean real quality time. Perched in the remote forest, secluded from hydro lines and telephone poles, the Eco-Lodge has no access to phone, no internet, or cell phone reception to distract you from your next adventure. Guests of all ages, campers, and just-outdoorsy types can enjoy the cozy accommodations, daily meals, and an outdoor carbon-neutral hot tub—the only one in the area.
Do: With easy access to one of the largest single trail systems in Southern Ontario, the Eco-Lodge is perfect for outdoor activities regardless of the season. Walk, hike, or ski through Algonquin Park, paddle a canoe on the private lake, or kick off your boots and toast some marshmallows around the campfire before heading indoors. Cross country skiing, dog sledding, and snowshoeing are must-dos in the winter.
Green Points: Perhaps unsurprisingly, Algonquin Eco-Lodge is powered by the green electricity from the waterfall, which sustains things like indoor plumbing and heating thanks to their own micro-hydro generator.
3. 1 Hotel, Toronto
If the urban centre is more in tune with your vibe, don’t miss Downtown Toronto’s 1 Hotel. While it’s tempting to underestimate the beauty of the concrete jungle, Canada’s largest city is a network of good food, great places, and amazing people—even when your vacation time allows for a quick change of scenery.
With locations all over the world, 1 Hotel describes itself as a sanctuary that offers guests the chance to surrender to nature. From their interiors and amenities to their on-site composter and their zero-waste restaurant, everything from fabrication to operation is carefully designed with sustainability in mind.
Do: While Paris, London, and New York City get all the glory among visiting tourists, Toronto’s understated street corners are vastly occupied by cultural gems, like museums, shopping centres, and restaurants. 1 Hotel offers many on-site and virtual events happening in their kitchen, wellness center, lounge, and partnering sites.
Green Points: With LEED Certifications for 100% of their properties, 1 Hotel prides itself in putting utmost value on the planet and its people. Rooted in sustainability and wellbeing, the hotel has developed a deep connection with the community, from sourcing every detail locally—from their furnishings to their food (ie. hangers, glassware, furniture, etc.) —to partnering with like-minded organizations in an effort to preserve the environment.