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Canadians love to debate what they call their summer weekend getaways

by Eduan Pretorius 27 Aug 2021 0 Comments

Growing up in southern Ontario in the GTA area, the cottage culture runs in our veins. We can’t get enough of our weekend family getaways on the lake. It’s peaceful, but there’s always something to do so it’s never boring! 

We understand that there are many words to describe this summer weekend getaway. It’s that summer building, typically by the lake, and often has a rustic atmosphere and feel. We go up to the cottage. What do you call it?

  • Cottage
  • Camp
  • Cabin
  • Chalet
  • Chateau
  • Country Home
  • Lakehouse
  • Summer home
  • Lodge
  • Bungalow
  • Other (please let us know)

If you could let us know through this form, we would really appreciate it! 


nice cottages in muskoka, Ontario


Canadians have been arguing about what it’s called for as long as I can remember. In northern Ontario, people say they’re going up to “camp”. That’s not the summer camp you send your kids to, as I have now learned. That’s where kids and adults alike go to spend some unscheduled and uninterrupted fun every summer. 

It’s weird how proud we are of the culture we grew up in. We want our slang and language to be the right way to say it! I still cannot help myself to correcting people when they’re saying they’re “going up to camp for the weekend”. You must mean the cottage?

People in BC often call this magical place the cabin. The word definitely makes more sense than “camp” when you think of the definition. The word cabin to me growing up always meant a tiny house in the middle of the woods. 

And Les Québécois like to call their cottage “chalet”. The word’s closest English meaning would be “lodge”, so that one checks out too. 

But Bungalow? Apparently this is a popular term for Nova Scotians. This one’s almost worse than camp. A bungalow is not a cottage or a cabin, a bungalow is defined as a one-story building! Come on, Nova Scotia! Figure it out!

All joking aside, it’s always interesting to see what people call their summer vacation homes (cottages…) It makes for some fun bickering, and ultimately brings us closer together as Canadians who share a common interest: RELAXING!

patio on lake muskoka

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