Sustainable Tourism Gold Certified

Elmhirst’s Resort has undergone a comprehensive assessment to achieve Sustainable Tourism Gold Certification. The process includes a one-one-one review of our business practices with a Sustainable Business Advisor to see how we’re doing against criteria aligned with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Following the assessment, the Sustainable Tourism advisor provided us with a report that recognizes where we are doing well, and also highlighted areas where we have opportunities for improvement, forming an action plan for continued success on our sustainability journey. We will be reassessed every two years to maintain our certification and our momentum. Find out more about GreenStep Sustainable Tourism.

Our Sustainable Tourism 2030 Pledge:

Elmhirst’s Resort has signed the Sustainable Tourism 2030 Pledge, to demonstrate our commitment to improving the sustainability performance of our business between now and 2030.

The UN World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.”

Some of the sustainability action plan items that Elmhirst’s has undertaken include:

  • Commitment to achieve optimal efficiency in consumption of water and energy inputs with reduction of waste outputs.
  • Implement a sustainable purchasing action plan
  • Increase stakeholder engagement in the sustainability action plan

We are the fifth generation of Elmhirst’s to operate the farm, and are thankful for what has been passed down to us. For the deep roots of tradition it has provided, and for the connection to place and community that has been entrusted to our care. Throughout the resort and farm we have implemented many initiatives to support the tenets of sustainability. Here are some highlights of our stewardship:



  • Naturalized shoreline and waterfront trail to control erosion and provide wildlife habitat
  • Non-invasive dockage system to prevent damage to the natural lake bottom and fish spawning areas
  • Corn and Carp are used where aquatic weed control is required
  • No fertilizers or herbicides are used on the resort lawn.
  • Livestock are fenced away from the lake and stream.
  • Plantings at each cottage use only native plants to the area. Decorative and non-native species are used in the central garden only.
  • Lake weeds are used to fertilize our vegetable gardens.
  • Over 1,000 trees have been planted to control erosion, provide shade and wind breaks, and create wildlife habitats.
  • We collect seeds from many plants in fall, and in the greenhouse we germinate and propagate annuals as well as some vegetables for planting the next spring.
  • Vegetable waste and yard waste are composted for use in the gardens.
  • Horse and cow manure is composted to humus before spreading on the land.
  • A series of sewer mains and lift stations deliver all sewage to a disposal bed set well back from the lake.
  • In our onsite sawmill and woodworking shop we produce building materials used on the property.
  • Cardboard, plastic and metal are collected and recycled.
  • The Spa uses only vegan products.
  • Emphasis is placed on environmental-friendly sports (bicycles, canoes, kayaks, water bicycles, kite boarding, walking).


  • A photo-voltaic solar panel system on the roof and tracking systems at the farm produce energy for the grid.
  • All public spaces, shops, laundry, and the indoor and outdoor pools are heated with bio mass, which is the equivalent to heating twenty family bungalows.
  • Energy-efficient lighting is used in all public spaces.
  • Waste wood and culled trees are cut and provided to the cottages for use in the fireplaces.
  • Water is heated in a more energy-efficient tankless system.
  • A wood-pellet boiler heats the pools and main building.


  • The Elmhirst’s Own branding on some foods means they are produced on the property.
  • Heirloom varieties are frequently chosen.
  • A tomato tunnel is used to extend the growing season and increase production for canning.
  • Beehives produce antibiotic free honey for use in our kitchen and for sale in the gift shop.
  • A herd of over fifty Angus cattle are maintained so most of the beef we serve is bred, born and finished right on the property without the use of hormones.
  • Pekin ducks are raised in the pond for restaurant use.
  • Turkeys are raised on the property for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • Only Canadian wines are offered for sale in our restaurants.
  • Gardens at each cottage contain herbs for guest’s use.


  • We have a policy of hiring local’s first.
  • We source all food and other supplies from local producers.
  • We partner with community groups like the Trans Canada Trail Association and the Canadian Canoe Museum.

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