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“Please take Ottawa out of the name!”

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Cardinal/Ottawa South KOA
Brooklin, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Please take Ottawa out of the name!”
Reviewed July 10, 2012

Just returned from six days at the Cardinal/Ottawa South KOA. We had an overall good time at this location. For a KOA this site was beautiful, the trees between each site towered 60 feet in the air. Having the mature foliage gave a sense of privacy even though the sites were no larger then any other KOA.

The pool was alright. Their idea of "heated" was a little different from ours and the sewer dump site is only 20ft away. On Sunday afternoon as a long line of campers emptied their tanks the smell of sewage was overwhelming. The kids playground was super, the bouncy castle was very popular and there is a mini putt nearing completion. They also had a 40ft high inflatable waterside available for $5 for the day.

As others have said this truly is a family site. We were very impressed with how polite the atmosphere was. Some have complained how rude the owner was... We never saw that. We only saw polite and attentive staff whose positive attitude obviously rubs off on their guests. Yes you do have to wear those mildly annoying paper bracelets... If you can't tolerate those... Good luck vacationing anywhere!

Our only real complaint was, in part our own fault for not looking at a map. We booked this trip planning to spend a few days in Ottawa and maybe go white water rafting... You would think when Ottawa is in the name, it would at lead be close to the city. It is one hour into Ottawa and 1.5 hours to the nearest rafting.

We pull a 21ft travel trailer and had no trouble fitting on our site. In fact we were one of the smallest rigs there. Most of the sites are water/electric. There are no sites with sewer hookups but if you are staying 4 days or more you get a free visit from the honeywagon.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Routh_Family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Kingston
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 28, 2012

I have read some of the reviews on this site, and was quite concerned. This was our first real camping trip, and we wanted it to be great. Well it was! Everyone there made us feel welcomed, and the owners were wonderfully helpful. I was glad that they had a lights out at 11, as we were in a tent trailer with 3 kids. If you want to get drunk and rowdy do not go to a family campground. We had a great time and highly recommend!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Twinmommy3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 2, 2012

We have camped at Cardinal KOA many times over the past three years. There are always activities going on for the kids. With any KOA, there are rules to follow....they are there to make certain the experience goes well for all. Would recommend highly...when we go, we never see the kids throughout the day except for meals and sleep.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Muggit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitby, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2012

My husband and I stayed at this KOA for 4 days in July 2011 and even had Thanksgiving dinner with the majority of the campers. Imagine, Thanksgiving in the middle of July!!! Great tasting turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, buns and dessert. Had a campfire every night and talked without being bothered by anyone or anybody telling us to keep it down. Actually, the people across the laneway from us were there with 3 other families with lots of kids and they were up quite late riding their bicycles and calling out to each other. Nobody from management told them to keep it down even though we wished they would have by 10PM. So either the owner was away or he's not as bad as other people said he was! We spoke to some of the people who are seasonal there and they only had great things to say about the park. We were so pleasantly surprised when after driving up some county road amongst farmland and such with most of it wide opened to find out, once we arrived at the park, that it was a gorgeous pine forest. You really felt as though you were in some other area of the country. We definitely will be back and would go back more often if it was closer as we live in Whitby. It's one of the nicest KOA's we've been to so far. Thumbs up!!! P.S. We camped in a Travel Trailer.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank sillymesylvie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2011

This campground has potential. An ok pool (although it's less than 40 feet from the garbage dump), a huge jumping pillow, and two reasonable playgrounds. However, Dan Parent, the owner, is a bizarre guy. While he is usually polite, he seldom smiles when greeting guests and his overall demeanour makes it hard to understand why he's in the business in the first place.

While most campgrounds have quiet hours, Cardinal KOA is different. To Dan, quiet means he can't hear you -- at all. Even a few adults sitting quietly around a campfire is too much noise for Dan. He is very quick to threaten eviction and in speaking to other campers it appears that he threatens several campers in the course of the average evening.

To be clear, I'm fine with quiet hours, but when even whispering brings an overbearing owner with an aggressive attitude onto your campsite it really detracts from enjoying the evening.

If you want to go to bed when your kids do, you're set. If you'd like to sit up for a few hours and quietly enjoy the evening, I strongly suggest camping elsewhere.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
11 Thank Carter D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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crysler, ON
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2011

We absolutely love staying at the Cardinal KOA and are regular customers who have been camping there for the last 5 years.

The campground owners are very nice and treat their guests with utmost respect and courtesy. Our children are always entertained and well occupied. There are many freebies and we get great value for our money. The splash pad, large pool, jumping pillow and dog park are all well cared for and maintained. There is definite pride in ownership.

The washrooms are the cleanest we have ever been to, cleaner than the ones at home.

The owners have put in place rules that make everyone's stay enjoyable, like quiet time at 11:00pm and no loud music or noise. This is a real family campground and I plan to continue to return on a regular basis, we have already booked for next year.

Happy Camping

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank camperfun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2011

I have been to this campground in the past, and honestly did have a wonderful time. So we decided to return for a short weekend getaway. What a mistake that was!!!! When arriving I was told that all members of the family must wear a paper bracelet (like something you have to wear at an amusement park). I was told that the reason was because there are too many people that do not register their guests (of course they charge visitors). I found that simply ridiculous, I have the tag hanging in my car, that should be enough. Later, from another camper, I was told that the reason is due to the propane filling station, and we have to wear it in the event of an explosion (what?).
Anyways, in the evening, I was playing with my kids and was approached by the owner, who questioned the fact that we were not wearing the bracelet (many people were not wearing). I told him that we were, but they are very uncomfortable (to the point of my daughter crying about it), and I had taken them off. He got right in my face, and told me that if I did not put them on, then we had to leave (at 8:45pm - seriously). He was speaking to me in a very aggressive manner, in front of my young children, who started crying. I went back and told my husband, he was furious, no one is to talk like that to his wife! and make his kids cry! He went over to the owner to confront him, who again, told us to leave, and told my husband he had called the police (we have done nothing wrong, we are a quiet small family trying to enjoy our weekend). Needless to say, there was no way I would stay somewhere like this, we demanded a refund, and were more than happy to leave once we got it. Packing up a campsite in the pitch black of night with two crying children, was no picnic. I am so utterly shocked to have been treated in such a horrible way, nothing like that has ever happened to me before.
DO NOT go there!! The owner is aggressive. I don't want anyone else to have to go through such a horrible experience.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
38 Thank ktc4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cardinal/Ottawa South KOA

Property: Cardinal/Ottawa South KOA
Address: 609 Pittston Road, Cardinal, Ontario K0E 1E0, Canada
Location: Canada > Ontario > Cardinal
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Cardinal
Number of rooms: 100
Also Known As:
Cardinal/Ottawa South KOA Ontario

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