A Psychedelic Wellness Experience in the Canadian Wilderness
Toronto-based international studio DesignAgency has unveiled its plans for a wellness retreat focusing on psychedelic therapy in Ontario, Canada. Spread across 45 acres along the shore of Maple Lake, just three hours outside of Toronto, the design emphasizes therapeutic, healing and above all, safe, experiences for those attending the retreat.
The retreat is slated to open in July 2022 and has been conceived in collaboration with landscape architect Joel Loblaw. Newly constructed facilities include 17 private cabins, a dining lodge and spa areas all in the interest of connecting guests to nature. There will also be space for activities such as yoga.
“Witnessing the current mental health crisis, we recognized the need for alternative and natural methods for achieving wellbeing. Establishing Dimensions Algonquin Highlands, the first of several planned global retreats, is a major milestone for our organization,” says Dimensions CEO Chris Dawson.
“For the past year, our team of clinical and hospitality experts worked closely to develop our evidence-based programs that are aligned with the most innovative thinking in this emerging field, while also respecting and honoring the history and use of plant medicine.”
Natural Materials Connect to a Safer Environment
The psychedelic experiences will be primarily facilitated by cannabis and cacao, while psilocybin – the active ingredient found within psychedelic fungi – will be available for guests who have received approval by Health Canada’s Schedule 56 exemptions and Special Access Programs. Understanding this, the design team set about crafting the grounds and structures into a facility that would facilitate positive psychedelic experiences, as setting is often key in providing a safe and healthy environment.
On the grounds, guests will be able to interact with a maze and ‘secret garden’ as well as an extensive trail network throughout the property. Other features include an orchard, an apiary and an organic garden that will supplement the food fare onsite alongside other locally sourced ingredients.
Aside from the ample outdoor spaces, the cabins will also pull heavily from nature in their design and materiality. Limestone, white oak, pine, leather, wool and brass come together in the interior elements as skylights and picture windows further delineate the interior and exterior spaces.
Updated to include corrected information on the use of substances at the retreat.
Another version of this article originally appeared on our sister site Hospitality Design.