Celebrate, grow, and escape the stresses of modern life.

Slow down and return to the simplicity of self. At Strathmere, we look to create moments of connection for each and every one of our guests. Whether those moments are big, like a wedding or anniversary celebration, or small, like a lunch with a dear friend or a solo hike through our snow-covered trails, reconnect with yourself and rediscover the joys that make everyday life extraordinary. Strathmere has grown from a renowned, award-winning wedding destination to include a health and wellness retreat, spa, and hotel.

Our focus on sustainability and organic farming allows our guests to reconnect with how their food is grown and live more mindfully. Our organic garden supplies fresh, seasonal produce to our restaurant, fresh cut flowers for bridal bouquets, and honey for our baked goods.

We’ve been able to build and maintain a reputation of the highest hospitality standards and stay true to our values because we are a family-owned and operated business. Our family and staff can’t wait to host you.

Strathmere’s History: It starts with a love story...

John Phelan emigrated to Canada from Queen’s County, Ireland in 1825. Shortly after arriving, he fell in love with and married Margaret McCarthy of Goulbourn, Ontario. He and his new bride built a small log cabin and started working the surrounding land. Hard work and fertile soil made John a successful farmer; by 1846 the family owned 400 acres.


While John specialized in dairy farming, he also kept beef cattle and thoroughbred horses, as well as maintained a small vineyard—one remaining vine still produces white grapes every fall. In 1860, the family began the construction of the Strathmere House, an 18-room mansion built of field stones and offering commanding views of the farmland. The property remained in the Phelan family until 1955, when it was bought as a country retreat by Alex and Eleanor Sims, who modeled it on a European folk school: a place where city dwellers could escape from the stresses of urban life to work on their personal growth and development.


In 1957 the Sims moved a one-room schoolhouse onto the property and subsequently used it as the location for a non-profit drama school, “The Valley School of the Arts,” and a summer day camp. In 1978, Dr. Walter Baker of the University of Ottawa, his wife, Barbara, and their daughters, Liz and Mary, purchased Strathmere and 200 acres of the original farm, for use as a management training and development centre, a wedding and special events facility, and more recently, a spa and wellness retreat. It remains a family enterprise nearly 200 years into its existence.

  • Meet Our CEO

    Mary McGill

    For over 35 years Mary has been leading the Strathmere team, taking over from her father, Strathmere’s founder, Walter Baker. Mary has grown the business from a small education center and corporate meetings space, to a world-class wedding and hospitality destination for wellness seekers, nature lovers, and foodies. As a mother, grandmother, and business woman, Mary understands how difficult it can be to balance work, wellness, and family, so it’s been part of her mission at Strathmere to curate packages and activities that help guests recalibrate and achieve a sense of calm. Mary is always looking forward, thinking of ways to improve Strathmere’s events and sustainability and wellness initiatives.