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Sleep among howling wolves at this new northern attraction

'We’re the only place doing that in the world right now': More than a decade in the making, the glass chalets at Cedar Meadows in Timmins offer a one-of-a-kind experience

A Timmins resort is offering a brand new experience that has people howling with excitement.

Guests at Cedar Meadows Resort can now spend the night sleeping under the stars while getting up close and personal with the resident wolf pack. 

Reservations for the sleeping with the wolves experience opened in January, but the idea has been about 12 years in the making. Richard Lafleur, owner of Cedar Meadows, says that the concept first came about after an attempt at bringing sled dogs to the resort that didn’t quite work out. The dogs and their nighttime howling initially garnered some noise complaints from hotel guests.

“But then somebody came in and asked if they could have a room in the back because they liked to hear the wolves at night,” Lafleur says. “I thought, oh, that’s funny. We can turn this negative into a positive.”

Lafleur says that there are plenty of other businesses all over the world offering similar experiences — the initial idea of sleeping under the stars in a glass chalet came to Lafleur from a business in Iceland. But he wanted to put a spin on the concept to make it unique.

“It’s an idea that’s been brewing for about 12 years. Originally I was just going to do a regular roof with glass walls, but this brings it to another level,” Lafleur says.

“The idea is the same, but I’m the only one doing ‘sleeping under the stars with the wolves’. We’re the only place doing that in the world right now,” he says. 

Many obstacles have popped up along the way.

The pandemic brought shipping of building materials to a standstill and the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 meant that the special glass used in the chalets, which would have come from a supplier in Poland, wasn’t going anywhere. They managed to find a new supplier for the glass, which contains a copper film to keep the chalets at a comfortable temperature, in Quebec. 

“You’ll never freeze in here, guaranteed,” Lafleur says. 

There are five chalets that overlook the 10-acre enclosure where the pack of 11 wolves lives. Each chalet can comfortably accommodate four people with a queen-sized bed and pull-out sofa, one bathroom, and a kitchenette. The bedroom has three glass walls and a glass ceiling, which offers spectacular views of the sky and surrounding nature. 

“It’s an experience to get up with the sun in the morning. People say we should put curtains up, but I’m not going to do that because it defeats the purpose. It’s an experience that I’m selling, and that experience is sleeping outdoors with the wolves,” Lafleur says. 

“People from the big city come here and they’re in awe because they’re not used to seeing the stars at night. I had some Ukranians a few weeks ago who’ve lived in Toronto for almost a year, and in Ukraine they lived in a city. When I brought them to their chalet late at night, they spent 10 minutes just looking at the stars. They have it where they’re from but if you don’t go outside of the city, you never see the sky like this,” he says. 

“It’s something to see for someone who’s never seen the stars like this.”

While city dwellers may enjoy the novelty of seeing a clear night sky, the experience has something to offer for anyone curious about wolves and who would like to observe the animals in the wild. 

“We’re drawing people from all over Canada right now, and some even from the United States. I had an influencer here a few days ago with about 8 million followers and with the internet, if you get into the right crowd and this is what they’re looking for, they’ll travel,” Lafleur says.

To learn more or reserve a chalet, visit the official website