The Grotto

Bruce Peninsula Grotto

Useful Information

Location: Bruce Peninsula National Park. From Tobermory Highway 6 south 10.5 km, turn left on Cyprus Lake Road, 6 km to the end of the road.
(45.2452, -81.5243)
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: Adults CAD 7.90, Children (0-16) free, Seniors CAD 6.90, Family (-7) CAD 16.
Parking Fee CAD 11.70.
Reservation Fee: Online CAD 6, Phone CAD 8.50.
Classification: Speleologysea cave
Light: n/a
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: The Grotto, 469 Cyprus Lake Rd, Tobermory, ON N0H 2R0.
Reservation: 1-877-RESERVE (1-877-737-3783).
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.



The Grotto, located on Bruce Peninsula at the foot of the Ontario Escarpment, is a littoral cave. In other words, it was created by the erosion of the waves of Lake Huron, or more exactly the Georgian Bay. In general it is called a sea cave, which is actually the same, but most of them are actually caused by the waves of the sea. Sea caves at lakes are rare.

The name The Grotto is rather unspecific, there are millions of grottoes on earth. And it is actually not a name, its just a description. To distinguish this one from others it is sometimes called Bruce Peninsula Grotto or The Grotto on Bruce Peninsula.

The grotto is a huge opening in the cliff of the Ontario Escarpment. Inside is a lake which is connected underground with Georgian Bay. Through this underground connection light enters the cave from underground, it is reflected sunlight which shines on the lake outside. The water is very blue, an effect which is intensified by bright sunlight. Sunshine is actually the most important thing to see the blue glow. Beneath the Grotto there is a natural bridge at Indian Head, do not confuse them. Swimming in and around the Grotto is discouraged, as wave conditions are often rough, undertows and currents can present drowning hazards. At Indian Head swimming is prohibited. Its better to swim at the beaches nearby, or even better at Cyprus Lake.

The Grotto is located in Bruce Peninsula National Park near Cyprus Lake. This area is a very popular bathing destination in July and August, and it is almost impossible to get a parking lot. At this time parking must be pre-booked online. The rest of the year its first come first serve. If you have no parking lot you cannot visit the cave, so its best to avoid it between Canada Day and Labor Day and on public Holidays. If you managed to get a parking lot you have to walk on Georgian Bay Trail around Horse Lake to the shore. Its a 1.5 km (30 minutes) walk.

One word about entracne fees, it seems they are one way to regulate visitor numbers. Obviously while prebooking is available you have to pay three fees which add up. First there is the booking fee you pay once for the booking. Then there is the parking fee which is valid for a three hour slot. Then there is an additional fee for any visitor. If you are alone you pay CAD 25.60. That's as far as we know the most expensive show cave in Canada, but actually it is no show cave, its just a rather small grotto. Its better for a family though, you pay CAD 33.70 in total for the whole family. [2020]