Frequently Asked Questions

Faqs about Abbey Retreat Centre

We answer your frequently asked questions about cancer retreats, rentals, about us, giving, and volunteering.
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Cancer Retreats

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to be a participant in a Cancer Retreat?

To apply to join us for a retreat, please contact or give her a call at 705-754-2966. Barb will answer any questions you might have and send you a preliminary application.

Who typically attends a Cancer Retreat?

Retreats are for people living with cancer who are looking for a safe and welcoming healing space that complements traditional treatment programs. We offer integrative approaches providing opportunities for skill development in coping with stress, anxiety, depression, or any of the other feelings associated with a cancer diagnosis or caring for someone who has a cancer diagnosis. 

The retreats are designed not only for the person living with a cancer diagnosis, but also for their primary support person, who has a difficult journey of their own to navigate that includes physical, financial, emotional, and mental complexities.

How do I qualify to attend a Cancer Retreat?

Retreats are for anyone at any stage of their cancer journey. Participants and their primary support person must be able to care for themselves, able to participate in the daily program, and sufficiently medically stable to spend 4 days in a rural retreat setting. 

What is the cost to attend a retreat?
It is our goal to make our retreats available to our participants at no cost. We understand the financial burden that can often accompany a cancer diagnosis and we strive to provide a place of healing that does not add to that burden.
How do participants get selected for a retreat?

Participants are welcomed on a first come, first served basis. A preliminary application is required. This guarantees you a place on our waiting list. Please contact to request an application.

How many people are at a retreat?
Our retreat is typically for 8 participants. 
How long is a retreat?

Each retreat is 4 days long and runs from Thursday evening to Sunday evening.  

What kind of food is served at a Retreat? Can you meet my dietary restrictions?

The delicious food at our cancer retreats is based on a plant-based diet. We are able to meet any dietary restrictions that you may have.

How far away is the nearest hospital?
The Haliburton Highlands Health Services hospital in Haliburton is an 18 minute drive from ARC. Map

The Haliburton Highlands Health Services hospital in Minden is a 25 minute drive from ARC. Map

Are there medical staff on site at ARC during the Cancer Retreats?

We do not have medical staff on site at the retreat centre.



Frequently Asked Questions

How far is ARC from the nearest town?
ARC is a 14 minute drive from the Village of Haliburton. Map

ARC is a 23 minute drive from Minden. Map

Do I need to rent the whole Centre or can I just use part of it?

Our beautiful retreat centre can be rented as a whole when your event requires accommodations. We also rent individual rooms and offices by the hour, half day or full day. 

Can I bring alcohol on site for my event?

Alcohol is permitted on site for private events held at Abbey Retreat Centre. In some cases, a special occasion permit may be required.

Why should I hold an event at Abbey retreat centre?

All funds generated through facility rentals, fundraising events, and generous donations, help us to keep our facility beautiful and increase the programs that we are able to offer.

Holding your event at the Abbey Retreat Centre will help us to continue to offer our cancer retreats to participants free of charge. Enjoy your event with us even more knowing that you are helping to support people living with cancer in our community.

Does Abbey retreat centre have high speed internet for my business meeting?

Yes, the retreat centre has high speed internet through Bell. 

What are your rates for renting the facility?
We have found that each rental is unique. Contact us with some details about your event and we will create a custom quote tailored to your event.
Who provides food for events at the abbey retreat centre?

Food is important to us at Abbey Retreat Centre. We are happy to help you design a custom menu for your event that takes into consideration any special dietary requirements for your guests. We have our own food service professionals that provide food for our retreats, or we can arrange with our partners at our amazing local restaurants to have food catered to our site.

Can we bring in our own food and prepare it on site?
Yes, we have a commercial kitchen that is available for rent. We also have a BBQ available on our patio overlooking the pond.
How many people can Abbey retreat centre accommodate as overnight guests?

The retreat centre has 4 bedrooms. Each bedroom has two single beds that easily pull together to form a queen size bed. The bedrooms have shared bathroom facilities. 


About Us

Frequently Asked Questions

How was Abbey retreat centre created?

Abbey Retreat Centre was created through the vision of John and Thea Patterson. 

John and Thea believe that by creating the retreat centre and the Patterson Institute they are planting seeds that will assist in the transformation, strengthening, and integration of cancer care in Canada.  Integrative cancer care has personally touched the Patterson family and played a pivotal role in John’s eight-year journey with cancer.

The Abbey Retreat Centre offers retreats for people with cancer and their supportive partner or caregiver. At the Abbey Retreat Centre, a blend of the social, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and functional aspects of the patient journey are provided in a peaceful setting called Abbey Gardens in Haliburton, Ontario.


What is Abbey retreat centre's vision?

To be a safe, loving, and healing community that supports people on their health and healing journeys, especially those living with cancer.

How can I join the Abbey retreat centre team?

Please check out the “Job Postings” and “Volunteering” sections of our website to find out how you can be involved.

Please contact for more information.


Frequently Asked Questions

I was thinking of making a donation to Abbey retreat centre. How does my money get used?


We are grateful to everyone who donates their energy, time, and money to support the Abbey Retreat Centre. We make every effort to keep operating costs low and focus on allocating the funds we receive to support people on their cancer journey. We need your help and support to continue to offer our retreats to participants free of charge.


I would like to donate something specific to Abbey retreat centre.

As we build and expand our beautiful facility, we are always looking for donations of quality goods to make our centre feel more like a home. We have received a BBQ, a wonderful dock, an amazing Lily garden, and other items that we are very thankful for. If you have a special skill or items that you would be willing to donate to Abbey Retreat Centre, please give us a call at 705-754-2966 or 


Frequently Asked Questions

I was thinking of making a donation to Abbey Retreat CEntre. How does my money get used?

There are many ways to get involved at Abbey Retreat Centre. Please contact to request a copy of our volunteer application. We always need help to keep our facility beautiful, to welcome our renters and their guests and to help our during our Cancer Retreats.


Who are the ARC Angels?

The ARC Angels are a group of wonderful volunteers who take time out of their busy schedules to help keep Abbey Retreat Centre beautiful and to assist us with our events. Some of these angels are past participants from our cancer retreats. The ARC Angels meet on the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 10am to 3pm (includes lunch). Please contact if you would like to join the ARC Angels. 

Your Donations Make a Difference!