About This Center

Harmony Dawn is Andy and Nicola James’ Dream, purpose-built to enhance the subtle but profound Power of Balance: “We chose the land and designed our building to consciously create a subtle-energy environment of Yin-Yang balance, which facilitates healing, the sense of interconnection, creativity and self-transformation.  Our guests get it!  Nicola’s food is an important and acclaimed part of the Harmony Dawn (HD) experience, since it not only appeals to the palate and eye, but is consciously prepared, using high quality ingredients and Yin-Yang food principles (see Cuisine).  We also incorporated as many cutting-edge, clean, sustainable technologies as possible to give guests the unique personal experience of what a “green” future might feel like – very comfy even as it reduces our environmental impact on the planet!  Harmony Dawn was voted one of Canada’s greenest buildings”. 

Harmony Dawn is a physical manifestation of Andy’s 31 years of mind-body wisdom and teaching experience, which includes Tai Chi Chuan, Mindfulness (Vipassana) meditation and Qigong.  He is an internationally acclaimed teacher, healer and author, and the Founder of the Tai Chi & Meditation Centre. For more see Andy.

 Harmony Dawn is nestled into the picturesque, rolling Northumberland Hills, surrounded by 50 pristine, acres of meadows and forests without any noise or electrical buzz, since it is completely self-sufficient and off the power grid.  Our country air boasts one of the highest oxygen levels in Ontario; scenic Rice Lake abuts our forests and since it is relatively shallow, offers swimming from Spring to Fall.  HD is 90 minutes north-east of Toronto along the 401 (link) and is accessible from Ottawa, Montreal, Hamilton, Windsor, Muskoka and more. 


Thank you for the most incredible weekend. Lovely people, incredible food, beautiful surroundings and an opportunity to learn something new, how could it not be wonderful. Elva, workshop participant and guest

Venue Highlights

Harmony Dawn provides tranquil, nurturing, harmonious accommodation and highly acclaimed cuisine to compatible guest groups of between 10 and 22.  We also conduct our own HD in-house workshops and retreats on meditation, Tai Chi Chuan, Qigong and Yin-Yang cuisine through which we try to help guests establish or consolidate their own mind-body health practice.  We believe it is important to balance one’s internal and external environments since they are interconnected. We can provide specific instructional classes to guest groups or individuals if arranged in advance.


Off the grid and sustainable, our vision is one of community living. Rooms are shared for the most part as are bathroom facilities. Eco friendly toiletries are provided.


  • Free Parking
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Yoga Studio

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Ayurvedic
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free


The cuisine we serve at Harmony Dawn is a plant based vegetarian menu. We are well versed in International cooking- Macrobiotic, Indian, Mexican, Japanese, Chinese. The menu is always based on the group that is attending and the work that they are doing at the centre. Nicola James is the author of two cookbooks, The Dao of Harmony Dawn Cooking- Innovative and Acclaimed Spa Cuisine and Eco Harmony Dawn Cooking-Balancing your Internal and External Environments.


Harmony Dawn is approximately 1 1/2 hours north east of Toronto in good traffic. Participants can contact the centre or the group leader to ask for help in getting to us. Most guests are more than happy to car pool.

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Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

My inspiration is a desire to gain a deeper connection to and understanding of myself, something that I've been working hard on for so long and will continue to do in the future. I view a retreat as a wonderful way to focus entirely on this without the distractions of every day life! Nicola

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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