Welcome to Peter Canisius House

Experience our Hospitality

Peter Canisius House is located on 5 acres of beautiful gardens and bushland in Pymble on Sydney’s North Shore. Our facilities include 43 bedrooms, a variety of meeting spaces, a large dining room with full time chefs working on site, all in a Covid safe and approved environment.

We specialise in residential individual and group retreats and gatherings for schools, not for profit and private business sectors. We are an ideal venue for your next retreat, meeting or gathering.



Peter Canisius house has 43 bedrooms either with shared bathrooms or private ensuites.  All bedrooms, meeting rooms and dining facilities offer heating.  Full linen is provided to our overnight guests. Schools have the option of bringing their own linen to assist with reducing costs.

Peter Canisius House Retreat Centre double and single accommodation
Peter Canisius House Retreat Centre ensuite accommodation
Peter Canisius House Retreat Centre breakout space

All meals are exceptional in quality and prepared daily by our chefs. Lunch and dinner include hot dishes, salads.  Lunchtime includes fruit & dinner includes dessert.  Morning and afternoon tea are freshly baked (included for retreatants and option extra for groups). Tea and coffee are available 24 hours a day.

Highest compliments to the chefs for catering so well to our vegetarian and vegan group.  You had our complete trust that the food being served was pure as well as delicious.  The provision of packed lunches for our group when travelling off site meant we had more time to enjoy the sites of Sydney without having to worry about catering to different dietary requirements.    Nigel Parry. The Order of the Cross.


We have a variety of meeting spaces available in a range of sizes from small and intimate, ideal for a group of up to 12 to our Hall which has a seated capacity of 120 theatre style subject to Covid restrictions. Two of our other meeting spaces have large decks attached overlooking the spacious grounds.

Some groups opt to use our picturesque grounds for small group work or meditation.

We have a strong affiliation with a number of local Rotary clubs who hold their weekly dinners and meetings at Peter Canisius House and have other regular events with local Lions Clubs and Lifeline.

The variety of meeting spaces we have at Peter Canisius House means you can hire a room perfectly suiting your needs. Our meeting rooms have modern HDMI operated Audio Visual Equipment.  Our team will set up the room to your specifications. All you need to do is whatever your group is here for!

Peter Canisius House Coleman Room kitchen
Peter Canisius House is an ideal venue for your meetings and events. Whether you are a not-for-profit community group or commercial business, we invite you to experience our hospitality. Contact us now to arrange your event with us.

Thank you again Peter Canisius House for providing such a wonderful venue for our student and teacher retreats. Over the past four years the amazing team makes every retreat run seamlessly which allows a fantastic experience for the students and teachers. We love the spaciousness of the site, fabulous meals and convenience of the location. That’s why we keep coming back! Chris Gould, Director of Faith and Justice St Aloysius College.

Peter Canisius House Retreat Centre Downey Room Arches
Peter Canisius House Retreat Centre Downey Room
Peter Canisius House Retreat Centre Downey Room Annex

Some groups opt to use our picturesque grounds for small group work or meditation

Thank you to all the staff at Peter Canisius House for making us feel so welcome on our recent retreat. Your attentiveness and flexibility to meet further requests when we were on site was very much appreciated. The beautiful grounds and deck overlooking the trees and labyrinths provided a lovely, relaxing setting. The spaciousness of the site and outdoor spaces provided ample relaxation areas for all members of our group. We would be very happy to return to Peter Canisius House again in the future. Nigel Parry. The Order of the Cross.

Peter Canisius House Retreat Centre Lawn

Spiritual Retreats

At Peter Canisius House you can attend one of our retreats or design your own retreat with us.


Deepen your relationship with God in silence, with guidance from a spiritual director and ample time for prayer and reflection.

In our world of busyness people may feel disconnected from themselves, others and their God. At Peter Canisius House, we seek a place where stillness, silence and solitude can be experienced.

We warmly welcome all who seek a time of reflection, spiritual conversations and prayer, and in particular those seeking a deeper friendship with Jesus and a personal inner spiritual journey for engagement in the world.

I have really appreciated your wonderful hospitality during the last 4½ weeks in this spiritually profound place. I will spread the “good news”. John. Silent Retreatant.

Silent Directed Retreats

Retreats include private accommodation, all meals, prayer material and daily spiritual accompaniment for an hour each day.

6 Day/7 Nights: 15 October to 22 October 2021

Dates for 2022:
4, 6 or 8 days starting: 14 Jan, 2022
4 or 6 day starting: 27 May, 2022
4, 6 or 8 day starting: 26 Aug 2022
4 or 6 day starting: 29 Oct, 2022
Peter Canisius House Retreat Centre Chapel Loft
Peter Canisius House Retreat Centre Chapel
Peter Canisius House Retreat Centre Outside Chapel

Ideal venue for day or overnight church, mindfulness, yoga or meditation retreat.

What a blessing to find Peter Canisius House, a retreat centre so central to transport and facilities. Its ample grounds with beautiful labyrinth walkway and gardens were restful for the body and mind. The ambience of the centre is ideal for quiet contemplative gatherings and the staff were sensitive and responsive to the unique needs of our group including providing 100% amazing vegan catering at chef standards. They responded promptly to any request or concern to ensure that our group’s retreat was trouble free and enjoyable. Without question this is one of the most customer friendly, service committed retreat centres I have ever visited. I highly recommend it to any group seeking excellence in service and a quite nurturing venue tailored to their unique needs. Patricia. Order of the Cross.

Peter Canisius House is a lovely multi functional grand building suiting our retreat experiences for people attending. Situated within Sydney, people immediately relax once entering the leafy grounds, and settling into the ensuite bedrooms. the place immediately enables them to leave behind the hecticness of Sydney life. Marialina Torresan. Denistone Neo Catechumenal Community.

Peter Canisius House Retreat Centre Downey Room Deck Area
Peter Canisius House Retreat Centre Downey Room Annex
Peter Canisius House Retreat Centre Downey Room

If you would like to arrange your own retreat, Peter Canisius House is an ideal venue.  Enquire here to book a room or rooms for a weekend, week or even longer.  Contact info@jisa.org.au or call  1300 EXAMEN (1300-392-636)


Ideal day or overnight venue for school retreats, staff development / spirituality days with accommodation meals and meeting spaces.

All staff have been first aid and fire warden trained and have compliance with child safety legislation.

Saint Ignatius’ College, Riverview, is a Catholic day and boarding school for students from Year 5 through Year 12. We have used Peter Canisius House for many years for student retreats and days of reflection and for staff formation days.  John Gilles
, Director of Religious Formation.

Peter Canisius House is an ideal location for a variety of groups – large and small – whether you are a not-for-profit community group or commercial business. We invite you to come and experience some time away to reflect and rejuvenate. Contact us now to arrange your retreat time with us.

What's on at Peter Canisius House

3 to 8 Day Individually Guided Retreat 2022

3 – 8 Day Individually Guided Retreat - Online   Are you seeking a contemplative space of prayer and reflection?  A space to find stillness, rest and renewal?  A time to stop and listen to […]

Find out more »

Wise Arts for the Soul

2022 WISE ARTS FOR THE SOUL: an interactive series Looking for refreshment and challenge? Seeking wisdom and nourishment for your journey? Then keep an eye out for offerings opening in early 2022 – both online […]

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How to Pray – an introduction to Christian meditation

How do I nourish my spirituality in my daily life?   This day gives you some different ways of meditating or praying in the Christian and Ignatian Spirituality traditions. You will experience some silence and […]

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Peter Canisius House, 102 Mona Vale Road
Pymble, NSW 2073
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Spirituality & Creative Arts – online monthly retreats

An online monthly retreat embracing contemplative arts held on the third Thursday of the month. 2022 dates - 17 February, 17 March, 21 April, 19 May, 16 June, 21 July, 18 August, 15 September, 20 […]

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Full Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola 2022

  Looking to deepen your relationship with God and discern God's will in your life? The full Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola are a practical way of discovering God’s unique love and desire for […]

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In person or online,

Inner Peace in Divine Love Retreat

ONLINE AND IN PERSON All are welcome. If you have a desire to deepen your relationship with God and find God's presence in your everyday life, this could be a retreat for you! Where you […]

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Frequently Asked Questions

Direction to Peter Canisius House

Peter Canisius House can be accessed via Mona Vale Road (if heading towards St Ives).  Telegraph Road is the nearest cross street.  Alternatively you can access via our rear driveway in Ganmain Road (off Telegraph Road).  The rear access is the fourth driveway on the right after turning into Ganmain Road.

Can I get to Peter Canisius House using public transport?

Yes, there are excellent transport links to our site. Gordon Train station is about a five minute bus trip away and there is a bus stop directly out the front of our driveway on Mona Vale Road.

Travelling via Train/Bus –If travelling from Central Station it is best to catch a train on the North Shore Line to Gordon as buses leave regularly from Gordon Station.When you alight from your train at Gordon turn left at the top of the station stairs and head straight across the road to the bus stop. Forest Coach Line bus 195 runs from Gordon Station to St Ives, 196 and 197 from Gordon Station to Mona Vale.  You can catch any of these. Ask for a ticket to the Telegraph Road bus stop.

If another member of your group is picking you up from the Train station the closest station is Pymble. There are not any bus routes from and getting a Taxi from Pymble Station to Canisius is near impossible.

Via Taxi – From the Airport, a taxi may cost in excess of $100.  There are taxis available from Gordon Station if you catch the train to Gordon.  The taxi from Gordon to PCH will take 5-10 minutes and should about $20.

Is parking available on site?

There is ample free parking on site (on the tennis court at the front of the property).  If on the rare occasion, our visitors’ carpark is full, we advise parking in Ganmain Road and walk up the drive way to reception.

Are there shops close by?

St Ives Shopping Village is a 10 minute walk along Mona Vale Road. Walk out of our front gate and turn left. Follow the footpath up to the village which has a number of major food retailersincluding Woolworths, IGA, chemists, newsagency, cafes.

Meal times are set out below. Request to any changes to these times must be made at the time of booking (which may incur an additional fee).

Morning tea and afternoon tea is included for retreatants and an optional extra for groups.

Morning tea:
Afternoon tea:
7.00 – 9.00am
Do you cater for specific dietary requirements?

Our chefs cater for vegetarians, vegans and medically diagnosed dietary requirements provided we are given at least 7 days notice of these needs.

Can I bring my own food?

No self-catering is permitted.  There are circumstances where permission is granted for guests with severe dietary restrictions to bring their own supplementary food. Please liaise with our administration team about dietary requirements.

Do I need to book for meals or can I just "turn up"?

Generally meals need to be arranged in advance however if your group has an additional person(s) turn up it is likely that we will be able to cater for them. Please advise the kitchen staff as soon as possible if you require additional guest meals.

What type of food is served in the dining room?

Below is a guide to the type of food that is often served at each meal.

Please note morning tea and afternoon is included for retreatants and an optional extra for groups.

Breakfast: A selection of Cereals including gluten free options, toast, fruit, yoghurt, tea & coffee. Hot breakfast option available for larger groups which will incur additional cost
Morning tea: Tea & coffee, fruit, freshly baked slice / biscuits / scones/ (vegetable dips upon request)
Lunch: Selection of hot meat, fish or chicken; vegetable and salad dishes
Afternoon tea: Tea & coffee, freshly baked slice / biscuits
Dinner: Selection of hot meat, fish or chicken; vegetable and salad dishes and dessert.
How many people can I bring to stay overnight?

We have 43 bedrooms and can sleep up to 100 guests comfortably. There are a number of ensuite, single, twin share or triple share bedrooms.

Please note this our capacity under normal conditions, however at times it this may change subject to COVID-19 restrictions.

How many people can I bring during the daytime?

Our large hall can seat up to 150 people and we have a number of different sized meeting rooms for groups to spread out and complete smaller group work. Our chefs can comfortably cater for 150 people.

Please note this our capacity under normal conditions, however at times it this may change subject to COVID-19 restrictions.

Do you take individual bookings or only groups?

Yes, whilst most of our bookings are groups we do take Individual bookings such as persons wanting to undertake a retreat.

Will there be other groups there at the same time?

Unless an additional fee is paid to obtain “exclusive use” of the site, there often will be more than one group staying at the same time.

Will my group share facilities such as the dining room and bathrooms with other groups?

Yes, this is usually the case for the dining room however staff will clearly label tables with group names. Separate Dining Rooms will be used to separate individuals/groups on silent retreats Bathrooms are always clearly marked as Male or Female and on most occasions we are able to allocate Accommodation Wings to individual group.

Do I have to pay a deposit to secure a booking?

A minimum deposit of 20% of your estimated final booking fee is required to secure your booking. Dates are only secured when completed booking forms are returned and the deposit paid.

Can I pay the balance of my invoice before I leave?

The balance of your invoice is always due 14 prior to arrival.  Any extra expenses incurred during the stay are paid on departure.

If the size of my group is unknown, can I change my booking?

At time of booking, it is important to realistically estimate your group size especially in regard to the numbers requiring accommodation. If you overestimate by more than 10% of final numbers, a fee of 50% of our revenue lost may be incurred. If you underestimate, there is a chance we will not have bedrooms available for your additional guests. If this occurs there is still the option of these additional guests attending as a day guest with meals provided for at a cost.

Can we bring children to PCH?

Children are welcome at Peter Canisius House, however it is your responsibility to ensure your children are quietly respectful of our other guests. Parents will need to provide adequate bedding (eg portable cot), childcare, supervision and entertainment/activities for children during their stay.

Are you open over Christmas and New Year?

Yes. However, the centre closes for a short time over Christmas, please book well in advance of the Christmas period so that adequate staffing can be provided.

I am coming as part of a group booking. Can I extend my stay?

Subject to availability, guests are welcome to arrive earlier or depart later than their group booking. Please advise at the time of booking. Our normal daily rate would apply to any extra days

Can I book accommodation with no meals?

No. A complimentary breakfast is supplied for all overnight guests. Our minimum booking rate is for bed and breakfast. There is no discount if breakfast is not required.

Can I smoke at PCH?

Our site is a non-smoking campus and we ask that if you do smoke kindly move at least 20 metres away from any buildings or other guests and do not leave cigarette butts on the ground.

Are there any ensuite bathrooms?

Peter Canisius House has 8 ensuite bathrooms

How may people can sleep in each room?

Most rooms are twin share, however it is possible to cater for up to four persons in some of the bedrooms on request

Are the shared rooms dormitory-style rooms?

We do not have dormitory-style rooms or bunk beds. Shared rooms have single or double beds.

Will I have to share a room with somebody it don't know?

Only if you come as part of a group and your group organiser has agreed to this. If guests are required to share rooms, room allocations are completed by your group organiser so you will be aware of sharing arrangements. Peter Canisius House never asks individual guests to share with somebody they do not know

Where do I go when I arrive?

Your group’s organiser will arrive prior to the group members to facilitate their arrival and check-in. If you are staying on an individual retreat, please report to reception at the front of the building for checking-in.

What do I do if I arrive outside office hours?

If you have planned to arrive outside of office hours you will have agreed on an arrival plan with our administration prior to check-in and should follow this plan.

Who do I contact if I am delayed and will arrive later than planned?

At the time of booking, an out-of-hours mobile number will be provided. Please call to confirm and/or change arrangements. If you are delayed it is essential that you inform us as we do not operate like a hotel and reception will only be attended during normal office hours or by prior arrangement.

What time can I check in / check out?

Check in is after 2pm. We ask that all guests vacate their rooms by 11am. It may be possible to alter these times, however a fee is charged if you wish to arrive early or depart late. Arrangements can be made to store luggage if required.

Can I see a spiritual direction during my stay?

Spiritual Direction is available at Peter Canisius House. Please advise at the time of booking if you would like Spiritual Direction and it will be arranged subject to the availability of the directors team.

Can I see a spiritual director on a regular basis?

Yes of course, we have many regular guests that make regular appointments to come and see the same Spiritual Director.

Are there any other prayer rooms or quiet rooms on the site?

Yes there is a small Blessed Sacrament Chapel for Prayer and there is a library located upstairs above the main chapel which is full of spiritual literature available for retreatants to read.

Do you have a chapel?

There is a large chapel at Peter Canisius House, which is available for use during your stay.

Can I do a silent retreat?

Yes. Peter Canisius House offers a quiet, tranquil atmosphere ideal for a silent retreat. There are a number of outdoor reflective spaces including two labyrinths for retreatants to use.

Who was Peter Canisius?

For a half-century Jesuit Father Peter Canisius led the Catholic Reformation in Austria, Bavaria, and Bohemia. For that reason he is reckoned an apostle to Germany, second only to St. Boniface. With stupendous energy he preached and taught in parishes, reformed and founded universities, wrote many books including popular catechisms, restored lapsed Catholics, converted Protestants, preached retreats, and found time to care for the sick. In his last thirty years traveling more than twenty thousand miles on foot or horseback, St. Peter Canisius spearheaded the renewal of the Catholic faith in southern Germany.

1300 EXAMEN (1300 392 636)


102 Mona Vale Road, Pymble, Sydney NSW


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