provincial parks in ontario

Ontario just made it a lot cheaper to visit provincial parks

Ontario's beautiful provincial parks have been incredibly popular this year as the pandemic has forced many of us to slow down and enjoy all that nature has to offer, and now the provincial government is trying to make it even easier for residents to keep doing just that. 

In a news release published Friday, the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks announced that it's reducing the price of the popular seasonal day-use vehicle permits by up to 36 per cent and increasing the number of day-use vehicle permits that can be borrowed from public libraries for free.

"Getting outdoors and spending time in nature can have a profound positive impact on our health and well-being, and this has become even more evident during COVID-19," said Minister of the Environment Conservation and Parks Jeff Yurek in a statement.

"Cost should not be a barrier to enjoying these important benefits, which is why we are helping to make Ontario Parks more affordable and accessible to all."

The price reduction means the 2021 annual permit from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 is reduced from $155 to $99, the 2021 summer permit from April 1 to Nov. 30 is reduced from $111 to $75, the 2020-21 winter permit from Dec. 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 is $75, and the 2020-21 winter permit from Dec. 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 will also be reduced to $60 starting next year.

The Ontario Parks Seasonal Day-Use Vehicle Permits can be used at any of the more than 100 parks where fees are collected, and they're available for purchase online.

The Ontario Parks Library Day-Use Vehicle Permit Lending Program, on the other hand, is already available for free at some libraries but will now be expanded to more locations across the province.

Library users at participating branches can borrow a day-use vehicle permit, which includes free entry and discount coupons for a future regular day-use vehicle permit to Ontario Parks.

The government says the expanded list of participating libraries for the vehicle permit lending program will be available online by early January 2021.

"Ontario's public libraries are important community hubs that provide access to a wide range of information, programs and services," said Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Lisa MacLeod. 

"The expansion of the Ontario Parks Library Day-Use Vehicle Permit Lending Program is just one example of how our government is working together during the COVID-19 outbreak to help people safely engage in all the province has to offer. I encourage Ontarians to continue to support their communities by safely visiting local libraries, parks and attractions."

Lead photo by

Alex Meoko

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