Visitors need to pre-book trips to almost 60 Ontario provincial parks this year
The spontaneity of road trips can be part of the adventure of getting away from the big city, but Ontario residents might want to think twice before leaving on a spur-of-the-moment trip to the many provincial parks in their backyard this year.
The Provincial Government announced on Friday that it has added 20 parks to its advance day-use reservation service, bringing the total number of reservation-limited parks in the province up to 57.
Five-day advanced reservations have been a requirement for vehicles attending select provincial parks since a pilot program was introduced in 2021, launching with an initial 17 parks. The program was later expanded to 37, followed by Friday's announcement of an additional 20.
The province touts the program as a means to cut down on crowds, putting less strain on park infrastructure and guaranteeing visitors are not turned away due to maxed-out capacity.
"By expanding the advance daily vehicle permit service, we are responding to feedback from visitors who want a fast and convenient way to visit our parks so they can focus on what really matters – enjoying their visit to the fullest," said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.
The five-day advanced reservation has been extended to the following parks in 2023.
John Yakabuski, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, says that the online service will "help meet growing customer demand [...] by allowing them to reserve their spot in advance to ensure they can access the park they want to visit."
The province advises that visitors should place reservations in advance of weekends and busy holidays, even for trips planned to parks not included in the 57 where advance reservations are required.
Visitors can purchase their advance daily vehicle permits through the provincial government portal, while walk-up permits will continue to be sold on-site.
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