20 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ontario Parks

1. If you added up all the land and water designated as provincial parks in Ontario, you would have almost 7.9 million hectares – larger than the province of Nova Scotia!

2. Ontario Parks offers 19,188 developed campsites, 6,000 backcountry campsites, and 329 parks, 110 of which are operating parks (they accept reservations).

3. Your camping permit allows you free day-use entry to any of the other parks in the provincial park system. It’s a great way to experience 2 parks (or more) for the price of one!

4. Algonquin Provincial Park’s famous public wolf howls are the single largest interpretive event in North America. More people have heard wolves howl in Algonquin Park than anywhere else in the world.

5. Ten species of carnivorous (meat-eating) plants may be found within MacGregor Point Provincial Park.

6. Kakabeka Falls is considered the 2nd highest vertical waterfall in Ontario.

7. Sandbanks Provincial Park has an All-Terrain Wheelchair available for park visitors to use. Ouimet Canyon has two!

8. Tom Thomson, one of Canada’s most influential artists, paddled the Mississagi River in 1911 and said it was the “best trip he’d ever taken” even though he almost drowned twice.

9. At Pinery Provincial Park, you can rent all kinds of bicycles including mountain bikes, coaster bikes, children’s bikes, tandem bikes, bicycle trainers – even hydro bikes!

10. Every year, Ontario Parks’ corporate partners give education bursaries to students working at our provincial parks.

11. Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park is home to Ontario’s highest point, Ishpatina Ridge.

12. Bronte Creek Provincial Park is as large as Central Park in New York City.

13. Approximately 7% of Ontario is covered by provincial parks.

14. Ouimet Canyon, known as Ontario’s Grand Canyon, has walls plunging straight down for 494 feet.

15. At Pancake Bay Provincial Park, you can hike to a lookout where you can see across the water, to where the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a fierce Superior storm. Gordon Lightfoot wrote a song about it.

16. Wheatley Provincial Park has the same latitude as Northern California.

17. For the past 7 years, corporate sponsors have helped fund a variety of projects in Ontario Parks, including: research on ancient trees at Lion’s Head Provincial Nature Reserve; Massasauga rattlesnakes at Killbear; and water quality at Killarney Provincial Park.

18. All camping and day use fees, as well as revenue from park merchandise, goes right back into Ontario Parks!

19. You can become an Ontario Parks Insider and receive special discounts, offers and updates on all of our parks. Click here to learn more.

20. People from Ontario, the rest of Canada, and countries around the world made more than ten million visits to Ontario Parks last year.  This year, count yourself in!


Top picture – Woodland Caribou Provincial Park; Bottom picture – The Edmund Fitzgerald Lookout, Pancake Bay