A significant milestone has been reached. The new Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act is now in effect.
The Act marks the culmination of more than three years of work, replacing the Provincial Parks Act, which was over 50 years old. The new legislation was drafted after extensive consultations, using input from the public, stakeholder groups, Aboriginal communities and organizations, and the Ontario Parks Board of Directors.
Ontario’s 329 provincial parks, 292 conservation reserves and 10 wilderness areas support natural heritage protection, and provide significant recreational and tourism benefits. The new Act positions Ontario as a Canadian leader in protected areas legislation, and will guide how these areas are planned and managed — ensuring that future generations will benefit from a cleaner, healthier and more diverse natural environment.
Benefits of the new Act include:
- Enhanced accountability, requiring the Minister of Natural Resources to publicly report on the health of parks and protected areas at least every five years
- Increased protection, prohibiting major industrial uses such as mining and forestry, by law
- Streamlined legislation, regulating and managing provincial parks and conservation reserves under one act.
Implementation of the new act begins immediately. To read the new legislation and regulations, click here.