Is there only one type of seasonal permit?
Do seasonal permits guarantee entrance?
Is there a way to test out a seasonal permit before buying?
Read on for seven key facts about Ontario Parks’ seasonal permits:
1. They save you money
That’s their whole purpose: to make visiting parks more affordable for day-trippers.
For instance, if day use at your local park costs $21, an annual permit pays for itself after only five visits!
Knowing how important local green spaces are and how many of our visitors like to come to parks regularly, we wanted to make an affordable option available.
2. Seasonal permits don’t guarantee access to a park
We’ll say it again: seasonal permits don’t guarantee access to a park.
If a provincial park reaches capacity, no additional vehicles can enter, including seasonal permit holders.
(Visiting one of our busiest parks? Check Tip #5 to find out if you can use your permit to book guaranteed spot in advance!)
3. There are 4 different seasonal permits available
Visit parks in all seasons? Annual day-use permits ($99) allow you to explore parks for an entire year (January 1 – December 31).
Prefer to explore parks during the warmer months? Summer day-use permits ($75) are valid from April 1 – November 30.
Love to be outdoors when the snow flies? Explore parks in the winter with our winter day use permit ($60), valid from December 1 – March 31.
Are you a business located near a provincial park? Pick up a commercial day use permit ($225) to loan out and share with your visitors!
Permits are available for purchase at operating parks or online through our Park Store.
4. Buying a permit helps support the parks you love
Many visitors don’t realize that only a small part of Ontario Parks’ budget comes from provincial taxes.
The money spent on seasonal permits helps fund maintenance, management, and protection of parks.
Your support ensures parks will be available to enjoy for years to come.
5. **NEW** Use your seasonal permit to reserve your spot in advance
In 2021, we’re piloting advance sales of daily vehicle permits at 17 of our busiest provincial parks.
Reservations can be made online or by phone up to five days in advance of your visit.
If you’ve got a seasonal permit, here are the two things to know:
- You still need to book in advance even if you’ve got a seasonal permit (remember Tip #2: a seasonal permit on its own doesn’t guarantee your spot!)
- Your seasonal permit makes your advanced booking free
When making your reservation, you can input your permit’s serial number, which will adjust your fee due to $0.
This video shows exactly how to do it:
Please remember to bring your reservation (printed or on your device) and your seasonal permit to the park.
6. “Check out” our permit lending program!
Not certain about buying a seasonal permit just yet?
Seasonal permits are now available to borrow at participating libraries around the province.
This means you can hit the library, then head to your favourite provincial park for the day!
6. They’re as good as gold
Okay, maybe not literal gold, but please treat your permit like you’d treat a gift card or cash.
We aren’t able to replace lost permits.
7. **2021 ONLY** Get more bang for your buck!
We’re extending the expiry date of the following permits:
- 2021 annual and commercial daily vehicle permits: extended from December 31, 2021 to December 31, 2022
- 2021 summer daily vehicle permits: now valid April 1 to November 30, 2021 AND April 1 to November 30, 2022
No action is required on your part for this extension (note: physical permits will still show a 2021 expiry date, but have been automatically extended).
Please hold on to your permit for next year. Do not throw it out (remember: they’re like gold)!