Top 8 historical experiences in Ontario parks

The landscapes of our provincial parks are like a vault of stories waiting to be opened.

This post showcases the top eight historical experiences across the province that shed light on the unique history of the land.

Discover the mosaic of Ontario’s rich cultural history while visiting our parks!

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Looking up at Mars

Did you know that we can see surface detail on Mars with even a small telescope?

Mars’ orbit is somewhat elliptical (egg-shaped) meaning that about every two years or so, Mars comes closer to the Earth becoming both brighter and larger in visual appearance if looking through a telescope.

Mars has a number of interesting features including polar caps, massive volcanoes and an incredibly large canyon. Continue reading Looking up at Mars

From prisoner of war camp to provincial park

Today’s post comes from Laura Myers, a Marketing Specialist with Ontario Parks.

Approximately 70 years ago, Neys Provincial Park’s campground looked very different than it does today.

During World War II, the area now known as Neys Provincial Park was referred to as Neys Camp 100.

Instead of campers, it mainly held high-ranking German prisoners of war (POW). The camp operated from 1941 to 1946.

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Paddle like it’s 1796 at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park!

Experience the life of a voyageur at the height of the fur trade by paddling a voyageur canoe on the beautiful Mattawa River.

Our knowledgeable guides will help you discover part of our Canadian heritage.

Continue reading Paddle like it’s 1796 at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park!

The beaver: architect of biodiversity

Ontario Parks is recognizing iconic Canadian species this year to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. Next up, we join Natural Heritage Education Specialist Dave Sproule for a chat about the ecological and cultural significance of the beaver, which became Canada’s official symbol in 1975.

We all know beavers are industrious. They builds dams, canals and sturdy homes called lodges, which are warm in winter. They repair all those dams and collect enough food to survive long northern winters.

We know beavers are well-suited to the Canadian environment. Beavers are amphibious – more at home in the water than on land — with webbed hind feet, nostrils that can close, a third see-through eyelid that protects the eye when they’re underwater, and a big flat tail that acts as rudder while swimming.

The biggest reason to celebrate the beaver during Canada150, however, is that the beaver built Canada, shaping both its historical and ecological landscape.

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Voices of the river: exploring the French River Visitor Centre

Today’s post comes from Dave Sproule, a Natural Heritage Education Specialist in our Northeast Zone. 

Can you hear the water speak?  The waters of the French River have many voices.

These voices travelled the river and lived along its shores. The French River has been a conduit for people, goods, and culture for thousands of years. The voices of the river are celebrated at the spectacular French River Visitor Centre.

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The astronomical origins of the calendar

Most of us live by our calendars to keep our schedules straight.

But did you know the calendar has astronomical origins?

While the constellations were, largely, created to help people remember significant star patterns, they have plenty of other uses. One of these is for the formation of the calendar.

Continue reading The astronomical origins of the calendar