COVID-19 : Get the latest updates on Ontario Parks and COVID-19.

COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Question #1 :

    Why is the closure of campsites and roofed accommodations being extended?

  • Answer:
    In order to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and support continued provincial and regional orders or restrictions, Ontario Parks will be extending the temporary closure of campground and backcountry campsites and roofed accommodations including cabins, yurts and cottages.

    The extended closure of overnight stays in Ontario Parks supports the governments’ strong recommendation to all Ontarians that we continue to limit our travel between regions to avoid spikes in community spread.

    We understand this continued temporary closure may impact many Ontarians’ winter plans; however, the health and well-being of Ontarians is our number one priority.


  • Question #2 :

    How long will this closure be in effect? Will this closure be extended again?

  • Answer:
    The temporary closure of campground and backcountry campsites and roofed accommodations like cabin, yurts and cottages is being extended up to and including March 8, 2021.

    We are closely monitoring developments on COVID-19 and following provincial and regional orders or restrictions. The ministry intends to re-open for overnight stays as the regional orders or restrictions allow, and when it is safe to do so.

    Please continue to visit OntarioParks.com and Ontario Parks social media channels for the most up-to-date information.

  • Question #3 :

    Can I travel outside of my area to visit a provincial park or conservation reserve?

  • Answer:
    We are asking that, regardless of the area you are from, you only visit and enjoy a provincial park or conservation reserve close to home. It is vital that Ontarians stay home and stay safe.

    The stay-at-home order restrictions still apply in most regions. If your community is still under a stay-at-home order, you should stay at home. You are only allowed to leave home for the reasons set out in the order, and you should only go out for necessities, such as:

    o getting food, beverages or medication
    o going to medical appointments
    o supporting vulnerable community members
    o obtaining government services
    o childcare
    o attending school or a post-secondary institution
    o getting exercise or walking pets
    o going to a bank
    o attending a store for curbside pickup
    o going to work, if you can’t do it remotely

    We recognize these measures will impact people’s everyday lives, but the rising number of COVID-19 cases requires that we do everything possible to slow the spread of the virus and protect the health and well-being of all Ontarians.

  • Question #4 :

    What is open or closed in Ontario Parks?

  • Answer:
    To provide Ontarians with a safe way to spend time outdoors, exercise and get some fresh air, Ontario Parks will remain open and continue to provide facilities and services for local and safe outdoor winter recreation for day use activities like walking, hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and skating at over 30 provincial parks. COVID-19 measures, modifications and restrictions will apply. Please visit the individual park pages at www.OntarioParks.com for a listing of day-use facilities and services available at your local provincial park.

    Overnight stays on campground and backcountry campsites and roofed accommodations including cabins, yurts and cottages wll remain temporarily closed.

    Equipment rentals, Park Stores and Visitor Centres continue to be closed to the public. It’s important that you come to the park prepared with all the equipment and supplies you will need for your visit including hand sanitizer, extra water, soap, and other supplies.

    We are encouraging everyone to do their part to minimize the risk to ourselves and to others by ensuring we continue to follow all public health advice and engage in outdoor activities close to where you live.


  • Question #5 :

    If I have already paid for my reservation up to the current closure date, will I get a full refund?

  • Answer:
    If you have already cancelled your reservation and your arrival date fell within the extended closure period, Ontario Parks will be automatically adjusting your cancellation transaction and providing a full refund for any cancellation or penalty fees that were incurred. There is no need for you to contact Ontario Parks to receive your refund.

  • Question #6 :

    How should I prepare for a visit to Ontario Parks?

  • Answer:
    We’re counting on people to be responsible when enjoying our parks, and continue to follow public health advice, including practicing physical distancing by keeping at least two metres from others, wearing a face covering where required, when physical distancing may be a challenge or not possible and when entering any indoor public space and washing hands regularly with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

    Please ensure you come to the park prepared with all the supplies and personal protective items you may need for your visit including a mask/face coverings, extra water and, hand sanitizer. Postpone your visit if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been asked to isolate.

    For up to date information on what you can do to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, please visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/.

    Safety of our visitors and staff is always our top priority. We have implemented measures to address overcrowding and promote physical distancing in our park spaces and buildings during busy visitation times.

    This may include limiting the number of daily vehicle permits sold or the number people permitted to use a facility or building at one time. This will include skating rinks/trails, cross-country ski trails and warm up shelters.

    This may include limiting the number of daily vehicle permits sold or the number of campsites available for reservations. You may notice that day use parking areas will not be as full, or some campsites will remain empty during your stay.

    Ministry officers will be present in provincial parks to provide information, assist with emergencies and enforce provincial park rules and regulations. Additionally, these areas may be patrolled by local police or other enforcement agencies.

  • Question #7 :

    How do I know what facilities or activities are available at the operating provincial park I wish to visit?

  • Answer:
    To find out what is available at the park you wish to visit please click on the “Parks” drop down menu to view the Facilities and Activities icons.

  • Question #8 :

    Why isn’t the day use fee reduced if not all facilities and services are open?

  • Answer:
    Ontario Parks’ normal fees will apply for all camping and day-use activities and services provided where normally charged. All fees collected go directly back to supporting the operation and maintenance of the entire park system.

    If you plan to visit often – consider purchasing an Annual or Winter Seasonal Day Use Vehicle Permit, visit the Park Store to purchase a permit online.

  • Question #9 :

    Do I need a reservation to go camping in Ontario Parks?

  • Answer:
    Ontario Parks is strongly recommending that visitors make advanced reservations to limit contact during transactions and campsites may be limited and not guaranteed upon arrival without a reservation.

    Reservations can be made two ways:
    1. Online at reservations.ontarioparks.com, or
    2. By phone at 1-888-668-PARK (7275) - open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 363 days a year

    Reservations for arrivals up to and including the current closure date will be automatically cancelled and you will receive a full refund with no penalty. There is no need for you to contact Ontario Parks to receive your refund.

    Please allow up to ten business days for your refund to appear on your credit card statement.

  • Question #10 :

    What’s the difference between a non-operating park and an operating park?

  • Answer:
    Non-operating provincial parks offer limited recreational experiences, fewer facilities and generally no dedicated staff or fee collection. Operating parks offer a variety of services and facilities, such as campground camping, roofed accommodations, washrooms, and Discovery programs, and charge fees.

    Please visit the Park Locator page at Park Locator to find a provincial park near you.

  • Question #11 :

    How do you plan to handle physical distancing in the bathrooms and other buildings?

  • Answer:
    We’re counting on people to be responsible when enjoying our parks, and continue to follow all of the public health advice, including physical distancing by keeping at least two metres from others, wearing a face covering where required and when physical distancing may be a challenge or not possible and when entering any indoor public space, and wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

    Occupancy restrictions may be posted on comfort stations to limit the number of people permitted to enter the building at one time.

  • Question #12 :

    What precautions will be put in place to keep your public washrooms clean?

  • Answer:
    Priority for cleaning and disinfection is placed on high-touch surfaces in public areas including washrooms and other shared facilities. These areas will be cleaned and disinfected twice per day at a minimum or more in higher use areas.

  • Question #13 :

    Will Ontario Parks further extend the expiry date of 2020 seasonal day use vehicle permits?

  • Answer:
    Yes. For visitors who purchased and received either a 2020 Summer or 2020/21 Annual Day Use Vehicle Permit, Ontario Parks will extend the expiry date of the permit. 2020/21 Annual Day Use Vehicle Permit will be effective until December 31, 2021 and 2020 Summer Day Use Vehicle Permit will be effective until March 31, 2021.

  • Question #14 :

    How do I follow safe handwashing practices if washrooms are unavailable at non-operating provincial parks and conservation reserves? Should I wear gloves or a mask/face covering when at a park?

  • Answer:
    Visitors to non-operating provincial parks and conservation reserves are encouraged to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

    The following measures are the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19:
    • wash your hands regularly, when available, or use hand sanitizer
    • practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette (e.g., sneeze and cough into your sleeve, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth).
    • maintain physical distancing – keeping two meters from individuals outside your household.
    • wear a mask/face covering where required, when physical distancing may be a challenge or not possible, and any time you enter an indoor public space.
    • Postpone your visit if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been asked to isolate.

    It’s important that you come to the park prepared with a mask/face covering, hand sanitizer, extra water, soap, and other supplies. Please visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/ for up to date information.


  • Question #15 :

    With March break being delayed to April, I need to change/cancel my reservation. Will I be charged fees for changing/cancelling my reservation

  • Answer:
    Ontario Parks will be providing penalty free changes or refunds to any reservations that are impacted by the delayed March break. To make a change or cancellation please contact our Reservation Service at 1-888-668-7275. Operating hours are 7:00am to 9:00pm, seven days a week.