Under the ice: winter in Lake Simcoe

Today’s post comes from Laura McClintock, senior park naturalist at Sibbald Point Provincial Park.

The sun is shining, glittering off the ice. It’s winter on Lake Simcoe.

From the shore, it appears the lake is ‘asleep’ for the winter months, with no movement to be seen. However, that’s just what’s on the surface. The reality below is quite different.

Winter for the aquatic species of Lake Simcoe is one of necessity and mystery. Let’s dive in.

Continue reading Under the ice: winter in Lake Simcoe

Eyes on the skies — December

Welcome to the Ontario Parks “Eyes on the Skies” series. This will cover a wide range of astronomy topics with a focus on what can be seen from the pristine skies found in our provincial parks.

December brings some of the darkest skies of the year.

Take advantage of this great opportunity to go out into our parks. Breathe in the peace and solitude of December days and the bounty of the starlit skies.

Here are our astronomical highlights for December, 2021:

Continue reading Eyes on the skies — December

From the Big Bang to beyond: the astronomical origins of the universe – part 3

In our previous post, we discussed the formation of stars from condensing balls of gas within interstellar nebulae, to the formation of open clusters of hundreds of sibling stars using images taken from the observatories in Killarney Provincial Park.

In this post, we will discuss how planets and life arose from the debris of star formation. Continue reading From the Big Bang to beyond: the astronomical origins of the universe – part 3

Why donate to Ontario Parks?

Did you know only a small portion of Ontario Parks’ budget comes from provincial taxes? In fact, the vast majority of operational funding comes from day-use and camping fees, rentals, partnerships, and the support of our generous donors.

Our donors give for many reasons. Ontario’s provincial parks are places of treasured memories, family traditions, connections with nature, and cultural landmarks.

That’s why we reached out to some recent donors to find out their reasons for supporting Ontario Parks. Here’s what they told us:

Continue reading Why donate to Ontario Parks?

How 6 species at Ontario Parks survive the winter

Today’s post was written by Connor Oke, a marketing intern at Ontario Parks, using information provided by Mark Read, a senior Discovery ranger at Murphys Point Provincial Park.

If Canada is known for one thing, it’s for our long, cold winters.

Wild animals rely on evolution and natural adaptations to survive until spring. The strategies they’ve developed are varied and, simply, incredible.

Here are six species, sporting six different ways Ontario Parks’ wildlife makes it through the winter:

Continue reading How 6 species at Ontario Parks survive the winter

Birds and biodiversity

Welcome to the final installment of  our series “IBAs in provincial parks,” brought to you by Ontario IBA Coordinator Amanda Bichel of Bird Studies Canada.

It’s great sharing bird facts, and stories about IBAs and provincial parks, but it’s time to step back and take a look at the bigger picture: biodiversity.

Continue reading Birds and biodiversity

5 ways to stay active in the cold

Brrr! Temperatures are dropping, and winter’s icy grip is almost upon us.

We bet you’re feeling just about ready to tuck into a nice, long winter’s hibernation. Not so fast! Outdoor activity is important for our mental and physical health all year long. Getting outside is good for you even when the weather is not ideal.

Ontario Parks has 31 parks open in the winter. Each park offers plenty of ways for you to get active in the chilly months.

Here are some great ways to stay healthy, and enjoy winter!

Continue reading 5 ways to stay active in the cold