As any successful person in the retail business, Lori Horton knows what pleases her customers. “We scoop well over 12,000 ice cream cones,” she explains. As the Park Store Leader for Presqu’ile Provincial Park, Lori’s responsibilities go beyond the sweet treat in the summer. Lori makes sure that during every season, campers have a well maintained store to visit.
Lori’s career with Ontario Parks began in 1989. After moving to the area, her job search led her to Presqu’ile. Although she did not intend to have a career in the parks system, once she began working for Ontario Parks she knew that she wanted to stay. She has worked in both the reservations and maintenance area at Presqu’ile, and in 1996 she became the Park Store Leader.
A typical day for Lori begins around 7a.m., where her first responsibility is receiving any early morning deliveries. She creates a daily list of duties for her staff, which helps in keeping everyone in the store organized. Throughout the day, Lori orders supplies, prepares schedules for her summer students, and completes cash summaries. Similar to other stores, the Park Store at Presqu’ile serves food and Lori ensures the freshness of all products by rotating all perishables and keeping the store clean. Lori also manages the inventory, as she is responsible for recording everything that comes into the store and everything that leaves. This is no easy task, as there are over 7,000 items in the computer. That is a lot of merchandise for one Park Store!
Although it is a seasonal job and it can be challenging to complete all her tasks in a tight timeframe, Lori says that, “No matter how busy you are, there is always something to keep the job light-hearted.” Lori enjoys seeing the customers who pass through her store each year, and counts this as the best part of her job. “It’s a family orientated park,” she says. Lori is fortunate to see generations of families who visit the park each year. Presqu’ile also attracts people from Europe, the United States, and all across Canada. Lori also enjoys this part of her job, saying, “It amazes me to talk to people from different parts of the world.” Lori also has another reason to appreciate her job at Presqu’ile. Here, she met her husband, who works in the maintenance program. “Between the two of us, we know the park inside and out,” Lori says.
When Lori has time off from the Park Store, she still spends time at Presqu’ile, either going for a walk, a bike ride or swimming along the lakeshore. She also enjoys visiting other Ontario Parks, namely Algonquin, Silent Lake, and Bon Echo. “Ontario has a lot of beautiful parks,” she says. It is clear that Lori is very happy with the work she does and the atmosphere she works in. “It’s a good environment, working at a park,” she says. “Just coming to work, you could see birds, or swans, or turtles. You become attached to everything.”