Girl doing cartwheels

New in 2021: get your daily vehicle permit in advance for select provincial parks!

This year, Ontario Parks will be offering a new service for day use visitors: at some of our busier day use parks, you will be able to get your daily vehicle permit in advance of your visit.

We know you don’t want to spend your time sitting in a line-up at park gates, only to be turned away because your favourite park is already full.

This new service will provide you with guaranteed access for your day trip.

Here’s what you need to know

We’re piloting advance sales of daily vehicle permits at 17 provincial parks. 

Our parks are becoming more popular, but we only have room for a limited number of visitors each day.

Starting on June 7, 2021, you can obtain your daily vehicle permit up to 5 days in advance to guarantee your access to the following parks:

For all other provincial parks, permits will be obtained or purchased upon arrival as usual.

Wait, aren’t parks free to visit this summer?

Yes – daily vehicle permits are free to visit a provincial park Monday through Thursday, from May 1 to September 2, 2021.

However, since busy parks are still likely to fill up, it’s best that you obtain a permit in advance before you visit to guarantee your entry at participating parks to avoid disappointment, even on free days.

All visitors still need to display a valid permit on the dash of their vehicle so that staff can distinguish between a day use visitor and a registered overnight camper and, for the safety of visitors and staff, so that we can monitor park visitation levels to prevent overcrowding.

How to obtain a daily vehicle permit for one of the participating parks

There are two ways to obtain a daily vehicle permit in advance for the 17 participating parks up to five days in advance of your trip, beginning at 7:00 a.m.

  1. Online at reservations.ontarioparks.com
  2. By phone by calling 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275) – Open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Obtaining a daily vehicle permit in advance will guarantee you a spot at the park on that date.

person making reservation on tablet

After securing your permit, you’ll receive a confirmation letter. Your email confirmation letter will tell you how to check in at your chosen park.

Check-in options may include:

  1. Showing your confirmation at the gate (either on your device or a printed copy)
  2. Printing your permit and leave it on your dashboard
  3. Being able to produce your confirmation if asked

Already have a seasonal daily vehicle permit?

That’s great! You’ll be able to use your seasonal permit with our new service to guarantee your park access, at no additional cost.

Gate House in Kakabeka Falls PP.

Using your seasonal vehicle permit’s serial number, you can secure your spot up to five days in advance. Remember: you will need to bring your confirmation AND your seasonal permit when you visit.

Just like daily vehicle permits, accessing a park with a seasonal permit is subject to park capacity limits.

Plan your visit with confidence by obtaining a daily vehicle permit in advance.

Can’t I just get my permit at the park entrance or show my seasonal permit when I arrive at the park?

Park staff at gate.

At the parks not participating in the new daily vehicle permit pilot? Where availability exists, absolutely.

At the parks participating in the new daily vehicle permit pilot? Maybe not. We anticipate that these parks will fill up in advance.

Knowing how much Ontarians love our parks, we strongly recommend securing your daily vehicle permit in advance for all our participating parks.

Otherwise, you may be turned away, even if you arrive first thing in the morning.

Learn more about planning your day trip here: www.OntarioParks.com/dayuse.

How are you going to manage overcrowding and promote physical distancing on busy days?

The safety of our visitors and staff is always our top priority. We will be implementing measures to address overcrowding and promote physical distancing in our park spaces and buildings during busy visitation times by limiting occupancy for day use and camping in select provincial parks and at select times.

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 and campsite may remain empty.

We’re asking everyone to do their part to minimize the risk to yourself and others by following all provincial restrictions and public health advice.

We look forward to welcoming you to Ontario Parks this summer!