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, 2019:

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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:

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Bronte Creek’s annual coyote howl

Did reading this title send chills down your spine? Did your heart beat just a little faster with the thought that you might hear a coyote?

Each New Year’s Eve since 2000, Bronte Creek Provincial Park has rung in — or, more accurately — howled in the new year.

You can be part of the park’s coyote howl tradition this December 31.

Continue reading Bronte Creek’s annual coyote howl

Winter adventure in Arrowhead Provincial Park

Skating through the forest under the stars has become a bucket-list item for Ontarians.

But the secret’s out. On busy weekends, Arrowhead Provincial Park often hits capacity and has to turn away eager visitors.

Get the latest capacity updates here:


We’ve assembled a list of frequently asked questions and top tips for planning your Arrowhead adventure:

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Forever protected: why Mark S. Burnham belongs

Our “Forever protected” series shares why each and every park belongs in Ontario Parks. In today’s post, Social Media Specialist Alexander Renaud tells us Mark S. Burnham’s story.

For almost two centuries — as the area around Mark S. Burnham Provincial Park turned from wilderness to farm fields, and eventually, to a bustling city — the trees within its boundaries have remained relatively untouched.

This lack of development is a rare phenomenon in southern Ontario. The ecosystem within has been able to thrive and provide habitat for a variety of species, becoming one of the best-preserved old-growth forests in the county.

Today, the old-growth forest is also a refuge for the local community, providing space to reconnect with nature and self.

For these reasons, Mark S. Burnham belongs. Continue reading Forever protected: why Mark S. Burnham belongs

Why Ontario Parks moved to 100% reservable car campsites

In October, Ontario Parks updated our reservation system and are offering new and exciting services to our visitors. One of the biggest changes is that all our car campsites are now fully reservable — no more first-come, first-served sites.

Most of our visitors are excited by this change, and so are we. We heard overwhelmingly that our customers prefer having a reservation in advance, so they know for sure that they have a campsite before they show up.

However, there have also been some questions from our visitors who enjoyed the first-come, first-served option, and what this change means for them.

Here are the most common questions we’ve encountered so far:

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