crowd shot of time capsule event

A celebration of our past, present, and future: the Algonquin Time Capsule Event

On Wednesday, August 22, 2018, we celebrated our 125th anniversary with a time capsule event at Algonquin Provincial Park.

The celebration

Visitors had a chance to see the contents of the time capsule, and examine the artifacts we included. Attendees were also encouraged to sign the guestbook that we placed inside.

Each booth celebrated traditions within Ontario Parks, including camping, fishing, and paddling.

The OP125 cookies were a huge hit!

Ontario Parks cookies

It was fun to see people walking around with blue mouths after enjoying our OP125 cookies from Enticing Cakes in Peterborough!

Guests were also lucky enough to enjoy the music of David Archibald!

He played all afternoon, and played a full show in the evening at the park.

Location, location, location!

Algonquin Park Visitor Centre

When deciding on locations for the time capsule, Algonquin naturally fit the bill, being the first provincial park in Ontario. The Visitor Centre holds significance as it was opened for Ontario Parks’ centennial celebrations 25 years ago.

naturalist touch table

Family in fake canoe in front of backdrop
Visitors enjoy our Algonquin photobooth

Algonquin also holds significance in the hearts of the returning visitors. Our oldest park is a gathering place, and holds so many memories of friends and families gathered around a campfire, or enjoying a day on the water.

Our visitors are also able to carry on and reflect on the memory of the time capsule. During the event, visitors shared personal stories and anecdotes about what the time capsule means to them – whether it was their first visit to Algonquin, or if they had been coming since childhood, many visitors promised that they will be back to visit and discussed coming back for the time capsule’s opening!

The main attraction: the time capsule!

Our main attraction to the event, the stainless steel time capsule, was a huge hit.

Visitors were very interested in checking out items that they voted for on Facebook, such as the portable stove donated by MEC, the OP125 mug, and the turtle transmitter.

visitors at time capsule event

Other items included important planning documents, a newspaper and vehicle permit from the day of the event, items donated from the Algonquins of Ontario, a Canada Jay feather, and a variety of historic and modern photos taken of different Ontario Parks – in physical and digital forms – in hopes that we’ll be able to read the digital files 25 years from now!

OP125 mug

The time capsule has been registered in the International Time Capsule Society through this database.

Thanks to all involved

park rangers at time capsule tableWe would like to thank all of those who attended the event, and our supportive partners, including Foodland, Motorhome Travel Canada, and Mountain Equipment Co-op for their support and contributions for this event.

We would also like to recognize our speakers:

  • Bruce Bateman, Director of Ontario Parks
  • Chief Kirby Whiteduck, Algonquins of Ontario
  • Deputy Minister Serge Imbrogno, Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks
  • John Swick, Algonquin Provincial Park Superintendent
time capsule speakers
John, Bruce, Kirby, Serge

Everyone involved contributed to making this a successful and celebratory event.

Sealed for the next 25 years!

The time capsule was placed in floor of the Algonquin Visitor Centre for people to see and visit for the next 25 years. There is a plaque indicating that the time capsule was dedicated in August, 2018. It is set to be opened in August, 2043.

time capsule

Next time you’re at Algonquin, make sure to visit the time capsule and imagine what Ontario Parks in the year 2043 will look like!

Couldn’t make it to the event?

Check out our Facebook Live video for an up-close and personal look at the full celebration.