We’re looking for park wardens!

Applications for our 2023 season are open! Read on to learn how you can spend your summer working with Ontario Parks.

Ontario Parks currently manages 340 parks. In doing so, we protect over 8.2 million ha of land, lakes and rivers, while providing habitat for over 140 different species at risk. At the same time, we provide recreational opportunities by operating more than 20,000 car campsites, 170 roofed accommodations, and 8,000 backcountry campsites.

How do we do this?

The success of our organization is a direct result of our amazing staff’s hard work. Park wardens are an integral part of our operations, and play a significant role in helping us achieve our goals.

A pair of wardens walking on beach.

What do park wardens do?

Ontario’s provincial park system is diverse, and so are our park warden positions.

In any given park, the role of our wardens is the same: to protect park property and resources (the natural and cultural features of a park), and to ensure every park visitor can have a peaceful and enjoyable visit.

Masked warden helping camper in car.

Depending on what park they work at, the experience and day-to-day routine of a park warden will vary.

Common duties may include:

  • Protecting park resources by enforcing legislation, and providing information to park visitors
  • Providing high-quality customer service by answering questions, delivering information, and resolving visitor comments/complaints
  • Ensuring the protection of public safety by providing leadership and support with accidents or emergencies
  • Supporting park operations by helping staff with facility cleaning, campground maintenance, and water system operation
  • Supporting backcountry hiking and paddling opportunities by maintaining trails, portages, and campsites

What are we looking for in candidates?

warden writing in notebook

You must meet specific mandatory requirements to be considered as an Ontario Parks park warden.

Mandatory qualifications include:

  • minimum 19 years of age
  • valid class “G” Ontario driver’s licence or equivalent
  • ability to obtain a criminal background check
  • successful completion of multi-week Provincial Park Warden Course (provided)

Above and beyond the basic requirements, park wardens have a challenging job and require specific skill sets in order to be successful.

Three wardens standing outside.

Additional skills that will make your resume stand out:

  • written and oral communication skills: the ability to effectively resolve customer conflicts/complaints, convey important information, document observations and activities, and write clear and concise reports
  • problem-solving and decision-making skills: the ability to make difficult decisions related to public safety, emergency response, and officer safety
  • leadership and initiative capabilities: the ability to work independently without direct supervision, and the initiative to remain productive and support other park programs when needed
  • experience or education working in/with law enforcement
  • experience or education managing natural or cultural resources
  • knowledge and understanding of Ontario Parks and the objectives of our organization

Previous park experience is always an asset!

What hours / seasons do park wardens work?

Contract lengths vary across the province, but most of our park warden positions occur during our peak operating season (June-September).

warden looking at post

Park wardens work most nights and weekends throughout our peak operating season, and must be able to work independently.

Do park warden contracts lead to careers in Ontario Parks?

Many of our superintendents and assistant superintendents started their careers as park wardens and spent some years on seasonal contracts (often changing parks) before gaining their current positions.

Warden talking to a visitor in front of a sign.

Higher-level leadership opportunities in Ontario Parks often require knowledge of enforcement programs, so experience as a park warden is a great step along the way!

Park wardens gain experience in resource management protection, public safety, enforcement, Ontario Parks policies, provincial acts and legislation, conflict resolution, customer service, and park operations.

Do you have more questions about what it’s like to be a park warden?

Three years ago (January 2020), we sat down for a live Q&A with some experienced park wardens. Catch the replay:

Resumes are being accepted for 2023 park warden positions

Please review the “Park Wardens” section of our careers page, and submit your resume using the recruitment contact form.

We are committed to building a workforce that reflects the communities we serve and to promote a diverse, anti-racist, inclusive, accessible, merit-based, respectful and equitable workplace. We invite all interested individuals to apply and encourage applications from people with disabilities, Indigenous, Black, and racialized individuals, as well as people from a diversity of ethnic and cultural origins, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.

Visit the OPS Anti-Racism Policy website and the OPS Diversity and Inclusion Blueprint pages to learn more about the OPS commitment to advance racial equity, accessibility, diversity, and inclusion in the public service.