We’ve been offering interpretive programs to visitors for nearly a three quarters of a century. In 2015 alone, more than 393,000 visitors from across the province tuned into our programming.
Our calendar is brimming with hundreds of different programs this summer — spanning stargazing to nature hikes to historical reenactments.
Which one will you choose?
Did you know education is part of our official mandate?
According to Ontario law, our parks must:
provide opportunities for residents of Ontario and visitors to increase their knowledge and appreciation of Ontario’s natural and cultural heritage.
Over the years, our interpretive programs went by different names, including “Visitor Services” and “Natural Heritage and Education.” But they’ve always had the same goal: to educate our guests and inspire a love of our province’s natural spaces.
Because education is so important to us, almost all interpretive programming is included in our camping or day-use fees.
Our programs offer something for everyone
Ontario Parks’ interpretive programs are a major draw for tourists and a summer staple for camper families. Take a look at the wide range of programs already listed for the season!
Many parks maintain visitor centres
Every visitor centre has a different theme and flavour. Some focus on our cultural history, while others spotlight the natural world. Exhibits tend to be hands-on, inviting guests to participate in the learning process.
Some visitors centres even allow visitors the opportunity to get up-close and personal with wildlife like turtles and snakes.
Some of our programs become so popular they become an integral part of a park’s identity:
Since the Algonquin Provincial Park Wolf Howls started in 1963, more than 150,000 visitors have spent summer evenings listening to the wolves’ haunting harmonies.
Experience the life at the height of Canada’s fur trade by paddling a voyageur canoe on the beautiful Mattawa River.
Hard hats supplied! Join park interpreters for a 1.5 hour guided hike down the trail and into an early-1900s mica mine.
Guests travel back through time, beginning with a tour of the historic Maple Lane. Park interpreters, dressed in 1890 garb, re-enact life as it might have been 100 years ago.
Who ARE the Ontario Parks interpreters?
Every year, hundreds of park naturalists share their knowledge with visitors. Some work at parks which offer year-round programming, while others come on-board just for the camping season.
Many grew up attending our programs, and were hooked on Ontario’s natural and cultural histories.
Each interpreter has his or her own passion. Some love reptiles. Others birds. Some have a passion for cultural history.
Whether they learned their craft through formal education or years of hands-on research, all are great communicators who love sharing their knowledge with others.
Want to find a program near you?
From concerts to nature hikes, visit our Events Page to discover the perfect program for your next trip!