We are privileged to work with partner organizations that help us keep our parks protected and accessible for the millions of Ontarians who use them every year.
Now, we would like to look back on 2019, and thank our partners for their contributions and ongoing support.
It’s also a great chance to let you know about the important work that they’re doing in public and behind the scenes.
Connecting people to parks
Learn to Camp
Ontario Parks’ Learn to Camp program launched in 2011. Ever since, we’ve been teaching first-timers the basics of camping.
This year, we welcomed 3,224 people for an overnight experience that included building a campfire, sleeping in a tent, and, of course, making s’mores.
We’ve been able to offer this program thanks to our friends at Coleman, Bush’s Beans, Qwick Wick Fire Starters, Leclerc, Learn to Fish, and Parkbus.
Facebook Live info sessions
With the help of SAIL, we delivered three informational livestreams to help you plan the best possible experience at Ontario Parks.
These livestreams featured lively Q&As with Ontario Parks experts, and demonstrations of all SAIL’s coolest camping gear. Over 11,000 of you tuned in to listen!
You can check out previous livestreams on our Facebook page.
Everyone knows camping just isn’t camping without s’mores.
That’s why the folks at Leclerc decided to send their travelling food truck on a provincial park tour, offering complimentary s’mores made with their iconic Célébration cookies.
Over 12,000 visitors got their hands on a free s’more this past summer. We’re sure they’ll be making their own in no time.
Free baked beans
A hot, tasty meal cooked over a campfire – it’s another key part of camping. And what better dish is there than a can of baked beans?
That’s why we worked with Bush’s Beans throughout the year to help them introduce themselves to our visitors.
They handed out over 5,000 baked bean samples and 4,000 coupons to Ontario Parks guests this year – a smashing hit!
Keeping visitors safe
PFD Lending Program
We want our campers and day-trippers to stay safe in and on the water, and that starts with a PFD (personal flotation device).
The PARKsmart PFD Lending Program is a water safety program carried out at 68 parks across the province. At any of the participating parks, campers can borrow a PFD, free of charge.
In 2019, we loaned out over 5,700 PFDs, most to kids aged 4-17.
Thanks to continued support from Mountain Equipment Co-Op, Ontario Power Generation, BOATsmart, Swim Guide, Salus Marine, Stearns, and the Canadian Red Cross, our provincial parks are able to keep our visitors comfortable and safe near the water.
Thanking our students
The Ontario Parks Partners’ Bursary
One thing is true: our provincial parks could not operate without the hard work of our summer students.
Since 2000, our corporate partners have provided over $250,000 to our students through the Ontario Parks Partners’ Bursary. In 2019, 40 students received awards of $500 each.
Here’s a special shout-out to our partners who helped make these awards possible:
- Bush’s Beans
- Qwick Wick
- the Friends of Algonquin Park
- the Friends of Bonnechere Parks
- the Friends of Charleston Lake Park
- the Friends of Frontenac Park
- the Friends of Murphys Point Park
- the Friends of Pinery Park
- the Friends of Rushing River
- the Friends of Sandbanks
- the Friends of MacGregor Point Park
- Wayfarer Insurance Group
- The Edge Screen Studio
- Toronto Outdoor
Be sure to check out our recap of the ceremony!
Giving back to parks
Zipcar park pass program
Maybe you heard about our partnership with Zipcar in 2019: specially-marked Zipcars came with a free day-use pass to Ontario Parks.
And, equally awesome, every new Zipcar member in July and August triggered a $2 donation to Ontario Parks. Thanks to their generosity, we were able to raise over $11,000 in total.
We use these donations to maintain, manage, and protect the parks we all love.
We also had new cause-marketing relationships last year with the RV rental company Outdoorsy and with The Trip Shed, an organization that provides the tools, knowledge, and supplies for premium wilderness experiences.
Thank you all
We sincerely thank all our partners for the work they’ve done helping to preserve our provincial parks.
If you’re interested in partnering with us on a project, please visit our corporate partnerships page at: OntarioParks.com/corporatepartnerships.