permits

7 things to know about your seasonal permit

Is there only one type of seasonal permit?

Do seasonal permits guarantee entrance?

Is there a way to test out a seasonal permit before buying?

Read on for seven key facts about Ontario Parks’ seasonal permits:

1. They save you money

That’s their whole purpose: to make visiting parks more affordable for day-trippers.

For instance, if day use at your local park costs $21, an annual permit pays for itself after only five visits!

pass in car dash

Knowing how important local green spaces are and how many of our visitors like to come to parks regularly, we wanted to make an affordable option available.

2. Seasonal permits don’t guarantee access to a park

We’ll say it again: seasonal permits don’t guarantee access to a park.

If a provincial park reaches capacity, no additional vehicles can enter, including seasonal permit holders.

red graphic with sun crossed out that says: Day-use at capacity
Wondering if a park is at capacity? Check their social media accounts for updates

(Visiting one of our busiest parks? Check Tip #5 to find out if you can use your permit to book guaranteed spot in advance!)

3. There are 4 different seasonal permits available

Visit parks in all seasons? Annual day-use permits ($99) allow you to explore parks for an entire year (January 1 – December 31).

Prefer to explore parks during the warmer months? Summer day-use permits ($75) are valid from April 1 – November 30.

summer permit

Love to be outdoors when the snow flies? Explore parks in the winter with our winter day use permit ($60), valid from December 1 – March 31.

Are you a business located near a provincial park? Pick up a commercial day use permit ($225) to loan out and share with your visitors!

Permits are available for purchase at operating parks or online through our Park Store.

4. Buying a permit helps support the parks you love

Many visitors don’t realize that only a small part of Ontario Parks’ budget comes from provincial taxes.

family looking out at lake

The money spent on seasonal permits helps fund maintenance, management, and protection of parks.

Your support ensures parks will be available to enjoy for years to come.

5. **NEW** Use your seasonal permit to reserve your spot in advance

In 2021, we’re piloting advance sales of daily vehicle permits at 17 of our busiest provincial parks.

Reservations can be made online or by phone up to five days in advance of your visit.

person booking advanced DVP

If you’ve got a seasonal permit, here are the two things to know:

  1. You still need to book in advance even if you’ve got a seasonal permit (remember Tip #2: a seasonal permit on its own doesn’t guarantee your spot!)
  2. Your seasonal permit makes your advanced booking free

When making your reservation, you can input your permit’s serial number, which will adjust your fee due to $0.

This video shows exactly how to do it:

Please remember to bring your reservation (printed or on your device) and your seasonal permit to the park.

6. “Check out” our permit lending program!

Not certain about buying a seasonal permit just yet?

No problem!

family taking selfie

Seasonal permits are now available to borrow at participating libraries around the province.

This means you can hit the library, then head to your favourite provincial park for the day!

6. They’re as good as gold

Okay, maybe not literal gold, but please treat your permit like you’d treat a gift card or cash.

We aren’t able to replace lost permits.

7. **2021 ONLY** Get more bang for your buck!

We’re extending the expiry date of the following permits:

  • 2021 annual and commercial daily vehicle permits: extended from December 31, 2021 to December 31, 2022
  • 2021 summer daily vehicle permits: now valid April 1 to November 30, 2021 AND April 1 to November 30, 2022

No action is required on your part for this extension (note: physical permits will still show a 2021 expiry date, but have been automatically extended).

Please hold on to your permit for next year. Do not throw it out (remember: they’re like gold)!

Ready to get out there and explore?