As part of the Ministry of Natural Resources’ September 2012 transformation announcement, Ontario Parks will change the designation of a number of provincial parks, including Springwater Provincial Park, from operating to non-operating.  In deciding which parks to re-designate, we looked at many factors including low visitation rates, low cost recovery, and the upcoming need for investment in capital upgrades to remain operational.

These decisions were difficult to make, but they were necessary to ensure the ministry’s financial sustainability and help the government balance its budget.

On April 1, 2013, Springwater Provincial Park will be re-designated as a non-operating park. While access to the park will remain free for day-use visitors, vehicle access will no longer be allowed and a gate erected at the park entrance.  Park enforcement and litter pick up will become the responsibility of staff from Bass Lake Provincial Park.  Services such as washrooms, running water and grass cutting will no longer be provided.

Visitors and local residents are also encouraged to explore other provincial parks near Springwater. These include: Bass Lake, Mara and McRae Point near Orillia, Earl Rowe near Alliston and Awenda Provincial Park near Penetanguishene.  These parks offer vehicle access including camping and day-use opportunities.

Ontario Parks will no longer be maintaining the wildlife facility at Springwater and have worked closely with Zoocheck Canada to find suitable homes for the animals. Relocation of these animals is ongoing and in the interim the animals will continue to be housed and cared for at the park.

We will continue to provide access to the WWI cenotaph for ceremonies, special events and maintenance.  Also, we will continue to work closely with the local Royal Canadian Legion and the federal government to ensure the cenotaph is cared for on a regular basis.

The park is a natural area that will continue to contribute to Ontario’s system of parks and protected areas. Springwater will continue to be protected land regulated under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, which will ensure this land is protected for future generations.

We are open to partnership proposals for operating Springwater Provincial Park for the 2014 season and beyond and would be pleased to review a business proposal from potential partners. Enquiries can be directed to: opconcerns.comments@ontarioparks.com