All Ontario parks and conservation reserves are free to access until end of month

May 11 2020, 12:02 pm

Day visitors will be able to access all Ontario parks and conservation reserves for free until the end of the month.

On Monday, provincial parks and conservation reserves began opening for limited day-use access.

There are 520 provincial parks opening May 11 and the remaining 115 parks are set to open on Friday.

At this time, recreational activities will be limited to walking, hiking, biking and birdwatching.

Camping and other activities are not permitted at any provincial park or conservation reserve and buildings and facilities including washrooms, water taps, campgrounds, backcountry campsites, roofed accommodations, playgrounds, and beaches continue to be closed, according to the province.

“As we continue to make progress in our fight to stop the spread of COVID-19, we are carefully and cautiously reopening the province, starting with certain businesses and retailers, and now our provincial parks and conservation reserves,” Ford said on Saturday.

“I encourage people to get out and enjoy the outdoors, but please do so in a responsible way. Practice physical distancing and follow the rules set out by health care officials to stop the spread of this virus.”

The province said over the next several weeks, Ontario Parks’ staff will be conducting critical maintenance and other parks start-up procedures, so that more recreational activities and facilities will be available when it is safe to do so.

As coronavirus cases in the province over the last few days have been going in the right direction, the province has been gradually reopening select businesses and retail stores over the last week to bring back “thousands” of jobs.