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Helping First-Time Campers Enjoy Ontario's Outdoors

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Helping First-Time Campers Enjoy Ontario's Outdoors

McGuinty Government Encourages All Ontarians To Experience Ontario Parks

A new Ontario Parks program will help first-time campers learn the basics so they can start enjoying Ontario's outdoors.

Through Learn to Camp @ Ontario Parks, participants will get hands-on camping experience such as setting up a campsite, using a camp stove and building a fire. They will also get an introduction to park activities such as hiking and swimming.

Through partnerships with local community groups, the program offers:

  • Tips, packing lists and camping instructions available online.
  • Community sessions in the Greater Toronto Area
  • Overnight sessions in Ontario Parks close to Toronto - Bronte Creek, Sibbald Point and Darlington.

The Open Ontario Plan sets out to attract more visitors from around the world to Ontario, helping local economies grow with tourism dollars to support and create jobs for families.

Quick Facts

  • About 25 per cent of Ontarians have never gone on an overnight camping trip.
  • About 74 per cent of new Canadians surveyed said that a hands-on course about camping would be helpful.
  • There are 329 provincial parks in Ontario, with more than 100 providing visitor facilities.
  • In 2010, Ontario's provincial parks received almost 100,000 more visits than in 2009, with a total of close to 10 million Ontarians and visitors enjoying the natural beauty the province has to offer.
  • More than 80 per cent of visitors to parks are from Ontario.
  • Provincial park visitor fees will remain unchanged for 2011.

Additional Resources


“Learn to Camp will introduce newcomers and those who may not have had any exposure to camping to an affordable, fun filled and memorable family experience this summer. I'm pleased that Ontario Parks is partnering with community groups to provide free information sessions so those new to camping can learn about what our great province has to offer.”

Linda Jeffrey

Minister of Natural Resources

“Ontario's outdoors, with its natural beauty continues to attract new and returning visitors. From fishing, camping, hiking, horseback riding, mountain climbing, hang gliding or swimming - there are many wonderful activities to experience. I encourage Ontario families to discover the outdoors and enjoy all that our spring, summer and fall have to offer.”

Michael Chan

Minister of Tourism and Culture

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