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Ontario Launches Pilot at Three Provincial Parks

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Ontario Launches Pilot at Three Provincial Parks

McGuinty Government Working to Increase Park Revenue and Visitation Rates

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Ontario is working with the Town of Hearst, the Township of Moonbeam and the City of Timmins to keep visitor services at provincial parks in their areas.

Under a two-year pilot project, Ontario Parks will work with the respective municipalities to operate Fushimi Lake, René Brunelle and Ivanhoe Lake provincial parks, with the goal of increasing their revenue and visitation rates. Municipal partners will be responsible for covering any financial losses incurred during the pilot period.

In September 2012, the province announced it was changing these parks from operating to non-operating designation along with seven others because of low visitation and occupancy levels that resulted in financial losses.

Working collaboratively with municipalities is part of the McGuinty government's plan to strengthen the economy and sustain jobs for families.

Quick Facts

  • Beginning on Jan. 28, 2013, campsites can be reserved online 24 hours a day or by calling the park reservation line at 1-888-ONT-PARK between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily. Fushimi Lake operates on a first come-first served basis; reservations are not accepted.
  • There are more than 330 provincial parks in Ontario, over 100 of which will continue as operating parks that provide various visitor services.
  • As part of the pilot, more seasonal campsites will be offered at the three parks. Applications for seasonal sites at these parks will be accepted between Jan. 18 and Feb. 1, 2013.

Additional Resources

  • Get information about camping, park opening and closing dates, fees and special events in Ontario Parks.


“I’m proud that we were able to work collaboratively with municipal partners to continue to offer camping at these three parks. We responded to the concerns we heard from northerners with a pilot that, I hope, will make these parks more economical and help guide future decision making for our fantastic parks system.”

Michael Gravelle

Minister of Natural Resources

“The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) is grateful for the relationship we share with Minister Gravelle and MNR. We want to thank the minister for being receptive and having a conversation on the future of these provincial parks. We are optimistic that this project will be successful and benefit everyone.”

Alan Spacek

president of FONOM, mayor of Kapuskasing

“Our council is very happy with MNR and Minister Gravelle. We hope that this project will work well as René Brunelle park is very important to our municipality.”

Gilles Audet

mayor, Township of Moonbeam

“Fushimi Lake is an important feature in the social and recreational life of our community. On behalf of our municipal council and Friends of Fushimi, I would like to convey our appreciation for the foresight and trust the Minister has shown to the Town of Hearst. This has helped us achieve a constructive partnership with the Ontario government that will give a second life to Fushimi Lake.”

Roger Sigouin

mayor, Town of Hearst

“Keeping these three parks operating is great news for northeastern Ontario. This pilot project sets the foundation for a strong relationship among our community, Minister Gravelle and MNR to work together to increase revenues and visitation at our parks.”

Tom Laughren

mayor, City of Timmins

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