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Ontario offers free admission to provincial parks for Canada Day, waives fishing license fees
People canoe in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada, in this 2001 photo. (Algonquin Park / Ontario Tourism via The Canadian Press)
TORONTO -- The Ontario government is offering free admission to its 340 provincial parks on Canada Day, as well as two weeks of licence-free fishing across the province.
“To show our thanks to the people of Ontario and celebrate this national holiday in true Canadian style, we’re giving everyone the chance to explore our great province,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in televised remarks on Tuesday afternoon.
“Ontario parks will be offering free day use across the province – from north to south, to east to west. And we’re also offering free fishing for the whole family starting July 4.”
Parks reopened to the public back in May, with restrictions on overnight camping.
Environment, Conservation and Parks Minister Jeff Yurek said that the decision was made in part to get people outside after months spent isolating at home.
“We’ve all spent a lot of time inside this spring as people across Ontario have done their part to stop the spread,” he said.
The parks will operate with lower-than-normal occupancy to encourage physical distancing, with increased cleaning of all high-traffic areas.
“Capacity will be limited at some of our more popular parks, so I do encourage you to arrive early,” he said.
He encouraged visitors to check hours and available services at each park online.
The province is also waiving fishing licence requirements from July 4 to July 18.
A one-day fishing licence usually costs $12.20, a year of sport fishing with an outdoors card costs $35.