Ontario’s Overnight Camping Left In Limbo Amid Covid-19 Lockdown Extensions

With Ontario’s announcement last Wednesday, May 13, 2021 to extend the lockdown orders until June 2nd, many provincial campers have been left guessing and in the dark (without a flashlight) about their camp bookings. Currently, if you check the Ontario Parks website they continue to update their Covid-19 update page by date, but with no additional information in regard to Wednesday’s announcement. Is this another case, in a series of miscommunications between the Ontario government and its services? Nobody knows, leaving many unhappy campers left to speculation and internet rumour in regards to their bookings.

In March, Ontario Parks were in some controversy after park reservations were being resold by private sellers on platforms like Craiglist for profit, something which they eventually cracked down on. These potential closures will only surely exasperate the situation for those who obtained them through these avenues. For now, parks are open during the day without overnight camping and facilities. Whether campers will be able to get out into nature for some much needed relaxation for an already Covid-worn crowd remains to be seen.

Update: the government doubled-down on their commitment to keeps parks and recreation closed on Monday. Ontario Parks followed suit by issuing emails to reservation holders about the closure and future refunds. The email reads:

Dear reservation holder, 

This email is regarding your upcoming reservation with Ontario Parks. 

To help stop the spread of COVID-19 and support Ontario’s provincewide COVID-19 response, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks will be extending the temporary closure of campground and backcountry campsites and roofed accommodations, like cabins, yurts and cottages at all Ontario Parks up to and including June 2, 2021 to align with the extension of the provincewide stay-at-home order. Limiting your travel is essential in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19, staying safe and saving lives. 

As a result, your reservation has been automatically cancelled, and you will receive a full refund with no penalty. There is no need to contact Ontario Parks to receive your refund. Please allow up to ten business days for your refund to appear on your credit card statement. 

We understand that these cancellations will affect your plans. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your continued patience and understanding during these challenging times. 
Please continue to visit OntarioParks.com and Ontario Parks social media channels for the most up-to-date information. 

Ontario Parks Reservation Service

So, it appears those wanting to camp are going to have to wait a little longer.


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