Ontario will open up 520 provincial parks and conservation areas for day-use only on Monday.  Premier Doug Ford made the announcement today during his daily briefing.   The remaining 115 parks and conservation areas will open on Friday, May 15th.

People are encouraged to only travel to parks in your local area and avoid nonessential travel out of your area.  You are also asked to be prepared as there will be no washrooms or potable water available, so you should take along water, hand sanitizer, and other supplies.

Walking, hiking, and biking trails will be available but public health measures must be observed including physical distancing and not gathering in large groups. “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,” said Ford. “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.”

Ford stressed that playgrounds, campsites, and beaches will remain closed until further notice.

Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks said park staff will be doing critical maintenance work over the next several weeks so other park amenities will be able to open when it is safe to do so.

Ford ended his briefing by wishing all moms a Happy Mother’s Day, “Now in these darks day more than ever, you are our rocks, giving comfort and support and love to all of us during a time when we need it most. Let’s make tomorrow the most special and incredible Mother’s Day ever.”