2009 Parks Season Officially Opens



    
    McGuinty Government Invites Everyone To Experience Ontario's World-
    Renowned Parks
    

    TORONTO, May 5 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    Most provincial parks in southern Ontario will be open on May 8, with the
majority of northern parks opening on May 15.
    Ontario's provincial parks offer a variety of recreational activities,
including camping, hiking, canoeing, swimming, picnicking and wildlife
viewing. Many parks also provide Natural Heritage Education programs for
children and adults to connect with their surroundings and learn about
wildlife, plants, and park history.
    May 8 also marks the beginning of an 11-day ban on the possession and
consumption of alcoholic beverages in 44 provincial parks
(http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Newsroom/LatestNews/271687.html).

    QUOTES

    "Visiting one of Ontario's magnificent provincial parks this year is an
opportunity for you, your family and friends to get outdoors and appreciate
the value and beauty of nature. Parks are located in areas all across the
province so there is sure to be one nearby to enjoy."
    - Donna Cansfield, Minister of Natural Resources

    
    QUICK FACTS

    -   There are 330 provincial parks in Ontario; 113 of these are
        "operating" parks (with visitor facilities). Last year, more than 9.5
        million visits were made to Ontario Parks.
    -   Ontario Parks employs more than 1500 students each summer.
    -   Ontario's provincial parks protect distinctive landscapes, rare plant
        and animal species and historic cultural sites.

    LEARN MORE

    -   To find out more about the alcohol ban, camping, park opening and
        closing dates, fees and special events in provincial parks, visit the
        Ontario Parks website (www.OntarioParks.com).
    -   See the 2009 Ontario Parks Guide at
        www.ontarioparks.com/english/parksguide.html.
    -   Get a printed copy by calling 1-800-ONTARIO (668-2746).
    -   To reserve a campsite, call 1-888-ONT-PARK (668-7275) between 7:00
        a.m. and 11:00 p.m. EST daily, or book online 24 hours a day at the
        Ontario Parks website at
        http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/reservations.html.

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                                           ontario.ca/natural-resources-news
                                                      Disponible en français


    BACKGROUNDER
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                          ONTARIO PARKS 2009 SEASON

    Making Reservations at Ontario Parks
    
    Ontario's provincial parks are popular camping spots. Reservations are
recommended for overnight stays and can be made up to five months in advance.
The cost for each reservation is $12.00, and the minimum cost to change or
cancel a reservation is $9.00.
    To reserve a campsite, call 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275) between 7:00
a.m. and 11:00 p.m. EST daily, or book online 24 hours a day at
www.OntarioParks.com.
    Regular fees for campsites range from $25.75 to $40.00 a night, with
discounts available for Ontario seniors and Ontario persons with disabilities.
Day-use fees range from $10.00 to $18.00 a day. Seasonal day-use passes are
also available. In addition to campgrounds for tents and trailers, some parks
offer yurts, cabins and cottages for rent.
    Most provincial parks in southern Ontario open on May 8, and the majority
of northern parks open on May 15. Visit www.OntarioParks.com to find out when
a specific park is opening.

    Alcohol Ban in 44 Provincial Parks

    Ontario Parks reminds campers that May 8 also marks the beginning of an
11-day ban on possessing and consuming alcoholic beverages in selected
provincial parks.
    The alcohol ban, in effect through May 18, includes campsites and day-use
areas. Beginning May 19, park visitors may consume alcoholic beverages at
registered campsites only. The possession and consumption of alcohol is
prohibited in day-use areas year-round. Charges under the Liquor Licence Act
and regulations can be laid against those who possess and consume alcohol in
day-use areas or do not observe the alcohol ban.

    
    This year, the alcohol ban is in effect at the following 44 provincial
parks:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Arrowhead             Inverhuron              Rushing River
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    Arrow Lake            Killbear                Samuel de Champlain
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    Awenda                Long Point              Sandbanks
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    Balsam Lake           MacGregor Point         Sauble Falls
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    Bass Lake             Mara                    Selkirk
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    Blue Lake             McRae Point             Sharbot Lake
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    Bon Echo              Murphys Point           Sibbald Point
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    Bronte Creek          Oastler Lake            Silver Falls
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    Craigleith            Pinery                  Silver Lake
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    Darlington            Point Farms             Six Mile Lake
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    Earl Rowe             Port Burwell            Sleeping Giant
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    Emily                 Presqu'ile              Sturgeon Bay
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    Ferris                Rideau River            Turkey Point
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    Fitzroy               Rock Point              Wheatley
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    Grundy Lake           Rondeau
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    Get a Copy of the Parks Guide

    Free copies of the 2009 Ontario Parks Guide
(http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/parksguide.html) are available at 
www.OntarioParks.com, at provincial park offices, tourism agencies,
ServiceOntario (http://www.serviceontario.ca/), local chambers of commerce and
by calling 1-800-ONTARIO (668-2746).

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    Joanna Dorff, Ontario Parks,           ontario.ca/natural-resources-news
    705-755-7275                                      Disponible en français
    





For further information:

For further information: Ivan Langrish, Minister's Office, (416)
314-2212; Media Desk, Communications Services Branch, (416) 314-2106

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