TORONTO – Ontario’s provincial parks and conservation areas will begin to reopen next week. The announcement was made today (May 9th) just after 1 p.m.
Beginning May 11th, 520 parks and conservation areas will open to the public for walking, hiking, biking and bird watching activities. The remaining 115 areas will open by May 15th. It is unclear if the St. Lawrence Parks Commission parks in South Dundas, South Stormont, and South Glengarry, along with the Long Sault Parkway is part of either reopening announcement.
“We are carefully and cautiously reopening the province, starting with certain businesses and retailers, and now our provincial parks and conservation reserves,” said Premier Doug Ford. “I encourage people to get out and enjoy the outdoors, but please do so in a responsible way.”
Parks will be free to use until the end of May. Camping and other activities will not be allowed at this time. All facilities and washrooms in the parks will remain closed; playgrounds and beaches will be off-limits.
“People are eager to enjoy the warmer weather, stretch their legs, and reconnect with nature,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of Environment, Conservation, and Parks.
While the province is allowing select businesses to resume operation and reopening parks, there has not been an increase in the size of social gatherings. Currently groups of more than five are not allowed, unless it is a family of larger than five living under one family roof.