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Issued: March 14, 2020 Updated: May 21, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Closures and Cancellations in Algonquin Park


Algonquin Park Now Open for Day-Use with Restrictions

Algonquin Park is now open for day-use as part of the initiative announced on May 9, 2020 by the Premier of Ontario (see below).

Restrictions Day-Use Restrictions
  • Use the provincial park closest to your place of residence
  • Physical distance from others
  • Use the best practices for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19
  • Bring your own supplies (e.g. food, water, hand sanitizer, etc.)
  • No park permit is required to use Algonquin Park (or other provincial parks) for May 2020

According to Ontario Parks, the government organization responsible for the management of Algonquin Park, the following are:

Open Open   Closed Closed
 

Updates: More Algonquin Park specific information is expected. Please watch this webpage for new information as it is announced by the Government of Ontario.


Ontario Opening Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves

[See update above Algonquin Park Now Open for Day-Use with Restrictions]

Access for Limited Recreational Activities at Ontario Parks Permitted While Maintaining Physical Distancing

May 9, 2020 — "The Ontario government is opening provincial parks and conservation reserves for limited day-use access. The first areas will open on Monday May 11, 2020, with the remaining areas opening on Friday May 15, 2020. At this time, recreational activities will be limited to walking, hiking, biking and birdwatching. Day visitors will also be able to access all parks and conservation reserves for free until the end of the month.  

[Algonquin Park is scheduled to open on May 15, 2020]

The announcement was made today by Premier Doug Ford, Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

"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 Premier Ford. "I encourage people to get out and enjoy the outdoors, but please do so in a responsible way. Practise physical distancing and follow the rules set out by health care officials to stop the spread of this virus."

On Monday, 520 provincial parks and conservation reserves across the province will open, and the remaining 115 will open on the following Friday for limited day-use activities. At this time, camping and other activities are not permitted at any provincial park or conservation reserve. All buildings and facilities including washrooms, water taps, campgrounds, backcountry campsites, roofed accommodations, playgrounds, and beaches continue to be closed.

"People are eager to enjoy the warmer weather, stretch their legs and reconnect with nature," said Minister Yurek. "In consultation with our health experts, we're working to slowly phase-in the opening of Ontario Parks in a measured way to ensure the health and safety of visitors and staff. People should take note that not all amenities will be open and plan accordingly."

Over the next several weeks, Ontario Parks' staff will be conducting critical maintenance and other parks start-up procedures, so that more recreational activities and facilities will be available when it is safe to do so."


Ontario Ready to Respond to Wildland Fire Season

May 15, 2020 —"The Ontario government has taken additional steps to protect people and property during the wildland fire season, including an increase in base funding for emergency forest firefighting by $30.2 million, and ensuring safety measures are in place to protect Ontario's highly trained fire rangers from COVID-19.

At 12:01 a.m. on May 16, 2020, Ontario is lifting the Restricted Fire Zone (RFZ) designation that was put in place last month across Ontario's fire region.  The province will continue to assess forest fire hazard conditions and an RFZ designation may be reinstated in higher risk areas if conditions deteriorate. These restrictions are put in place in order to reduce the number of preventable human-caused fires and lower the risk of wildfires impacting the public.

To help stop the spread of COVID-19 fire rangers will be required to follow the health and safety guidelines recommended by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, such as physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and daily self-assessments by staff.

"This is an extraordinary period. As we put measures in place to protect our staff and the public from the pandemic, we have been taking additional steps to prepare for the wildland fire season," said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. "Nothing is more important than protecting the safety of people and communities across the province. Although we want people to enjoy themselves, lifting the Restricted Fire Zone designation does not mean we can let our guard down when it comes to preventing human-caused forest fires."

The province has also implemented a more aggressive approach to fighting wildland fires this season with a focus on detecting fires early, combating them with full force and keeping them as small as possible.

"Despite the challenges of these unprecedented times, Ontario's emergency management personnel have been proactively working with partners to prepare for potential evacuations due to the wildland fire season," said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General.  "Public safety remains our top priority and our Provincial Emergency Operations Centre will continue to monitor forest fire situations with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and be ready to coordinate a response if called upon for evacuation assistance.""


Algonquin Park Remains Closed to May 31, 2020

[See update above Ontario Opening Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves]

April 25, 2020 — Today, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, issued the following statement:

"In order to keep Ontarians safe during this COVID-19 outbreak, our government is extending the closure of Ontario's provincial parks and conservation reserves to May 31, 2020. This includes car camping, backcountry camping, roofed accommodations, day use opportunities, access points and all public buildings.

Provincial parks and conservation reserves will continue to remain fully closed to all recreational activities.

Reservations for arrivals up to, and including, any further closure extension date will be automatically cancelled and reservation holders will receive a full refund with no penalty. We are also providing penalty-free refunds to reservation holders who wish to change or cancel their 2020 camping reservation, regardless of arrival date."

"We understand this extension may impact many Ontarians' plans during the month of May. However, the health and well-being of Ontarians is our government's number one priority. Although we are making progress to stop the spread, the virus has not yet been contained. As a result, all but essential service workers must continue to stay at home and practice physical distancing."


COVID-19 and The Friends of Algonquin Park

[Update: This temporary closure is expected until May 31, 2020, subject to change.]

The Friends of Algonquin Park logoMarch 25, 2020 — The Government of Ontario has ordered all non-essential businesses to close for 14 days to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. As a result, The Friends of Algonquin Park will be suspending most of our operations and our offices at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre will be closed temporarily.

Below are ways to reach us during this temporary closure.

  • Online orders and wholesale orders are currently being fulfilled and shipped via http://store.algonquinpark.on.ca When you place your order, your credit card will not be charged until your order is mailed. Orders may be delayed from normal delivery timelines as Canada Post on-time delivery times have been suspended. For order related inquiries please email friends@algonquinpark.on.ca
  • Volunteers for the Algonquin Logging Museum, scheduled to open on June 13, are needed. Help at this facility is required from June 13 to October 18, 2020, with commitments of one day to multiple weeks welcomed. Please see Volunteer in Algonquin Park for more details.
  • Memberships can be purchased online anytime. Membership cards will be mailed once we are back in the office. Questions about the status of your membership or other inquiries can be sent to memberships@algonquinpark.on.ca
  • Donations can be made online at http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/foap/donate with charitable tax receipts being issued automatically by email at the time of your donation. If you have recently mailed a donation, your receipt will be sent in the mail or via email once we are back in the office. Donations to The Friends of Algonquin Park are used to support Algonquin Park’s research and education goals. For donation related inquiries please email donations@algonquinpark.on.ca

We thank you again for your support during this temporary pause while we protect our staff, families, volunteers, and Park visitors. Their health is of the utmost importance. We continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and will keep you updated on this webpage.

If you have questions for The Friends of Algonquin Park, please don't hesitate to contact us at friends@algonquinpark.on.ca We are here to help!

We look forward to seeing you again in Algonquin Park when circumstances permit. We know Algonquin Park is a very special place for you and your family, and maybe even more cherished, during these uncertain times.

Sincerely,

Lee Pauzé
Executive Director
The Friends of Algonquin Park

Lee Pauze

Algonquin Park Closed Until April 30, 2020

[See update above Algonquin Park to Remain Closed Until May 31, 2020]

March 18, 2020 — Today, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, issued the following update in response to COVID-19 developments:

"As COVID-19 continues to quickly evolve, we want to ensure public safety and the well-being of our visitors and staff in Ontario's provincial parks. In order to assist the province with its efforts to keep Ontarians safe during this time, all provincial parks will be closed to the public from March 19, 2020 until April 30, 2020. This includes car camping, backcountry camping, roofed accommodations, day use opportunities and all public buildings.

Current visitors to provincial parks will be required to vacate by March 19, 2020. Any person or group with a reservation for arrival up to April 30, 2020 will automatically be provided a full refund with no penalty."

  • As penalty-free refunds will automatically be issued, the public is asked to avoid canceling reservations online, as this may trigger an automatic penalty.

Algonquin Park Declared Restricted Fire Zone (RFZ)

[See update above Ontario Ready to Respond to Wildland Fire Season]

Restricted Fire Zone (RFZ)April 2, 2020 — The Ontario government is taking action to protect people and communities from the risk of preventable human-caused fires and to ensure that the province's emergency response system remains strong during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Starting April 3, 2020, Ontario's entire legislated fire region will be designated a Restricted Fire Zone. Residents who live in an area with a restricted fire zone cannot have an outdoor fire—this includes burning of grass, debris and campfires, even when using an outdoor fire grate, fire place or fire pit.

"During this very challenging time when we are fighting the spread of the virus, our number one priority is the health and safety of the people of Ontario," said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. "We are putting these important preventative measures in place now to ensure that our emergency responders are able to focus their efforts where they are needed most."

This restriction will remain in place until Ontario's ability to respond to emergencies is no longer impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Local municipalities are working to update their websites with information for residents. Meanwhile, Ontarians can learn about the rules under a Restricted Fire Zone at Outdoor Fire Restrictions.

Ontario's Fire Zones


More About COVID-19

Staff of The Friends of Algonquin Park are employing best practices for health and safety in the workplace relating to this disease. We will continue to monitor this evolving situation, and will update this webpage as required.


Related Information

 

Reserve your developed or backcountry campsite for your next visit.

Share your passion for Algonquin Park by becoming a member or donor.

Special regulations for Algonquin's special fishery.