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Issued: March 14, 2020 Updated: August 10, 2020

Algonquin Park COVID-19 Updates

What is Open and Closed in Algonquin Park

Below is a list of what is open and closed in Algonquin Park related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Details are based upon announcements by the Premier of Ontario, Ontario Parks, and Algonquin Park. Watch this webpage for new information, frequent updates, and clarifications as they are announced. See Algonquin Park Advisories for additional closures and alerts.

Best Practices During COVID-19

Open Open

  • Developed Campgrounds
    • See campground office hours on the specific campground webpage
    • Please note: Ontario Parks has implemented the following changes for developed campgrounds in Algonquin Park for the 2020 season:
      • 100% of Algonquin Park campsites are reservable in advance. The majority of campsites may be reserved so Ontario Parks cannot guarantee a campsite without a prior reservation. Reserve your campsite online or by calling 1-888-668-7275. Reservations can be made up to 8:00pm on your day of arrival. Ontario Parks will continue to try to accommodate visitors who arrive in Algonquin Park without a reservation.
      • If you have a reservation, please proceed directly to your reserved campsite any time after 2:00pm. Except for those staying at Pog Lake Campground and Kearney Lake Campground who still need to check-in at the Pog Lake Campground Office.
      • Campers must have a printed copy or digital copy of your confirmation letter as proof of your reservation with you while in Algonquin Park. A printed copy of your permit on your campsite post or on your vehicle dashboard is not required.
      • Parking for one vehicle is included with your campsite permit. Additional vehicle permits, along with firewood and ice, must be purchased at the campground office during posted hours.
  • Yurts (open, but no dining supplies provided [see details])
  • Trailer Sanitary Stations
    • Highway 60 at km 36
    • Rock Lake Campground
  • Algonquin Logging Museum
    • No indoor bathrooms, water has not yet been turned on from the winter by Ontario Parks. Bathrooms are available in parking lot.
  • Visitor Centre
    • The Friends of Algonquin Park Bookstore and Nature Shop is open 9:00am to 5:00pm daily. The natural and cultural exhibits, Algonquin Room, and viewing deck are now open. The theatre and Sunday Creek Cafe operated by Ontario Parks remain closed until further notice.
  • West Gate
  • East Gate
  • Sand Lake Gate
    • day-use permits available via the self-serve fee station when gate is closed
  • Backcountry camping [Please note: Reservations are strongly recommended to ensure you secure a campsite. Modified check-in procedures are in place. Backcountry campers will be e-mailed their confirmation letter after making a reservation. This letter will serve as the backcountry camping permit. Campers are responsible for ensuring they have an electronic or printed permit with them when using the backcountry.]

Closed Closed

Algonquin Park Advisories - Current Alerts
See Algonquin Park Advisories for geographic locations of these closures and alerts.

Currently Closed, No Date Set for Reopening

Closed for All of 2020 by Ontario Parks

Special Events and Exhibits - Postponed for 2020

The following events and exhibits have been canceled for 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions. We are hopeful these events will return in 2021.

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


COVID-19 Announcements Related to Algonquin Park

Nearly All Businesses and Public Spaces to Reopen in Stage 3

Public Gatherings Will Increase in Size as the Province Continues its Path to Economic Recovery

July 13, 2020 — The Ontario government announced nearly all businesses and public spaces will reopen in Stage 3 of the province's reopening framework with public health and workplace safety measures and restrictions in place. As Ontario continues down the path to economic recovery, decisions on which regions will enter Stage 3 and when will be made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts and based on trends of key public health indicators.

Details on the Stage 3 reopening framework were provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education.

"Our success in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and getting Ontario to a place where we are ready to reopen most of the province is a testament to the hard work of business owners, individuals and families right across the province," said Premier Ford. "So many have stepped up and played by the rules, demonstrating that we can restart our economy safely and responsibly. Small actions can make a big difference. Now more than ever, we must continue to follow the public health advice to preserve the progress we have made together."

As part of the Stage 3 reopening, Ontario will be increasing gathering limits for those regions entering the next stage to the following:

  • Indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people;
  • Outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people;
  • Gathering limits are subject to physical distancing requirements.

Public gathering limits apply to indoor and outdoor events, such as community events or gatherings, concerts, live shows, festivals, conferences, sports and recreational fitness activities, fundraisers, fairs, festivals or open houses. A two metre distance must still be maintained at such events.

Regions remaining in Stage 2 will maintain the existing gathering limit of 10. Social circles in all stages at this point will also be kept to a maximum of 10 people province-wide, regardless of stage.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health, public health experts and other officials have advised the following, high-risk places and activities are not yet safe to open, even if a region has entered Stage 3, due to the likelihood of large crowds congregating, difficulties with physical distancing, or challenges maintaining the proper cleaning and sanitation required to prevent the spread of COVID 19:

  • Amusement parks and water parks;
  • Buffet-style food services;
  • Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements;
  • Overnight stays at camps for children;
  • Private karaoke rooms;
  • Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports;
  • Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars;
  • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments.

For more information on the restrictions that will remain in place during Stage 3, as well as the public health guidance necessary to keep the people of Ontario safe, visit Ontario.ca/reopen.

The province is committed to working closely and collaboratively with businesses and sectors not yet able to reopen or who are experiencing significant challenges for reopening due to Stage 3 restrictions. These businesses can visit Ontario.ca/reopen to work with the government on a reopening proposal that will enable them to safely resume or increase operations. Government and public health officials will review proposals and contact businesses for feedback or clarifications.

"With almost all businesses and services able to resume operations, Stage 3 is a major step forward in our plan to reopen the province," said Minister Phillips. "We have to keep treating each other with respect and acting responsibly to keep up the progress in our fight against COVID-19. Our government will continue working with our partners across Ontario to rebuild our economy so that our province is a place of economic strength and prosperity for every person and family."

 

Directive for Masks/Face Coverings in Enclosed Public Spaces in Effect July 14, 2020

July 9, 2020 — Further to the Eastern Region Medical Officers of Health Announcement on July 6, Renfrew County and District Health Unit (RCDHU) has released a local directive requiring masks or face coverings be worn in enclosed public spaces. The directive comes into effect on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. RCDHU’s first step for implementation of this directive is a gradual education approach to be further assessed going forward. This directive is to be primarily used to educate people on mask use inenclosed public spaces because 2-metre physical distancing cannot always be maintained.

Increasing evidence shows that widespread use of masks and/or face coverings acts as an additional personal practice that can help to prevent the infectious respiratory droplets of an unknowingly infected person from coming into contact with other people. Masks or face coverings provide a non-invasive, inexpensive way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and serve as a visual reminder to others to remain vigilant and stay physically distant from others.

For the purpose of this directive, a mask is defined as a cloth (non-medical) mask, medical mask or other face coverings (e.g. a bandana, scarf or cloth), that securely covers the nose, mouth and chin and is in contact with the surrounding face without gapping. For information on accessing a mask/face covering visit the RCDHU website. People who are exempt from wearing a mask or face covering include:

Children under two years of age, or children under the age of five years either chronologicallyor developmentally who refuse to wear a mask or face covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver;

Individuals with medical conditions rendering them unable to safely wear a mask, including breathing difficulties or cognitive difficulties; and

Anyone who is unable to remove the mask without help or anyone who is unconscious or incapacitated.

With the reopening of businesses and public settings in our communities, there is an increased risk of a rapid rise in COVID-19 infections and outbreaks as people expand their contacts.

 

Algonquin Park Visitor Centre Bookstore and Nature Shop Now Open!

June 29, 2020 — The Friends of Algonquin Park's Bookstore and Nature Shop located at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre is now open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Get current Park information, permits, books, maps, and souvenirs from PPE wearing Friends staff who will serve you from behind the new COVID-19 plexiglass barrier. Free high speed WiFi is also available during normal operating hours at the Bookstore and Nature Shop.

Only at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre, Logging Museum, and online is 100% of revenue from purchases reinvested back into Algonquin Park. Online shopping for many items remains available at http://store.algonquinpark.on.ca or via telephone at 613 637-2828.

Ontario Parks has the natural and cultural history exhibits, theatre, and Sunday Creek Cafe closed until further notice.

 

Beaches and Campsites to Open at Ontario Parks

June 10, 2020 — "As part of the Ontario government's Stage 2 reopening plan, more facilities and services will be available at provincial parks in certain regions beginning on June 12, 2020. Gradually over the next several weeks, Ontario Parks will start opening campgrounds, providing more washrooms and drinking water, along with roofed accommodations, park store and rental operations, visitor centres, and sports fields. It's important to check what facilities and services are available before visiting a provincial park.

"Due to the tremendous progress we have made to contain the spread of COVID-19, more services and activities will soon be available at our provincial parks," said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. "While this is encouraging, it is not business as usual. I encourage everyone to be responsible and continue to follow public health advice, including physical distancing, when enjoying our outdoor amenities."

The following is a list of recreational activities and facilities that will be opening soon at provincial parks in regions entering Stage 2:

  • On June 12, beaches at Ontario Parks will begin opening to the public as maintenance and water testing are completed.
  • On June 15, campers enrolled in this year's Ontario Parks' Seasonal Campsite Program will now have access to their campsites at the majority of participating provincial parks. Those who were preselected in 2019 for the program will be contacted by Ontario Parks directly regarding the status of their reservation.
  • Beginning the week of June 22, all other campgrounds in regions entering Stage 2 will gradually open at provincial parks, along with washrooms, water taps and trailer sanitation stations.
  • Roofed accommodations (e.g., yurts, cabins and lodges, where available), park store and rental operations, visitor centers, and sports fields will be phased in over the next several weeks.

Facilities such as showers, laundry, group camping, picnic shelter rentals and swimming pools will remain closed for the rest of the 2020 season.

To help protect visitors and staff, Ontario Parks will be implementing measures to address overcrowding and promote physical distancing in park spaces and buildings during busy visitation times, by limiting occupancy for day-use and camping in select provincial parks. This may include limiting the number of daily vehicle permits sold or the number of campsites available for reservations.

Ministry officers will be present in provincial parks to provide information, assist with emergencies and enforce provincial park rules and regulations. Additionally, these areas may be patrolled by local police or other enforcement agencies."

  • Any reservations for campgrounds (and select backcountry campsites that currently remain closed) up to and into the week of June 22 will be automatically cancelled and you will receive a full refund with no penalty.

 

Backcountry Camping Available Starting June 1, 2020

May 30, 2020 — The Ontario government is gradually reintroducing camping in Ontario Parks and recreational camping on Crown land, starting June 1, 2020, to give people more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, while staying safe and practicing physical distancing.

As of June 1, backcountry camping will be available at Ontario Parks, including access points, paddle and portage routes and hiking trails. Ontario Parks will also be expanding day-use activities to include picnicking and off-leash pet areas.

"We are all eager to get outside this time of year, and backcountry camping will give people a low-risk way to enjoy the benefits of being outdoors while following physical distancing rules," said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. "We're counting on people to be responsible when enjoying our parks and continue to follow all of the public health measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19."

Following current provincial restrictions, no more than five people will be allowed to occupy a backcountry campsite during their stay, unless they live in the same household.

The closure of all other overnight camping and some day-use activities at provincial parks and conservation reserves has been extended to June 14 and will continue to be reassessed. All buildings and facilities including campgrounds, roofed accommodations, visitor centers, park stores, playgrounds, and beaches remain closed. Some washroom facilities may be available.

In addition, Ontario is reopening recreational camping on Crown land while reminding visitors to continue to adhere to public health advice as the best defense against COVID-19, such as practicing physical distancing, wearing a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge, and frequent hand washing. Camping on Crown land does not include the use of shared facilities and is a low-risk way for people to enjoy the outdoors.

"Even as we begin to reopen camping so that Ontarians can enjoy our beautiful outdoors, people's health and well-being remain our top priority," said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. "We have to work together to ensure we open our province in a responsible, cautious manner. We are starting to contain the virus, but we cannot risk undoing all of the progress that we have made by reopening the province too quickly."

Ontario Parks will begin collecting fees for day-use and backcountry camping access as of June 1. Please visit Ontario parks and click on the "Fees" tab to find out more. Advanced reservations or registrations will be required at most of the 20 operating provincial parks that are offering backcountry camping.

Ontario Parks has been conducting critical maintenance and other park start-up procedures and ensuring operational and safety protocols are in place so that more recreational activities and facilities can open when it is safe to do so.

 

 

Ontario Opening Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves

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

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."

 

 

Algonquin Park Declared Restricted Fire Zone (RFZ)

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

 

 

 

COVID-19 and The Friends of Algonquin Park

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

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.

 

 

 


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.