The Ontario government is celebrating Canada Day by offering free day use at all provincial parks, and beginning on July 4, 2020, the province is offering free fishing for two weeks, double the length of last year. In addition, numerous Ontario attractions have special virtual experiences and events planned for July 1, 2020 which will help showcase Ontario’s artistic and musical excellence.
“As we celebrate Canada’s 153rd birthday, this is our way of saying thank you to everyone in Ontario who has followed the public health advice to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Tourism is a major source of jobs and economic benefits for many communities across the province, so it’s important to support our local businesses and explore everything our province has to offer as we reopen the province this summer.”
“Canada Day is a wonderful time for families to enjoy the great outdoors, while spending time together,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “That’s why, on July 1, we’re offering free day use at Ontario Parks, so that everyone can take advantage of the great weather and explore the recreational opportunities that are now available at provincial parks. We continue to count on people to be responsible when outside and to follow all public health advice.”
To help prevent overcrowding at the most popular provincial parks, capacity will be limited, so visitors are recommended to arrive early or consider exploring other provincial parks in the area. Park visitors should maintain physical distancing and wear a mask whenever physical distancing is not possible.
This year, Canadian residents of all ages can also enjoy fishing in Ontario without having to purchase a licence or carry an Outdoors Card for the first two full weeks of July, from July 4, 2020 to July 19, 2020.
“The COVID-19 outbreak has made things challenging for everyone this year, and this is why it’s especially important that we provide families with a lower-risk way to spend quality time outdoors,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “We’re counting on people to be responsible when enjoying free fishing and to continue to follow all of the public health measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Families and individuals can further enjoy the numerous attractions across Ontario, both virtual events and special events with physical distancing planned for Canada Day, including the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Niagara Parks Commission, Science North and Destination Ontario. For more information, you can visit www.ontario.ca/canadaday.
“I have been travelling across the province to showcase the world-class athletes, artists, and attractions Ontario has to offer,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “I encourage everyone to take in the safe and special experiences on offer this Canada Day and you will truly see that we offer the world in one province.”
· To find a special Canada Day programming near you, please visit Ontario.ca/CanadaDay.
· Ontario Parks manages 340 provincial parks and 295 conservation reserves covering over nine million hectares of land in the province. Before planning your trip, please visit www.ontarioparks.com/park-locator to check the status of your local provincial park.
· The annual Free Fishing Week traditionally starts in early July. This year, it has been extended for an additional week, taking place from July 4, 2020 to July 19, 2020.
· Anyone taking advantage of this opportunity must follow existing fishing rules and regulations including conservation catch and possession limits.
· Free fishing events also occur on Family Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day weekends.
· Veterans and active Canadian Armed Forces members residing in Ontario can enjoy year-round recreational fishing without having to purchase a fishing licence.
· Anglers spend more than $1.6 billion annually in Ontario and support jobs in many rural and northern communities that depend on it.