Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

As our 125th anniversary comes to a close, we would like to thank you for an incredible year.

Now etched into our history, these are some of the highlights of this exciting year.

Encapsulated in time

In August, we buried a time capsule in the ground at the Algonquin Provincial Park Visitor Center! The time capsule captures the essence of Ontario’s parks today.

time capsule speakers

Thank you to all of our online visitors who voted on which items to include and to everyone who attended this historic event! Mark your calendars for the year 2043 to attend the grand opening event!

crowd photo from time capsule event

When the stars align

Killarney Provincial Park and Lake Superior Provincial Park were written in the stars this year! In 2018, the two parks were designated as dark sky reserves by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

Killarney Observatory

Stars over Killarney was a star party held in association with Science North to celebrate this exciting achievement. Thank you to everyone who came to Killarney to celebrate the night sky.

telescope in Killarney

David Archibald: Ontario’s Happiest Camper Tour

Singer-songwriter David Archibald sang throughout Ontario, stopping at 31 provincial parks. David wrote five new songs to celebrate the rich heritage and camping culture of Ontario parks.

Park visitors enjoying an outdoor concert by David Archibald

Many thanks to all of David’s new and old fans who came to one of his singing concerts!

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Wakami Wailers concert tour

The Wakami Wailers, long-time camper favorites, performed at seven parks to celebrate the anniversary. The Wakami Wailers surprised the crowd with old favorites and songs from their new album. One two three four.

Three members of the Wakami Wailers playing music at the Algonquin Lumber Museum.

Go crazy about art

Park visitors went art crazy this summer with the new Go Wild for Art program. Select parks offered a series of art programs to celebrate Ontario’s rich connection to Canadian art.

The landscapes of Ontario provided inspiration for aspiring artists. They used miniature popsicles and tree cookies as a canvas to record their favorite park memories and take them home.

A mother and daughter painting miniature oars at a picnic table.

Legacy projects

To celebrate the 125th anniversary, Ontario Parks launched a new online giving campaign inviting visitors to contribute to the parks by donating to a number of legacy projects.

Each project focused on making improvements to accessibility, trails, interpretive displays or recreational facilities in provincial parks.

View of the white quartzite hills and lakes at the top of The Crack Trail.

Thank you to everyone who generously donated to support our five legacy projects. Your donation helped make these projects possible. Stay tuned for updates on completed projects in the coming months.

Indigenous association projects

In recognition of Indigenous peoples and their unique connections to the land, Ontario Parks worked closely with Indigenous communities on a series of collaborative projects.

Projects included interpretive programming, interpretive panels and products, and park signage.

Indigenous man carving a bear on the side of a birch bark canoe

Murphy’s Point Provincial Park hosted an apprentice and indigenous canoe builder to build a 12-foot birch bark canoe using materials from the park and surrounding areas.

Administration and citizen science programs

Volunteers from across the province rolled up their sleeves to help with stewardship projects. Volunteers assisted with bioblitz events, invasive species removal, native species planting, and wildlife monitoring projects.

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staff member holding a snake, talking to students

Thank you to everyone who volunteered to help!

Thanks to our partners

Thank you to all our partners for your support during our 125th anniversary year. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Cheers to another 125 years

Thank you for celebrating with us and making 2018 a memorable year! Here’s to another 125 years of stunning sunsets, gooey cupcakes, and starry skies.

Silhouette of a boy sitting on a rock watching a sunset